Intel Skulltrail Supports SLI - Sort Of

During his keynote today at IDF, Intel’s Pat Gelsinger showed off a machine based on the company’s Skulltrail enthusiast gaming platform.  Skulltrail is a dual-socket platform based on the Stoakly platfprm that supports Intel’s upcoming 45nm Quad-Core processors and offers PCI Express 2.0 support and true dual-x16 PEG slots (or four x8 PCI Express x16 slots).

Intel's Skulltrail Demo Machine with SLI

What was interesting about the machine on display was that it used a pair of GeForce graphics cards running in SLI mode, but on an Intel chipset – no nForce here.  This would lead you to believe that Intel has licensed SLI, but that is not exactly the case.  In a briefing later in the day, Stephen Smith revealed that Intel worked with NVIDIA to enable SLI for the demo machine, but did NOT confirm that NVIDIA would enable SLI for consumers.

Update: We've just got word that Intel (and perhaps some of their partners) will be using an nForce MCP on some of their Intel-chipset based motherboards, and it's these boards that will support SLI.

Update 2: We've got some information directly from NVIDIA about Skulltrail and its SLI support that we wanted to share with you all:


  • NVIDIA nForce 100 Media and Communications Processors Provide An Exciting SLI-Ready Platform for Intel Customers
  • Intel demonstrated its new “Skulltrail” motherboard at this week’s Intel Developers Forum in San Francisco, CA. Skulltrail is a dual-socket motherboard that is targeted at ultra-high-end desktop enthusiasts and workstation customers.
  • The Skulltrail motherboard uses Intel's workstation “Stoakley” chipset designed for 2P CPU operation (1P configurations are not supported).
  • To enable NVIDIA SLI support, Intel has purchased NVIDIA nForce 100 SLI MCPs from NVIDIA.
  • The NVIDIA nForce 100 MCP converts a single x16 PCI Express Gen 1 bus into dual x16 PCI Express Gen 1 buses. This is how SLI is being supported on Skulltrail.
  • NVIDIA assisted Intel in the bring-up and testing of the Skulltrail motherboard which was publicly demonstrated at the Intel Developers Forum in San Francisco this week.
  • NVIDIA SLI technology is the world’s leading multi-GPU platform, allowing multiple NVIDIA GeForce graphics processing units (GPUs) to work together, resulting in scalable performance.
  • Intel has not licensed SLI technology from NVIDIA. Intel purchased NVIDIA nForce 100 MCPs to enable support for SLI.
  • Skulltrail is the only Intel motherboard which will feature NVIDIA SLI support. Intel is not using the NVIDIA nForce 100 MCP on any other chipsets, including X38.
  • For other 1P segments of the Intel market, NVIDIA has a wide variety of SLI products already available, including the leading nForce 680i SLI MCP for enthusiasts and gamers.
  • Skulltrail motherboards will only be available directly from Intel.
Tags:  Intel, sli, rail, Support, port, skulltrail, RT, RTS, AI, K