Intel’s Chipset Debacle: “What am I suppose to do?”

We totally understand if that’s what you’re wondering right now, but you will only be affected if you recently bought a motherboard or system that contains Intel’s recent Series-6 (aka Sandy Bridge on LGA 1155) chipset. Note that the processor (CPU) itself is not affected, and the issue currently lies on all motherboards that were shipped since the launch of this new line. The discovered major flaw was enough to halt current manufacturing and shipments, but rest assured that other Intel products are not affected (e.g. X58, P55, H55, etc.). Intel estimates total costs for existing replacements and repairs that they will incur is about $700 million.

So what’s the problem here? The problem is hardware related and affecting the SATA II (3 Gbps) that are on the “Cougar Point” chipsets. Some sort of silicon-based fix will be required at the metal layer, and this includes all products that are currently shipping or have already been shipped (e.g. P67, H67). Also to note that all desktops, notebooks, and servers that are based on the Sandy Bridge chipset are affected.

What happens if I bought (or built) a Sandy Bridge system recently? Manufacturers are indicating that revised motherboards for both desktops and notebooks won’t be available until April (this year), as Intel won’t be providing revised chipsets until mid-March. As for standalone motherboard purchases, most boards bear a 3 year warranty – so you are most likely to be covered.

VSPC will be contacting affected clients with the steps they should take regarding this issue, and any of our currently offered builds that has this faulty chipset will be temporary unavailable for the time being. If you are thinking of buying or building a system, we’d recommend that you hold off at least until April.

Based on what we’re hearing at this point, the chipset may have a higher chance of failing only when it’s under heavy use and to reduce any lost of data or corruption – we advise that all hard drives should be moved to any available Intel or third party SATA III (6 Gbps) ports (e.g. 0 and 1). If you require to use any of the SATA II (3 Gbps) ports, allocate the least critical drive(s) instead (e.g. DVD drive).

UPDATE: Some companies are also pointing out that with the shortage of copper and other materials required for manufacturing, delays may end up stretching beyond the expected April time frame. We’ll also post any other updates here that are either coming from Intel or any other major manufacturers (e.g. regarding replacements or refunds).

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2 Responses to Intel’s Chipset Debacle: “What am I suppose to do?”

  1. Pingback: Versus series (New for 2011) « Custom Desktop PCs & News | VSPC

  2. Pingback: Velocity II series (2011 Refresh) « Custom Desktop PCs & News | VSPC

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