Intel finds design flaw in Sandy Bridge chipset

By on January 31, 2011, 10:59 AM
Intel has warned of a flaw with the 6 Series chipset, code-named Cougar Point, that accompanies its latest Sandy Bridge processors, which gradually degrades the performance of the SATA ports over time and thus affects the speed of hard drives and optical drives. In a statement put out this morning, the company attributed the problem to a design issue and said it expects the cost to repair and replace the chip to be around $700 million -- a recall notice should follow soon.

The faulty chip has been out since January 9, so at least it seems Intel has caught the issue early and stopped all shipments. Furthermore the company says it already has corrected the design issue and will deliver an updated version of the chipset in late February with full volume coming in April, but systems will likely be in short supply for now.

It's worth noting there are no flaws in Sandy Bridge processors themselves. For computer makers and other Intel customers that have bought potentially affected chipsets or systems, Intel says it will work with its OEM partners to accept the return of the affected chipsets and support modifications or replacements needed.




User Comments: 28

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brianmsu said:

ho hum looks like i'll have to wait til april

princeton princeton said:

Well it's nice to know they aren't trying to pass it off as something like a software issue or whatever.

*wink wink*

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

So I take it this is a material / manufacturing issue rather than an architectural issue?

princeton princeton said:

red1776 said:

So I take it this is a material / manufacturing issue rather than an architectural issue?

I think so. Because the statement on their site says that it was only chipsets manufactured after...I think it was January 9.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Good to know this seems to be more of a QC issue than a design flaw. Have to wonder if it was a real breakdown on the manufacturing side, or if it was missed in the mad dash to hit the market hard and steal AMD's Fusion thunder?

Arris Arris said:

Hope they will buy me some thermal paste too for reseating my H50 cooler after switching the motherboard out :S

Guest said:

This mean, more time for AMD Bulldozer ?

Guest said:

... then, I have to wait for 16-core Atom processor!

:)

princeton princeton said:

Hope they will buy me some thermal paste too for reseating my H50 cooler after switching the motherboard out :S

Isn't the thermal paste on the h50 pre applied? Sorry to hear you'll have to replace it, factory applied is as evenly spread as it gets.

Jurassic4096 said:

lol, Fusion is in no way a threat to desktop SB chips. silly rabbit

Jurassic4096 said:

princeton said:

Hope they will buy me some thermal paste too for reseating my H50 cooler after switching the motherboard out :S

Isn't the thermal paste on the h50 pre applied? Sorry to hear you'll have to replace it, factory applied is as evenly spread as it gets.

you cheapskate, get some alcohol, clean that *****, and take $5 and buy some better thermal that aint only good for one use.

mikeusru said:

Wait so does this mean i'll have to replace the new p67 motherboard i just bought? and does that mean i'll have to reinstall windows again?

Jurassic4096 said:

i almost bought the ASUS P67 Deluxe and 2600K today. Thank you TechSpot!!!

Coolermaster Gold 1000w and GTX 570 is still on!

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Wait so does this mean i'll have to replace the new p67 motherboard i just bought? and does that mean i'll have to reinstall windows again?

The way it reads, if you are in possession of a P67, it's faulty. If they issue you the same motherboard you should not have to. I believe the hardware identifiers will be the same.

Leeky Leeky said:

As others have said, at least Intel have stood up to the mark and are prepared to take the financial hit to keep there reputation.

I do wonder if it could have been avoided however.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

"I do wonder if it could have been avoided however."

That's hard to say. I work right next to our QA department and it seems like no matter how long or extensive the testing, something always gets through. And of course, we all know how buggy (in general) software releases are no matter how much they test. There's no way they can account for every single hardware/OS configuration in the world when testing software. Whether hardware or software, sometimes you just gotta release it to the masses and keep your fingers crossed that if any bugs show up they'll be quick fixes for the problem.

I give props to Intel for owning up to as soon as they could and taking immediate corrective steps.

DokkRokken said:

By the sound of things, degradation ranges between 5% for casual users to 15% for heavier users. At least Intel came out with it now, as opposed to sitting on it and hoping nobody notices.

If I were in possession of a P67 board, I'd probably wait a while before replacing my 'faulty' board; everyone's going to be madly returning their boards. Unless you're a power user that needs all the speed you can get, this problem isn't that terrible.

CamaroMullet said:

Late Feb for updated chipsets??? Man, that blows. I was going to buy my new rig this week. I hate waiting!!!

Guest said:

I'm not worried about my P67 board since in 3 yrs. I'll deffinately have a different board anyway

Mizzou Mizzou said:

Looks like newegg has stopped selling the Sandy Bridge processors along with Gigabyte 1155 motherboards. Just saw this article on TechReport Gigabyte, Newegg stop selling Sandy Bridge mobos. Did a quick check on newegg and sure enough the Sandy Bridge processors and Gigabyte motherboards have been pulled.

Cota Cota said:

Princeton said:

Well it's nice to know they aren't trying to pass it off as something like a software issue or whatever.

*wink wink*

Orange and Pear would never do that. * annoying laugh >:3*

Leeky Leeky said:

http://www.scan.co.uk/Shop/Computer-Hardware have a big notice on there homepage as well.

Nothing from OCUK, or Ebuyer as of yet though....

Sarcasm Sarcasm said:

Excellent news that they found it and didn't sweep stuff like this under the rug. God forbid a company releases a defective product and didn't do anything but bump up the warranty to 3 years.

fpsgamerJR62 said:

The issue may be more serious than Intel is willing to admit or it may be simply what the company has stated in its press release. Either way, this gives more time to plan my next PC upgrade.

sMILEY4ever said:

My guess is Z68 will come out before these p67&h67 get replaced.

Leeky Leeky said:

The issue may be more serious than Intel is willing to admit or it may be simply what the company has stated in its press release. Either way, this gives more time to plan my next PC upgrade.

Possibly, but either way they have done the right thing and gone public about it at the first opportunity.

You hear about manufacturers in every conceivable industry denying there are issues with there products all the time, its nice to see one actually holding there hands up before the situation gets out of hand, and admitting there is a flaw, and offering to do something about it.

princeton princeton said:

The issue may be more serious than Intel is willing to admit or it may be simply what the company has stated in its press release. Either way, this gives more time to plan my next PC upgrade.

I'm pretty sure it's the sata. All the boards on newegg that use only Sata6 instead of Sata3 are still there.

EDIT: They're gone .

Guest said:

I think this video sums it up nicely

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yEQSX4biR4

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