As many of you will already know Intel identified a chipset design issue on Jan 31st 2011. The official announcement is shown below
As part of ongoing quality assurance, Intel Corporation has discovered a design issue in a recently released support chip, the Intel® 6 Series, code-named Cougar Point, and has implemented a silicon fix. In some cases, the Serial-ATA (SATA) ports within the chipsets may degrade over time, potentially impacting the performance or functionality of SATA-linked devices such as hard disk drives and DVD-drives. The chipset is utilized in PCs with Intel's latest Second Generation Intel Core processors, code-named Sandy Bridge. Intel has stopped shipment of the affected support chip from its factories. Intel has corrected the design issue, and has begun manufacturing a new version of the support chip which will resolve the issue. The Sandy Bridge microprocessor is unaffected and no other products are affected by this issue.
The company expects to begin delivering the updated version of the chipset to customers in late February and expects full volume recovery in April. Intel stands behind its products and is committed to product quality. For computer makers and other Intel customers that have bought potentially affected chipsets or systems, Intel will work with its OEM partners to accept the return of the affected chipsets, and plans to support modifications or replacements needed on motherboards or systems. The systems with the affected support chips have only been shipping since January 9th and the company believes that relatively few consumers are impacted by this issue. The only systems sold to an end customer potentially impacted are Second Generation Core i5 and Core i7 quad core based systems. Intel believes that consumers can continue to use their systems with confidence, while working with their computer manufacturer for a permanent solution. For further information consumers should contact Intel at www.intel.com on the support page or contact their OEM manufacturer.
The range of the new motherboards that dabs stock are from the vendors Asus and Gigabyte and we have reached an agreement to the Sandybridge problem.
With there being no immediate danger/fault and as this fault is likely to affect a small number of boards over time and replacement stock is not due until April/May, Dabs.com have arrange with the board partners listed that they will ensure guaranteed swap out of all P67/H67 Motherboards bought from Dabs.com directly with you the end user when the new boards become available.
Based on this Swap Out Guarantee with Asus and Gigabyte we have decided to make all P67/H67 Boards available for sale again. The decision whether to buy or wait lies with the end-user.
Below we have compiled the official documentation and images from both Asus and Gigabyte for your information
On January 31, 2011 Intel announced the detection of a design error in the new Sandy Bridge-based Intel® 6 Series support chip, also known as Cougar Point. The shipment of existing Sandy Bridge products has been suspended by Intel®, and the production of an updated support chip has commenced. The design error affects only the support chip, and not 2nd generation Intel® Core™ processors such as the i5 and i7.
Acting on our philosophy and promise of inspiring innovation and persistent perfection, we’ve created a comprehensive response to this development to safeguard the best interest of ASUS customers around the world. We take full responsibility for providing total warranty services to guarantee uninterrupted computing and usability, as each ASUS product is delivered with an uncompromising quality pledge in every circumstance. This includes the return and/or replacement of all affected ASUS products, with no questions asked and at no cost to customers.
For all customers who already own any ASUS product affected by the design error identified by Intel®, simply visit http://event.asus.com/2011/SandyBridge/notice/ for detailed warranty and service hotline information. We’ll be happy to address any questions or concerns you may have regarding this issue, as well as provide information on future updates to Sandy Bridge technology.
For motherboards, we’ve confirmed with Intel® that the Cougar Point design error does not affect SATA ports 0 and 1. Additionally, ASUS has been a pioneer in including extra SATA 3Gb/s and SATA 6Gb/s ports beyond Intel® specifications on a wide range of motherboards. These ports are not affected by this design error, offering customers seamless and uninterrupted computing. However, we’re also offering you the option of returning any possibly affected motherboard for a swap or sales return. All warranties for affected motherboards will be reset to give you enough time to carry out any exchanges.
We’ll post updates through our official website and other channels regarding any developments or fixes to Sandy Bridge products. Thank you for your understanding, support and cooperation, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.
Please see below a picture to help you understand which SATA ports are affected by the performance degradation issue.
Q: What is the problem with Intel 6series chipsets?
A: As explained by Intel®, after a period of usage the SATA 2 ports 2~5 on motherboards based on Intel® 6 series B2 stepping chipsets may experience decreasing performance. This issue applies to all motherboards based on Intel 6 series chipsets from every vendor. However, it will not be an issue for systems that connect to the SATA 3 ports only. Intel® announced this issue and stated that they stand behind their products and are committed to product quality in the following online alert: “Alert for Intel® 6 Series Express Chipsets and Intel® Xeon® C200 Chipsets users” which release by Intel, Jan 31st, 2011. http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/sb/CS-032263.htm
Q: What models have been affect by this issue?
A: All GIGABYTE P67/H67/P65/PH67 chipset motherboards with B2 stepping 6 series chipsets are effected. All other GIGABYTE models based on other chipsets are not affected, and GIGABTYE continues to be committed to the highest product and service quality standards.
Q: What action should I take if I have already purchased a GIGABYTE 6 series motherboard?
A: Firstly, please determine your computer setup. No action will be needed if you only use the SATA 3 ports. If you are using the SATA2 ports, then there are possibilities that the device’s performance will decrease after a period of usage. To ensure the highest standard of customer support & services, GIGABYTE recommends that all customers who purchased GIGABYTE 6 series motherboards contact their local dealer (retail store where you purchased the motherboard) at the end of April for a motherboard exchange. GIGABYTE will provide an equivalent new motherboard replacement.
Q: What is the GIGABYTE swap policy for GIGABYTE 6series motherboards?
A: GIGABYTE will provide a replacement motherboard with the new 6 series chipset onboard at the end of April in order to reduce any inconvenience to our customers who are affected by this issue.
Q: What is the SOP for GIGABYTE 6 series motherboard exchange?
A: At the end of April please take your 6 series motherboard to the same store where you originally purchased it. If the product is not available at that time, please leave the series number and your personal contact details with the store and wait for further notice.
Q: When will the replacement be available?
A: According to Intel’s production plan, the 6 series B3 stepping chipset will be available by April, 2011. GIGABYTE will produce and ship replacement motherboards according to Intel’s chipset shipping schedule.
Q: For further information or enquiries regarding GIGABYTE 6 series motherboards, please contact your local distributor or visit the GIGABYTE website at http://www.gigabyte.com/.