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Sandy Bridge- Oops?

zereelistzereelist Member Posts: 373

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20110131006293/en/Intel-Identifies-Chipset-Design-Error-Implementing-Solution

Pretty costly mistake. $300 million in revenue loss and $700 million to fix it.

EDIT: To avoid confusion, the problem is with Intel's P67 chipsets (on the Motherboard), the H67 chipsets seem to be fine.  The Sandy Bridge CPU itself is fine, the problem is most people who get a Sandy Bridge CPU get the P67 Motherboard.

Copy/paste


  • Chipset: The issue is in Sandy Bridge's Cougar Point chipset, not the main Sandy Bridge processor. Most Sandy Bridge systems sold to date are quad-core laptops, though some desktop PCs have been shipping too. Potentially affected systems have been shipping only since January 9.

  • Issue: Affects SATA ports 2 through 5, not ports 0 and 1. Most laptops have two SATA devices, such as a hard disk drive and optical drive that would be using the unaffected ports 0 and 1. That said, Sandy Bridge-based systems with more than a couple of SATA devices could potentially be affected. The data itself is not affected. So, if a consumer had an affected system, data could be accessed by moving the storage device to another system or a working port.

  • How issue was discovered: Last week customers started telling Intel that there was an issue. As Intel stressed the part, then Intel's labs started seeing a failure to access ports 2 through 5. The Intel stress test simulated time passing and it showed that over time this issue could come up.

  • How many Sandy Bridge chipsets shipped to date: 8 million. But Intel claims relatively few are in customers' hands. Most of those are in the sales channel and will be pulled out of the channel. Intel is supporting PC makers in this effort.

  • Issue fixed in new silicon: Intel has corrected the design issue--characterized by Intel as a "circuit design oversight"--and has begun manufacturing a new version of the chipset which will resolve the issue.

  • Delay of new Sandy Bridge chips: Intel expects to begin delivering the updated version of the chipset to customers in late February and expects full volume recovery in April.
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Comments

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,094

    The question is how severe of an issue it is, and what the consequences are.  If it's a 1% chance that it will kill the motherboard within five years, then it's not good, but oh well.  If it's a 50% chance that the motherboard will be completely dead within a year, then that's a big problem.  It's hard to imagine that Intel wouldn't have caught the latter before release, though.  Of course, if it were the former, then I don't see why Intel would pay $1 billion to address it.

    Further, if the consequences are that one SATA port dies and you merely have to use another, then oh well.  If it kills the entire chipset, so that the motherboard has to be replaced, then that's a much bigger problem.

  • zereelistzereelist Member Posts: 373

    I'm not sure exactly what to make of this.  Is every single 1155 Mobo going to need to be sent back for the chipset to be repaired / replaced?  I'm thinking that not getting a new PC for a few months might be wise if you plan on getting a Sandy Bridge system.

  • timmy12timmy12 Member UncommonPosts: 390

    Originally posted by zereelist

    I'm not sure exactly what to make of this.  Is every single 1155 Mobo going to need to be sent back for the chipset to be repaired / replaced?  I'm thinking that not getting a new PC for a few months might be wise if you plan on getting a Sandy Bridge system.

     Well whats going to happen with the people that bought the damn thing and crap? like me....i just got my new computer just less than 2 weeks and im going to have to resend everything back now? wtf

  • centkincentkin Member RarePosts: 1,526

    Heh -- this is REALLY going to hurt me...  I mean I gave my old computer to my parents and they paid part of my new computer purchase for christmas this past christmas.

    That computer I gave them DIED like 3 weeks later -- completely dead -- really dumb that it happened as it was a good system.  Sooooo...  I ended up researching and ordering them a new system...

    Yes it is a sandybridge.

    It is scheduled to be delivered in 2 days ...  I just sent an email over to cyberpower to see what they are going to say here.

    Their old computer is really close to death -- If this is a send it back // refuse it issue then wait another month for another computer to be built there is no way their old dell with the proprietary power supply that the fan inside stopped working is going to last -- plus they can only run it only a few minutes at a time without worrying about overheats.

    CPU: Intel(R) Core™ i5-2500K 3.30 GHz 6M Intel Smart Cache LGA1155 (All Venom OC Certified) [+30]

    MOTHERBOARD: Asus P8H67-M LE Intel H67 Chipset DDR3 mATX Mainboard w/ UEFI, Onboard Video, 7.1 HD Audio, GbLAN, USB3.0, 2x SATA-III RAID, 1 Gen2 PCIe, 1 PCIe X4, & 2 PCI

    HDD: 500GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD [-18] (Single Hard Drive)

    CD: 24X Double Layer Dual Format DVD+-R/+-RW + CD-R/RW Drive (BLACK COLOR)

    I mean they are NEVER going to upgrade this machine -- With only those 2 devices will the Sata fail on them?

    Replacing a motherboard if it comes down to that is kind of beyond my expertise especially if I have to move the processor chip from one motherboard to another motherboard.  If not then it is borderline (I have never done it).  If I have to send the thing out to california for them to do it -- at some point my parents will be without a computer for 3 weeks and I will never hear the end of it.

  • b0bbyZb0bbyZ Member Posts: 46

    http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/31/intel-finds-sandy-bridge-chipset-design-flaw-shipments-stopped/

     

    "sent us a chat log with an Intel customer service representative indicating that this recall only affects "some desktop boards based on Intel P67 chipset,""

     

    Fuck me, mine is coming in the mail tomorrow.

  • VooDoo_PapaVooDoo_Papa Member UncommonPosts: 897

    Originally posted by b0bbyZ

    So it's the  cougar point chipset right? B/c I just bought a core i5 2400 sandy bridge cpu, probably better articles than a stock report on it, lemme look it up.

    ya, the p67

    with the drastic drop in stock im wondering if now would be a good time to buy stock in intel?

    image
  • zereelistzereelist Member Posts: 373

    Originally posted by centkin

    Heh -- this is REALLY going to hurt me...  I mean I gave my old computer to my parents and they paid part of my new computer purchase for christmas this past christmas.

    That computer I gave them DIED like 3 weeks later -- completely dead -- really dumb that it happened as it was a good system.  Sooooo...  I ended up researching and ordering them a new system...

    Yes it is a sandybridge.

    It is scheduled to be delivered in 2 days ...  I just sent an email over to cyberpower to see what they are going to say here.

    Their old computer is really close to death -- If this is a send it back // refuse it issue then wait another month for another computer to be built there is no way their old dell with the proprietary power supply that the fan inside stopped working is going to last -- plus they can only run it only a few minutes at a time without worrying about overheats.

    CPU: Intel(R) Core™ i5-2500K 3.30 GHz 6M Intel Smart Cache LGA1155 (All Venom OC Certified) [+30]

    MOTHERBOARD: Asus P8H67-M LE Intel H67 Chipset DDR3 mATX Mainboard w/ UEFI, Onboard Video, 7.1 HD Audio, GbLAN, USB3.0, 2x SATA-III RAID, 1 Gen2 PCIe, 1 PCIe X4, & 2 PCI

    HDD: 500GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD [-18] (Single Hard Drive)

    CD: 24X Double Layer Dual Format DVD+-R/+-RW + CD-R/RW Drive (BLACK COLOR)

    I mean they are NEVER going to upgrade this machine -- With only those 2 devices will the Sata fail on them?

    Replacing a motherboard if it comes down to that is kind of beyond my expertise especially if I have to move the processor chip from one motherboard to another motherboard.  If not then it is borderline (I have never done it).  If I have to send the thing out to california for them to do it -- at some point my parents will be without a computer for 3 weeks and I will never hear the end of it.

    Apparently the problem is only with the P67 chipsets, seeing as you have an H67 you SHOULD be fine. Unless the CSR is wrong, either way whoever gets a faulty Motherboard will be able to have it replaced.

  • zereelistzereelist Member Posts: 373

    Originally posted by timmy12

    Originally posted by zereelist

    I'm not sure exactly what to make of this.  Is every single 1155 Mobo going to need to be sent back for the chipset to be repaired / replaced?  I'm thinking that not getting a new PC for a few months might be wise if you plan on getting a Sandy Bridge system.

     Well whats going to happen with the people that bought the damn thing and crap? like me....i just got my new computer just less than 2 weeks and im going to have to resend everything back now? wtf

    No, you will need to take apart your system and send your motherboard back for a replacement, or you can take a chance and keep it...

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,094

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4142/intel-discovers-bug-in-6series-chipset-begins-recall

    Apparently the problem is with the SATA 2 controller in all Sandy Bridge chipsets.  Intel expects that 5-15% of them should fail within three years.  The two SATA 3 ports should still work properly.

    For people who already have a Sandy Bridge motherboard, it's probably best to just keep it until replacements are available.  Put any storage devices on the SATA 3 ports to avoid risk of problems from this.  Hopefully companies that have to ship replacement motherboards will be generous with shipping, so that you're not stuck without a computer for an extended period of time.

  • timmy12timmy12 Member UncommonPosts: 390

    Originally posted by Quizzical

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4142/intel-discovers-bug-in-6series-chipset-begins-recall

    Apparently the problem is with the SATA 2 controller in all Sandy Bridge chipsets.  Intel expects that 5-15% of them should fail within three years.  The two SATA 3 ports should still work properly.

    For people who already have a Sandy Bridge motherboard, it's probably best to just keep it until replacements are available.  Put any storage devices on the SATA 3 ports to avoid risk of problems from this.  Hopefully companies that have to ship replacement motherboards will be generous with shipping, so that you're not stuck without a computer for an extended period of time.

    So we should just wait for news on intel fixing the problem? cuz im just stunned on this whole deal...lol there going to send us free replacements right ? this is pretty shitty if u ask me lol

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,094

    It's a recall, so presumably the product will be replaced free of charge.  Intel says they're assuming that they'll have to pay $700 million to replace the motherboards already out there.

    It's only the SATA 2 ports that are defective, not the SATA 3 ports.  If you only use SATA 3 ports, the defect won't affect you.  The problem is that Sandy Bridge chipsets only have two SATA 3 ports, and many computers need more than that.  Storage devices are the highest priority, so make sure that any SSDs or hard drives are plugged into SATA 3 ports and it won't corrupt data on you.  SATA 3 is backward compatible, so that will work even if the drive only supports SATA 2.

    Personally, I only use two SATA ports:  one for my SSD and one for my optical drive.  If you have both an SSD and a hard drive, then attach those to the SATA 3 ports and the optical drive to a SATA 2 port.  That will risk eventually losing access to the optical drive (which won't damage the drive itself), but that's not nearly as bad as data corruption.

    A week ago, Intel didn't know anything was wrong.  Had they known about this problem a month ago, they'd simply have delayed the release of Sandy Bridge.  A delay is far less costly than a recall, both in terms of the PR hit and the replacement costs.

    To their credit, Intel is trying to do this the right way.  They're not just trying to ignore it and figure they'll deal with the lawsuits later, like Nvidia with bumpgate or Dell with the exploding capacitors.

    To replace the chipsets, Intel will need to do a respin, which takes some time to redesign the chips, then some weeks for the first silicon to come back.  For major changes in a respin, usually you only make a few test wafers, then test to see if they work before running many thousands of wafers that might end up being worthless.  If it only takes a small change (as is likely in this case), they might start running wafers by the thousands as soon as they have the design in place, and simply accept the risk that it won't work.  That might save a month or two in reintroducing their products, and a slight risk of thousands of wasted wafers is worth it to Intel to be able to start selling their products again.

    Intel has their own fabs, so they don't need to compete with other companies for fab space at some external fab.  They also tend to make chipsets on older process nodes, simply because it's cheaper to use machinery that would have otherwise lay idle than to spend billions building extra fabs at every new process node.  Thus, it's likely that they have massive amounts of capacity on whatever process node Sandy Bridge chipsets are built on (my guess would be 65 nm, though it might be 45 nm), and will be able to get millions of replacement chipsets out quickly.  This would surely be a high priority for Intel, as a tiny chip that lets you sell a $200 processor makes them far more money than a larger chip (meaning, you get fewer per wafer) that sells by itself for $50.

    Intel says that replacements should largely be ready in April.  So basically, use your SATA 3 ports until then, and then worry about getting the motherboard replaced at that time.  It's unlikely that the defect will cause you any problems before then, even on the SATA 2 ports.

    Also, as a result of the recall, Sandy Bridge processors and motherboards have been pulled off the market.  New Egg says that they don't carry them, for example.  While the processors still work fine, it's kind of shady to sell a processor for which the motherboards aren't available.

  • rugrato7rugrato7 Member Posts: 10

    I have to just lol at this...

    First time builder and just ordered my P67 motherboard on Saturday, and got all the tracking info today.

    Just funny, I am not mad as these things happen. (In life, just not in building a PC)

    Just wondering how they will handle the recalls, I am guessing that we will have to send the boards in and wait for the replacement. Two weeks without my brand new computer will be annoying.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,094

    The replacements won't be available until April.

    If they do ship it to you, then I'd say just go ahead and use it until replacements are available.  They might just cancel your order.

  • rugrato7rugrato7 Member Posts: 10

    Well the good thing is the order is already on the truck.

    And I do plan on using it just as quiz described above.

    I am kinda glad they shipped it before this came out, that way I dont have to wait or get something else. I was just wondering how they would handle the recalls, although I know we wont know for awhile.

    Just sending them the board and waiting for the new one will suck lol.

  • SebaliSebali Member UncommonPosts: 395

    so all you poeple getting sandy bridge have zero problem with your PC being vulnerable to being turned off and worse by some punk with a laptop?

    or the fact that you just gave "big brother" the easiest of all entries into your computer?

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,094

    Originally posted by Sebali

    so all you poeple getting sandy bridge have zero problem with your PC being vulnerable to being turned off and worse by some punk with a laptop?

    or the fact that you just gave "big brother" the easiest of all entries into your computer?

    Wait, what?  You're paranoid about something?

  • Thomas2006Thomas2006 Member RarePosts: 1,152

    Originally posted by Quizzical

    Originally posted by Sebali

    so all you poeple getting sandy bridge have zero problem with your PC being vulnerable to being turned off and worse by some punk with a laptop?

    or the fact that you just gave "big brother" the easiest of all entries into your computer?

    Wait, what?  You're paranoid about something?

    In addition, Sandy Bridge processors implement security features that include the ability to remotely disable a PC or erase information from hard drives. This can be useful in the case of a lost or stolen PC. The commands can be received through 3G signals, ethernet, or internet connections. 

     

    LOL I cant wait for the hackers to get ahold of a back door to use this built in security feature. :D  The first wide spread wurm that easily erases your harddrive and puts your computer into a endless remotely disabled state.

    Best part is all it takes is a internet connection or 3G signal that could be broadcast from a labtop driving down the street.. Mmmm great security there... make it even easier for hackers to do damage to a pc.

  • timmy12timmy12 Member UncommonPosts: 390

    oh dang for real well looks like im going to have to take my computer apart and change the sata ports lol so ill just plug it into the 3rd sata port even tho i dont know were it is. its just the 3rd set of ports right?

  • zereelistzereelist Member Posts: 373

    Originally posted by timmy12

    oh dang for real well looks like im going to have to take my computer apart and change the sata ports lol so ill just plug it into the 3rd sata port even tho i dont know were it is. its just the 3rd set of ports right?

    You don't need to take your computer apart. The SATA ports are labeled on your motherboard you just need to make sure that the cables are plugged into the - SATA 3 ports that should be labeled SATA3_0 and SATA3_1.  They most likely are already plugged in there, so just check and make sure.

    Here is a picture of a Motherboard as an example. Click on the picture and use the magnifier just a little bit to the right of the southwest portion of the picture.  It's the 2 white ports on that particular motherboard.

    http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3651#ov

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,094

    Consult your motherboard manual to find which ports are SATA 3 (aka, SATA 6 Gb/s) and which are SATA 2 (aka, SATA 3 Gb/s).  Most likely, there will be six SATA ports, two of which look different from the other four, and the two are SATA 3.  But consult your motherboard manual to be sure.

    You might just open up the case, look at the motherboard, see that they're in the right spot, and close the case back up.  At most, you'll have to move a SATA cable or two to a different port.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,060

    For those asking about recall/replacement:

    Keep in mind this is the chipset chip, and is one component in the motherboard, and in most cases, is soldered directly on the motherboard. While Intel does produce some motherboards, the vast majority are made by a third party (Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, etc). Intel is providing replacement chips to that company - not to you directly, as very few people have access to the kind of facility that can change out a VLSI surface mount chip.

    Any recall or replacement will likely be done in conjunction with your motherboard manufacturer. I can't guess what they will actually implement, but in the past when problems like this have arose (old Promise IDE Controllers, for example, had a data corruption bug), these manufacturers just released software patches that either restricted the hardware or disabled it.

    Since this only affects the SATA2 controller, for people with systems already configured or built, it may be just as time (and maybe cost) effective to just put an aftermarket SATA controller in and not use the onboard SATA2 connections, especially if your motherboard manufacturer doesn't want to play nice on this recall. Many systems won't go past the 2 SATA3 ports anyway (boot drive + optical drive).

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,094

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4146/gigabyte-announces-6series-motherboard-replacement-program

    Gigabyte has announced their replacement policy:  you return the motherboard to wherever you got it and get a free replacement once it's ready.  The sensible thing to do, of course, would be to wait until the replacements are available before returning it.  For those who bought the motherboard from a brick and mortar store, that means not much downtime.

    I'm curious how New Egg will handle returns, though.  It would be ideal for customers if they'd ship you a new motherboard, then refund the cost once you return the old one, so that you only have a couple hours or so of downtime to move parts from the old motherboard to the new one.  Having to wait a week without a motherboard would not be fun.

  • zereelistzereelist Member Posts: 373

    That would be a good idea.  I just built a pc for a friend on a gigabyte H67 yesterday that came from newegg.  They sent an email already stating they are extending the return period until replacements become available. 

    I guess the rumor about a CSR saying that it didn't affect the H67 boards is false since I haven't heard that from anywhere else.

    It's not a big deal for me really as it will only waste about an hour of my time swapping parts. It's just annoying.  I am wondering if it is going to affect the OEM version of Windows 7 though.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,094

    There's no real reason for the H67 chipset to use a different SATA 2 controller from the P67 chipset.  Once you've got it built and working in one chipset, you copy and paste it to the other.  There's no advantage to doing it twice from scratch when you want exactly the same functionality in both chipsets.  Indeed, I'd expect the SATA 2 controller in both H67 and P67 to borrow very heavily from the SATA 2 controller in P55, H55, H57, X58, and other older Intel chipsets.

    There's also the question of why Intel tried to go with both a SATA 2 controller and a SATA 3 controller in the same chipset.  AMD's SB850 (southbridge used in 800 series chipsets) has six SATA 3 ports and no SATA 2.  That gives the same number of SATA ports, more versatility from the end user's perspective since they don't have to worry about which plug goes where, and fewer things that can go wrong in the chipset design.  Maybe having some ports be SATA 2 instead of SATA 3 saved die space, and Intel was planning on saving $0.20 per chipset or some such in fab costs.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,060

    As far as I can tell, from the press release, it affects all "Cougar Point" products, which includes the following:
    BD82C202 (PCH C202) Server
    BD82C204 (PCH C204) Server
    BD82C206 (PCH C206) Server
    BD82P67 (PCH P67) Desktop Base
    BD82H67 (PCH H67) Desktop Home
    BD82H61 (PCH H61) Desktop Home
    BD82B65 (PCH B65) Desktop Office
    BD82Q67 (PCH Q67) Desktop Office
    BD82HM65 (PCH HM65) Mobile Home
    BD82HM67 (PCH HM67) Mobile Home
    BD82QM67 (PCH QM67) Mobile Office
    BD82QS67 (PCH QS67) Mobile SFF

    Now some of these haven't shipped yet, and P67/H67 are the only desktop motherboard solutions I've seen, with P67 being the most popular (it's the only one that allows overclocking).

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