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back to article Intel finds flaw in Sandy Bridge chipset

Chip giant Intel was ecstatic about the rollout of the Sandy Bridge Core family of chips for desktops and laptops and is prepping for single-socket servers and workstations next month based on the Xeon variants of these chips. But the discovery of a bug in the Intel 6 Cougar Point chipset announced this morning just threw a …

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FAIL

Can i still return my P90 to them?

Seriously, though. Just stop rushing these things out without testing them.

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Grenade

Doesn't surprise me...

Given the horror stories I hear of from colleagues that work with Intel this is not surprising at all.

Posting anon to protect my colleagues and company.

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Go

Wow!!!!!!

Wow!! I'm damn surprised, not that intel made a mistake on a chipset or any other product, but that they actually admitted it. Intel has a brutal history of refusing to admit flaws even when presented with overwhelming evidence of these flaws.

Hopefully AMD can capitalize on this...

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Unhappy

ha Ha

Just have to wait for the dodgy chipset to pass through the supply chain. Volume production in April... Mobo vendors likely to just make do with the dodgy chips till then. So does this mean that if your buying a new motherboard your likely to land one of these for the next 9 months?

Urghh!!!!

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Flame

NewEgg SUCKS

Just got off the NewEgg chat line after 30 minutes of wasted time only to be told to contact their support rep who after another 15 minutes of wasted time ended by saying I need to contact Intel support because they (NewEgg) do NOT provide any support for the products they sell. Of course, this is hogwash but then they couldn't even provide me with a phone contact within Intel to discuss this with. Also, since it's a chipset problem wouldn't that be the mobo manufacture I should contact?

WHAT A MESS!

Register, thanks for alerting us as to the problem but please follow-up on this so that us who are affected will eventually know who we should be turning to get our defective system repaired.

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FAIL

get what you pay for...

if you want to use a budget merchant then YOU must be prepared to process returns with the manufacturers. its stated there on the site. Read it!

With respect to your Product. this needs to go back to the [Product Manufacturer]. not the [component manufacturer]. If it is a samsung laptop contact Samsung.. if its a sony contact sony. does that make sense? Some manufacturers have put up pages on thier website already others are doing so, remember this only just went public, Please give the manufacturers time to react and setup a returns process....

Intel will not fix your laptop, intel fix chips! only contact intel if you are going to return just the chip.

It truely is that simple, there is no mess, now stop your whining.

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Thumb Down

Bigger fail

>if you want to use a budget merchant then YOU must be prepared to process returns with the manufacturers. its stated there on the site. Read it!

Not in the UK. Consumer law is very clear on the matter. The retailer is always responsible no matter what they claim. It's /them/ you have the contract with.

Now granted if it's some guy with a dodgy haircut operating out of their garden shed you can expect difficulties - but legally they are the ones who are supposed to sort it out for you.

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Even bigger fail

^^ NewEgg don't and won't do business with ppl in the UK. Possibly for the exact reason that the Sale of Goods Act makes it more expensive to do so.

The retailer is NOT always responsible - only if they deal in the UK, and NewEgg don't (I looked 'cause they do decent deals. Wouldn't even post to a hotel I was meant to be staying at in NY, nevermind the UK).

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WTF?

Please learn read before spouting nonsense...

I fully understand that NewEgg is not responsible for "fixing" the defect. However, I fully expect them to provide their customers correct information about such problems when they occur. THEY were the ones who stated that I needed to contact Intel regarding this chipset problem when it was clear from my order that the mobo I ordered was from MSI, not Intel.

No thanks to NewEgg's support team, I did contact MSI and they were very helpful regarding my predicament and even informed me that they would proactively notify me when the new corrected mobos were available.

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Stop

@Sailfish re: provide correct information about such problems when they occur.

What day was the press release made? And when did you phone NewEgg?

Give the guys a chance for Petes sake! This issue was not a known issue on the inside everyone found out at the same time (stock market regulations etc)

You have to give them time for the management (who should be the first to hear) to at least find out the details before they brief the staff. say perhaps 24hours, at least.

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Yes, but ...

My issue wasn't that they didn't have a handle on the problem, hell, I was probably the first one to notify them, ironically, linking this very article during my contact. My issue was how their support team responded to my inquiry. As I stated, the chat person's conversation was, while extremely friendly, completely useless in terms of what I should do other than to recommend that I simply RMA the system and wait for Intel to come out with a fix. Mind you, this after informing him that I don't have spare systems lying about such that I can just have my system gather dust for months. After 30 minutes of explaining this he recommended I speak to their support team directly and after 15 minutes of that he blew my concerns off as with a simple, "contact Intel, we don't handle support".

What I expected was that someone acknowledge my concern and simply state they would get back to me (or even request that I get back to them the next day) when they found out more but it was clear that they were not prepared to offer even that level of support.

Anyway, I've noticed that today they have a great video about the problem along with workarounds that remediate the problem until the new mobos become available. Now, if they would add a little bit more training to their customer service team on how to handle nervous customers expectations, that'd be just peachy.

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Anonymous Coward

No Buts...

"As I stated, the chat person's conversation was, while extremely friendly, completely useless in terms of what I should do other than to recommend that I simply RMA the system and wait for Intel to come out with a fix."

What more could you expect? a replacement? A loan system? an exchange of goods? a full refund? What does US law allow? Perhaps Im not getting it... they cant magically click thier fingers and fix it. You just have to wait for the manufacturers recall. Yes its a terrible inconvieience, but you have to live with that, Protest that next time you'll buy AMD! It is faulty and cannot be magically fixed by a vendors support team.. Yes its a real fuck up but, that is Intel's fault, not New Eggs..

Basically your goods are duff you have the right to be angry and frustrated BUT not with the vendor, its not their fault.

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Happy

The Silver lining

I never saw a tax deduction that I didn't like ...

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WTF?

All brands affected?

I just built a system based around a Asus P8H67-M LE motherboard. Does this affect him too?

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Anonymous Coward

re: Dick Emery

yup, it's the chipset intel provide to the mobo manufacturers that's affected. looks like it'll be recalled

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FAIL

Expecting delivery this week :(

This is terrible news for us all. I'm expecting my new Asus P8P67 DELUXE Intel P67 + 2600K based PC this week.

I'm assuming this is affected too?

Should I just cancel the order until its sorted or just see what happens?

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Anonymous Coward

your choice...

either cancel and pay any costs, or recieve and await return advice, which might take a while! Its your choice.

Personally I would not want to start with a new PC that I know is going back... so I would cancel, knowing that I could incur costs.. hopefully the supplier would waive them but no gaurantee...

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Not all chips

The cougarpoint chips affected are for the quad core i5 and i7 only as far as intel know, factory, (Intel Ireland) has new reticle qualified as I type. Hope this helps.

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Happy

Temporary Fix

As long as you avoid using Intel's SATA 3Gbps 'Cougar Point' controllers you'll be fine.

People are advised that using Intel's Sata 6Gbps ports are fine and use these instead, or one of the other Sata ports manufactured by a another company - check your manual to pinpoint the ports.

High-end motherboards normally feature x4 Sata 6Gbps and will get you through until any recall.

Using optical drives on the effected Sata 3Gbps ports are fine, or buy a Sata 3Gbps or 6Gbps PCIe controller as these are not effected wot-so-ever.

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Impressive

"Intel was very clear that there are no flaws in the Sandy Bridge chip designs themselves"

Surely they should only be able to say that there are no known flaws. If they've actually proved that there are no flaws in the design, I'm seriously impressed.

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Anonymous Coward

LOL

Intel's support number = 0870 607 2439

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Anonymous Coward

I wouldn't fret if I bought a system.

I'm typing this on a new i7-2600-based PC at work, with 16GB of RAM and a Radeon HD 5870, and I am not worried. (It's a Dell XPS 8300.) Dell will have to come out and swap the system board when they are able to do so - and in the meantime, I have a reasonable system for Windows 7 (it scores 7.6 for CPU and memory, 7.8 for desktop and gaming graphics, and 5.9 for the hard disks in RAID0, so maybe I should have ordered an SSD to boot from!)

In the meantime, this issue does not affect my work - since the array is on ports 0 and 1, and the only thing in use on ports 2-5 is the DVD drive, which I will not use much. It can wait until the system board is replaced in March - and in the meantime, I can enjoy the benefits of Sandy Bridge now - rather than having to wait until the stop ship order is lifted.

Kudos to Intel for jumping on this issue and taking ownership so soon, though. It's fairly obvious that they have learned from the Pentium FDIV bug of 1994, and they realised that they could reduce their losses by issuing a recall mere days after the release, rather than waiting for several months...

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Bronze badge
FAIL

Errata Errata Errata

It's not just the x86 and chipsets Intel have managed to screw up in their time, the errata sheets of the X-Scale chips they were responsible for, where longer than the entire specifications for other vendors ARM designs.

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Grenade

Just built my new rig as well..

I built my new i5-2500K based machine a couple of weeks ago. After reading about all this, I've moved my SATA devices onto the unaffected sockets on my Asus P8p67 Pro board, where I'm sure they'll continue to function properly, probably in perpetuity.

The situation isn't great, but ultimately, doesn't affect me that much. Best case scenario for me would be an option to upgrade to the new Z chipset when it comes out in March or so. I'll happily sit on my lightning fast, fully functional computer til then!

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Someone needs to make a monitoring service

Some people are going to be stuck with these boards with no way of knowing when they will die. But the problem is progressive and in theory detectable. So a service that periodicly checks the error rate of the affected sata ports and plots thier degradation would be very helpful. You may have to do a bandwidth test to find this if there is no low level way and there is a problem that testing it helps make it worse so you would have to keep the test short. Would be useful also to confirm if your board has this issue or some other unrelated sata issue.

Another option to help is to write a modified sata driver that you can set a performance to relibility slide bar for. in performance mode it runs like normal and as you slide it to reliablility it adds delays in accessing the sata devices to reduce any sudden high transfer rate requests from damaging the transistor.

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