When Intel announced that it would have to replace all of its new 6 series chipsets it caught the industry by surprise. As we discovered yesterday, manufacturers, distributors and retailers were all thrown into disarray thanks to the speediness of Intel’s announcement, which came only a week after the problem with the chipset’s SATA 3Gbps controller was indentified.
It does seem that some manufacturers were given a heads up shortly before the announcement, but even in those cases it was taking time to formulate a response. Intel had effectively declared a large number of manufacturer’s products faulty, never a good thing, especially when a large number of technology industry employees were on holidays for Chinese New Year.
Despite the fact that Intel has guaranteed that money will be set aside to fund the replacement of those chipsets that have already been shipped, the onus is on the component and system manufacturers to actually replace the products. This has meant that a mad scramble has been going on behind the scenes to formulate, and then inform distribution and the general public about what will happen.
So far we have heard from a handful of motherboard makers about their plans to deal with the situation. It is important to note that the bug in question is one that will manifest over a long period of time, so continuing to use P67 or H67 motherboards until replacements are available in April should not be an issue.
Gigabyte has asked its distributors and resellers to stop selling any P67 and H67 chipset motherboards and is getting all unsold products returned. It is also promising that it will replace any motherboards sold so far once it receives the new stock from Intel (likely to be in April) – this will likely involve going through the normal RMA procedure, but you will receive a new motherboard, not just one with a new chipset soldered on. For now it suggests using the first two SATA ports on the motherboards (which are unaffected by the bug).
MSI has stopped shipping 6 series products to distributors and retail. It has also “asked resellers to hold sales of the Intel 6 series based MSI products to customers until the issue can be resolved”. MSI is working with Intel to work out a solution for customers who have already purchased its motherboards, but for now there are no details on how or when fixed products will be available.
ASUS is currently talking with its distributors and has told us that they should have an idea of the plan of action by the close of business today.