Sandy Bridge Chipset (Cougar Point) Flawed

Aron Schatz
January 31, 2011

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Looks like a round of problems like the FDIV bug in Intel Pentium processors is about to happen again. It turns out that the Serial ATA controller on the Sandy Bridge chipset (not the CPU, itself) is flaky. It might or might not crap out on ports 2-5 which are generally the last ones used. If you have a hard drive and an optical drive, it is likely you'll never even know there is a problem. Even if you use the remaining four ports, the failure rate may be as high as 15% or so. If you have a board, it might be a good idea to find out the RMA policy.


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 on the support page or contact their OEM manufacturer.



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