Alert: Intel’s Sandy Bridge motherboard chipsets are flawed.
It has been reported today that Intel acknowledges a flaw in the Sandy Bridge CPU Chipsets called “Cougar Point” found on the motherboards for the newest quad Core i5 and i7 CPU chips that were just released Jan 5th. The problem is that after continued use the SATA port performance starts to degrade leading to slow access times on hard drives and optical drives.
This is a motherboard chipset issue not a processor issue so the only way to correct it is by replacing the motherboard in the affected systems. The deterioration of performance only occurs on channels 2-5 and not the main boot controllers but you should still have your motherboard replaced. The boards have only been shipping since Jan 8th 2011 and are mainly on higher end consumer systems not corporate systems. To date over 8 million systems have been shipped with the flawed chipset. The chart below shows the motherboard chipsets in the recall.
Systems from all of the major PC vendors are affected. The problem has just been announced today 01/31/2011 so if you are have a system in-hand that has the chipset you need to contact your point of purchase to get recall detains. If you have ordered systems but not received them yet they are most likely held in production until the issue is resolved. As we get more information on this breaking news we will update this post. More information can also be found at the following links:
Update 2/1/2011: Gigabyte has released a statement that they will refund or replace all affected motherboards
Update 3/1/2011: Intel is now shipping shipping the new updated chipsets so motherboards using the Sandy Bridge should be back in the distribution channel.