Here’s Our Assessment of Intel’s Sandy Bridge “not a recall”. What’s Yours?

In light of Intel’s recent recall of the Sandy Bridge boards using the 6-series Cougar Point chipset, many manufacturers and consumers alike are reevaluating their migrations to Intel’s new platform. Affected systems with the P67 or H67 chipsets for the Socket 1155 Core processors (Cougar Point), as well as mobile systems with the HM67 and HM65 chipsets exhibited a flaw in the B-stepping process, causing degradation of the connection to 3 Gb/s SATA ports (but not degradation of the data itself, it must be clarified). The SATA 6 Gb/s ports were unaffected by the problem, which was pinned on a faulty transistor held over from a previous chip architecture. For a detailed assessment of the problem, check out this article.

IPC boards and systems will mostly be using the QM67 chipset, which hasn’t been released yet; by the time it hits shelves, the issue should be long-solved. However, it does raise an interesting question: are users more interested in fresh alternatives or stable products? It also highlights one of the reasons why it’s a good thing that brand new tech takes time to migrate to the IPC market: your applications can’t wait while bugs are ironed out. By the time we see industrial-grade Mini-ITX boards based on the Sandy Bridge platform later this year, we can count on Intel to have ironed out any issues. Intel’s Cougar Point products page provides a breakdown of the various chipset models and their release dates; those that are “launched” are affected by the chipset issue, while those that are “announced” will likely have the problem resolved before release.

AMD is poised to exploit the chink in Intel’s armor, and they’re already reporting resellers and OEMs migrating to their products. Is it possible that the backlash might extend to them, too? Often purchases are made based on brand recognition and reputation, both of which Intel has in spades. We can all get caught up in the buzz surrounding a new platform, and we can get burned by buying these products without properly evaluating their merit; that’s why it’s critical to operate in a market with alternatives. So, are you interested in taking chances on the cutting edge with AMD’s and Intel’s new game-changing platforms, or leaning back on tried and true, stable products like the Intel’s own proven success, the QM57 chipset?

About JP Ishaq
JP joined the Logic Supply team in 2010 as a Product Manager. Aside from a lifelong love of technology, he enjoys movies, writing, and having a first name with no vowels.
This entry was posted in Technology and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Here’s Our Assessment of Intel’s Sandy Bridge “not a recall”. What’s Yours?

  1. I. Hermosa says:

    An even bigger question is what can you use the increase in processing power beyond Nahelem for in an IPC application? Is anyone lacking processor power at this point?

  2. Tony Fiset Tony says:
    Logic Supply

    We have a number of customers who are always pushing the limits of what can be accomplished with mobile-based processors. Perhaps the most significant thing about Sandy Bridge is the increased performance from the integrated graphics – this is often a problem for customers who need decent graphics performance, but have size/thermal constraints that do not allow for a discrete graphics card.

  3. Matt Heck says:

    Here at Ecast, our engineers have managed to specialize in both efficiency and innovation. We make the most of what we have, but believe me, R&D is always pushing the envelope. The new kids on the block have two things going for them: greatly improved graphics subsystems (and not just from a performance standpoint, though that is substantial) and excellent performance per watt.

    Sandy Bridge was aggressively pushed to market, and rightly so– problems became apparent while the existing solutions were still more than adequate. The next best solution for many customers is likely still an Intel solution.

    That kind of rapid development is a bold move, but it may well have prevented an expensive mistake from being a crippling one. I give Intel full marks for not being afraid to put the pedal down while they have the leverage to give it a shot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>