Intel correcting faulty chipset’s problems

Intel began touting its Sandy Bridge chipset technology at its 2009 developers forum as a means of delivering top-notch video performance and to counter a challenge from upstart AMD.

Intel began touting its Sandy Bridge chipset technology at its 2009 developers forum as a means of delivering top-notch video performance and to counter a challenge from upstart AMD.

When the technology finally rolled out Jan. 3 in Intel’s latest i7 and i5 processors — featured in computers from a host of manufacturers — hobbyists eagerly snapped up the products.

However, under extremely heavy use, computers with this chipset began to have issues with the Serial ATA controller — basically, the device that connects the hard drives and optical drives to the motherboard.

Intel announced Jan. 31 that millions of the chipsets it has shipped are defective and eventually may need to be replaced. The tech company, based in Santa Clara, Calif., has stopped shipments of the flawed chipset and will incur a cool $1 billion in missed sales, it says.

Computer manufacturers, including Hewlett Packard, Samsung and Dell, are facing headaches, too, with delayed or missed shipments of their latest products.

Early adopters potentially got bit. But what do they and other consumers need to know?

First of all, if you have an affected system, it’s perfectly safe to keep using it. Problems won’t crop up right away for most users. The faulty chipset eventually could slow down or stop one of your hard drives or optical drives.

Second, the flaw affects more desktop PCs than laptops — about two to one. More desktop motherboards with the flaw were shipped. Also, the chipset flaw could affect desktops more for technical reasons: Desktops have a third and fourth SATA device, while laptops typically have two.

Dell says some of its XPS, Alienware and Vostro models are affected and owners will be notified about the replacement process. Samsung has posted a statement on its website offering returns on its affected models. Other manufacturers are preparing recall plans and will notify consumers and end-users about returns or replacements.

Most consumers won’t notice the flaw in the short term, and it won’t cause immediate failure. But be sure to notify the manufacturer that you’ve bought the computer; fill out the warranty registration card online and send it in. The manufacturer likely will contact you with instructions on how to return the unit for replacement. Otherwise, consumers and end-users can do little about this issue except wait.

Also, don’t panic if you end up getting an i7 or i5 computer in 2011 and later find out it is a Sandy Bridge unit. Intel has fixed the problem and plans to resume production at the end of February.

James Derk is a tech columnist and owner of CyberDads, a computer service firm in Evansville, Ind.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Business Council of Alberta says the federal budget is nearly silent on Canada’s energy sector. (File photo by The Canadian Press)
Business Council of Alberta mostly disappointed in federal budget

Investments in childcare and early learning commended

.
3-hour paid leave for Albertans to get vaccinated in the works

The UCP government intends to introduce legislation that will ensure working Albertans… Continue reading

Alberta completed 18,412 COVID-19 tests, as reported on Wednesday, for a test positivity rate of 9.5 per cent. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Highest daily count of 2021 so far: Alberta reports 1,699 COVID-19 cases

Variants now make up 59 per cent of Alberta’s active cases

Several cases of COVID-19 were reported among employees of stores at Bower Place Mall. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
COVID-19 cases reported at Bower Place mall stores

AHS said five complaints were investigated since March, and required changes made

Westerner Park’s Exhibition Hall was used as a vaccination clinic on Wednesday. A steady stream of people came to get their COVID-19 shots either by appointment or as walk-ins. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
No long lineups at walk-in vaccination site in Red Deer

A steady stream of people walked into Westerner Park on Wednesday to… Continue reading

Linda Tomlinson
Gardening: Leave the lawn until the soil is dry

Spring is arriving, Alberta style with warm days, cold days and snow.… Continue reading

Silent protests were held recently in response to Red Deer Public Schools’ decision to reject a Pride Week in favour of a Diversity Week. Some former employees at Red Deer Public are saying the decision is misguided. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Letter: School board silencing Pride Week concern

While it has been our practice to not comment on matters arising… Continue reading

Anderson scores twice as Canadiens down Oilers 4-3

Anderson scores twice as Canadiens down Oilers 4-3

New York Liberty guard Kia Nurse (5) shoots next to Indiana Fever's Kamiah Smalls during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla. Nurse isn't just one of Canada's finest female basketball players, she's becoming a popular voice of the game as well. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Phelan M. Ebenhack
Canadian basketball star Nurse is carving out space in sports broadcasting at just 25

Canadian basketball star Nurse is carving out space in sports broadcasting at just 25

The D.C. Defenders, right, line up against the Seattle Dragons for the opening kickoff of the opening football game of the XFL season, in Washington, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Despite heated social media discussion in Canada, talks between the CFL and XFL haven't addressed what rules could be implemented in a potential partnership. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Stephen Whyno
CFL commissioner Ambrosie says talks with XFL have centred around business, not rules

CFL commissioner Ambrosie says talks with XFL have centred around business, not rules

Former B.C. university rowing coach ‘deeply sorry’ after complaints

Former B.C. university rowing coach ‘deeply sorry’ after complaints

Canada's Brianne Jenner (19) and Russia's Anna Shibanova (70) battle for position in front of Russia goaltender Alexandrova Nadezhda (31) during third period IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship preliminary round action in Plymouth, Mich., on Monday, April 3, 2017. The women's world hockey championship in Nova Scotia has been cancelled a second time because of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Kryk
Women’s world hockey championship in Nova Scotia cancelled again

Women’s world hockey championship in Nova Scotia cancelled again

Canada's Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford compete in the pairs figure skating free program at the Pyeonchang Winter Olympics Thursday, February 15, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
“Once in a lifetime opportunity” – Radford, James are Canada’s newest pairs team

“Once in a lifetime opportunity” - Radford, James are Canada’s newest pairs team

Most Read