Print 33 comment(s) - last by silverblue.. on Feb 8 at 12:04 PM

Cougar Point has ruined Intel's Sandy Bridge party. A flaw in the chips SATA handling has caused Dell, HP, and others to pull Sandy Bridge computers off the market. MSI and Gigabyte have also pulled their Sandy Bridge motherboards. Intel is expected to lose at least $1B USD from the mistake.  (Source: VR-Zone)

The Alienware M17x R3 from Dell is among the models pulled.  (Source: Hardware Heaven)
Quad-core second gen i-Series boards get the boot, due to chipset flaw

Intel seemed to be swinging for the fences with the release of Sandy Bridge.  It delivered a healthy supply of its next generation i-Series quad-core processors to market.  Packing awesome performance and greater power efficiency, these chips looked ready to help Intel further the gap between it and distant second-place CPU maker AMD.  Now a costly flaw in the Cougar Point chipset has sent Intel -- and its OEM partners -- into panic mode.

Intel confirmed [press release] this week that Cougar Point was suffering on-chip issues that caused the Serial-ATA ports to slow or stop working altogether.  The issue effects all quad-core Sandy Bridge boards shipped thus far (basically, all Sandy Bridge-based products sold, as octacore varieties aren't currently available).

Now the first wave of OEM cancellations has begun.  HP and NEC both announced that they would be pushing back [report] the launch of new Sandy Bridge models.  And Gigabyte and MSI, two of the desktop computing industry's top motherboard makers, announced [report] that they were terminating sales of Sandy Bridge boards until Intel delivers sufficient quantities of untainted stock.

Dell and HP are also halting online sales of existing Sandy Bridge laptops.  Dell writes, "This affects four currently-available Dell products, the XPS 8300, the Vostro 460, the Alienware M17x R.3 and the Alienware Aurora R.3, as well as several other planned products including XPS 17 with 3D. We're committed to addressing this with customers who have already purchased one of the four products and will provide further details on this as it becomes available."

Most companies are moving to try to work with customers who have bought the hot new laptop-turned-lemon.

Intel initially estimated the damages from the flaw to be around $300M USD, then it upped it to $700M USD, and its latest estimate says it may lose as much as $1B USD from warranty fulfillment and lost sales.  It would be unsurprising, given the inflating nature of the figure, to see the true losses rise even higher.

Meanwhile, AMD is waiting in the shadows, with Bulldozer, its next-generation high-performance desktop architecture that's supposed to drop sometime around April.  And AMD's battery-friendly Fusion processors may manage to steal a bit of business away from non-gamer laptop buyers, as well, particularly from customers who are disenchanted with Intel.

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RE: AMD fanboy
By cmdrdredd on 2/2/2011 7:32:50 PM , Rating: -1
We've heard about Bulldozer for how many years now? Fusion for how long? While I'm rooting for AMD this year and think they have some awesome products out, I'm not holding my breath for them to come out with anything that will trounce Intel in the consumer pc market.

Yep. How long has the Core 2 CPU been around, 2007? That's 4 years and nothing AMD has come out with has challenged it in a significant way. Now you have the successor to Core 2 released and still no real challenge from AMD. Yet again a new CPU revision just released, and yet again AMD has nothing. I'm sorry, fanboy or no but AMD really doesn't have much a chance at this point. They are really lagging behind.

RE: AMD fanboy
By aegisofrime on 2/3/2011 3:08:27 AM , Rating: 3
I won't call it over until Bulldozer's out. AMD clearly knows what's at stake here. If Bulldozer isn't competitive they could really go down for sure.

So yeah, let's not jump to conclusions shall we?

RE: AMD fanboy
By bug77 on 2/3/2011 4:01:33 AM , Rating: 2
I bet you said the same about Phenom. I know I did.

RE: AMD fanboy
By aegisofrime on 2/3/2011 4:18:14 AM , Rating: 2
But that's the rational thing to do right? If you desperately need an upgrade now, by all means go get SB now. Hook up your HDDs to the first two SATA ports, and refund/exchange come April. If not, wait until BD comes out, if it sucks, go for SB.

RE: AMD fanboy
By tastyratz on 2/3/2011 1:27:01 PM , Rating: 2
I love AMD, I really do. Its just a shame that they haven't really stayed competitive imho. Sure they can offer some cheap decent machines, but nothing worth buying for the general crowd reading dailytech. I could kiss them if they released something that drive prices to the gutter on awesome speed... but I will believe it when I see it

RE: AMD fanboy
By Samus on 2/3/2011 2:45:54 PM , Rating: 2
There is no arguing this is as big of an opportunity for AMD as Netburst was to the Athlon 64.

RE: AMD fanboy
By ertomas on 2/3/2011 4:43:27 PM , Rating: 2
I think this is a very different situation.

All Intel has to do is fix the SATA issue and it's done. With Netburst they had to redesign their CPU architecture.

RE: AMD fanboy
By Calin on 2/3/2011 4:00:01 AM , Rating: 1
AND is no competition for Intel in neither top performance, nor energy efficiency. However, everyone should be glad that they are competing very well in performance/price metrics, and they compete somewhat well in performance/(price and energy efficiency) metrics
As long as you can have low prices, high performance and combinations of both, everything is great

RE: AMD fanboy
By Da W on 2/3/2011 7:46:49 AM , Rating: 2
Gpu is gettkng more important than cpu where god enough is sufficient. So even if they get somewhere between Nahalem and Sandy bridge, at the right price they will survive.

BUT, from the pieces of information i gathered here and there, AMD seems pretty confident this time. Reading anandtech preview, the architechture seems to be nahalem + dual integer cores. Should lag in single tread, dominate in multitread. They will be 32nm pieces too, have turbo clock and power gating. I heard they will even bring back the FX tag, which was to design theie most powerful athlon cpu back in the days they trounced Intel.

And they did prove they can do it withbobcat this month. True atom isn't hard to beat, but still.

RE: AMD fanboy
By silverblue on 2/8/2011 12:04:03 PM , Rating: 1
I would rather have a top-end Phenom II X4 or X6 than a Core 2 product nowadays, however you are right in that, core for core, Core 2 is slightly stronger. Part of that could be down to the software being used to benchmark both architectures (there's a lot that is Intel-optimised, and I expect very little is designed to take advantage of the Stars core).

If there's one thing you can't take away from AMD, it's the basic CPU design of the first Phenom which can be found not only in all modern Intel CPUs but Bulldozer as well. The approach is obviously sound; with a few architectural differences, Phenom could've been a stronger product. At least, the lack of SMT plus supported instruction sets are two areas being tackled head-on with Bulldozer and should result in a far more compelling product.

April can't come soon enough for anyone looking to upgrade.

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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