Workstation manufacturers respond to flaw in Intel chipset

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Just when everything was looking so rosy for Intel, the chip giant announced this week that it has discovered a design issue in the chip that supports its new Sandy Bridge processor. The glitch in Intel’s 6 Series chip, code-named Cougar Point, could mean that the performance of SATA-linked devices, such as hard-disk drives, will degrade over time. The Sandy Bridge processor itself is not affected.

Following this bombshell which, according to some reports, could cost Intel a total of $1bn, all the major PC manufacturers have been busy releasing statements. While the likes of Dell, HP, and Lenovo yet to launch Sandy Bridge workstations, the position of these companies will be of less interest to readers of DEVELOP3D.

However, here are some statements from some of the UK’s specialist system builders. Interestingly, InterPro is only using the SATA-III ports (0 &1) where possible, which are unaffected by this issue.

“Customers whose systems only have 1x SATA-III HDD and 1x Optical drive will never see the issue if the secondary SATA controller is disabled in the BIOS,” reads the InterPro statement.

InterPro statement
Scan statement

*********** UPDATE ***********

Workstation Specialists has released this Q & A


Q: Does this affect any systems you’ve already shipped to customers and will you be recalling any?

A: This does affect a very small number of systems that have already been shipped to customers (the majority of orders placed for Sandy Bridge are in the very final stages of production and awaiting despatch). We do not plan to re-call any of these systems at this stage (as the issue only affects SATA2 ports and all the systems in the field are single HDD SATA3 configurations so are unaffected) however we will be notifying all customers and offering to swap out systems once the re-release from Intel is available.

Q: Will this affect what you’re currently offering?
A: Unfortunately yes. We have had to remove the WS1410 from sale due to this issue. We will not actively market/sell what is known to be faulty (despite is only affecting multiple HDD configs). We will revert back to our still very popular WS1400 series and re-launch the WS1410 Sandy Bridge once everything is resolved by Intel.

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