Intel Recalls Sandy Bridge PCs (Update)

Intel has set a recall for their recently released Sandy Bridge platform in motion. It is important to note that this recall is not for the actual Sandy Bridge processors. This recall is specifically for motherboards based on the new chipset. However, this recall affects all custom built, prebuilt, and laptop computers on socket 1155.

Basically, this whole situation boils down to the SATA ports on the motherboard. In their tests 5% of motherboards under regular use resulted in the SATA port(s) failing and causing either the hard drive or DVD drive to function improperly. Under heavy usage it gets worse since 15% of SATA ports failed.

Additionally, these tests were set up to determine if the product could last for three years. This means the possibility of immediate damage is unlikely. Intel is also confident in companies like Dell and HP to handle the situation and keep things going in an orderly fashion. Again, this defect isn’t an immediate cause for concern as failure isn’t expected to occur until at least three years of use. But, if you own an Intel motherboard on socket 1155, you may want to get your product exchanged some time in the near future.

Furthermore, this recall affects every PC on the new socket. Intel is addressing the problem in a timely fashion, but it is unclear how much of an impact this will have on their current reputation. Below is what an Intel spokesman had to say on the matter.

[SATA ports within the chipset – codenamed Cougar Point] may degrade over time, potentially impacting the performance or functionality of SATA-linked devices such as hard disk drives and DVD-drives

[Intel] believes that consumers can continue to use their systems with confidence, while working with their computer manufacturer for a permanent solution. It’s a fairly small percentage, but that’s irrelevant. There’s a problem there and we’re working hard to make good on those parts.


New motherboards with a fix to the problem are suppose to be released later in February. Furthermore, this problem will cost Intel around $1 Billion to fix. Companies like Dell and HP have halted sales regarding Sandy Bridge products. Manufacturers are also stating that they will work with customers and provide the necessary steps required to exchange their product when the fix is available.