Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Intel 6 series chipset issues - Q&A

Q: What is the problem with Intel 6series chipsets?

A: As explained by Intel®, after a period of usage the SATA 2 ports on motherboards based on Intel® 6 series B2 stepping chipsets may experience decreasing performance. This issue applies to all motherboards based on Intel 6 series chipsets from every vendor. However, it will not be an issue for systems that connect to the SATA 3 ports only. Intel® announced this issue and stated that they stand behind their products and are committed to product quality in the following online alert: “Alert for Intel® 6 Series Express Chipsets and Intel® Xeon® C200 Chipsets users” which release by Intel, Jan 31st, 2011.


Q: What models have been affect by this issue?

A: All GIGABYTE P67/H67/P65/PH67 chipset motherboards with B2 stepping 6 series chipsets are effected. All other GIGABYTE models based on other chipsets are not affected, and GIGABTYE continues to be committed to the highest product and service quality standards.

Q: What action should I take if I have already purchased a GIGABYTE 6 series motherboard?

A: Firstly, please determine your computer setup. No action will be needed if you only use the SATA 3 ports. If you are using the SATA2 ports, then there are possibilities that the device’s performance will decrease after a period of usage. To ensure the highest standard of customer support & services, GIGABYTE recommends that all customers who purchased GIGABYTE 6 series motherboards contact their local dealer (retail store where you purchased the motherboard) at the end of April for a motherboard exchange. GIGABYTE will provide an equivalent new motherboard replacement.

Q: What is the GIGABYTE swap policy for GIGABYTE 6series motherboards?

A: GIGABYTE will provide a replacement motherboard with the new 6 series chipset onboard at the end of April in order to reduce any inconvenience to our customers who are affected by this issue.

Q: What is the SOP for GIGABYTE 6 series motherboard exchange?

A: At the end of April please take your 6 series motherboard to the same store where you originally purchased it. If the product is not available at that time, please leave the series number and your personal contact details with the store and wait for further notice.

Q: When will the replacement be available?

A: According to Intel’s production plan, the 6 series B3 stepping chipset will be available by April, 2011. GIGABYTE will produce and ship replacement motherboards according to Intel’s chipset shipping schedule.

Q: For further information or enquiries regarding GIGABYTE 6 series motherboards, please contact your local distributor or visit the GIGABYTE website at


  1. What about those who bought their boards online? Who's handling the RMA process?

  2. What if I want my money back?

  3. Money back for sure. I'm not going to have my money "invested" in a faulty system and I'm not a bank to credit Intel for their mistakes. If they were not so greedy (see CPU prices, chipset prices driving mobo prices way up), I wouldn't be so harsh, but Intel chose to cash in.
    The B3 chipset mobos will be available god knows when, but not before may or june for sure. It's not Gigabyte's fault, but I still want my money back. I have better things to do with it... summer is comming.

  4. This is what Amazon said:


    I'm sorry we cannot offer an exchange or a cross-ship you said like Newegg is doing.

    You may return the item for a refund if you don't wish to keep it. And place a new order for the revised version when available with us.

    You may also want to contact the manufacturer regarding the warranty offered for the product for you to receive appropriate refund.

    Seems like you have to get them back on track and educate them about the recall policy, Gigabyte.

  5. What about those purchased from, i live in the middlee east and ordered from usa... What am i supposed to do? Do i pay for shipping again!!?

  6. Removing the processor will damage the heatsink compound on the Intel supplied cooler/fan. The processor and cooler/fan will need cleaning and new heatsink compound applied. Who pays for the cleaning and re-applying of heatsink compound. Can I apply heatsink compound to the same quality as that included on the retail cooler/fan supplied with my i5-2500 processor ?

  7. Forgot to mention:

    Who supplies the heatsink compound and cleaning materials ?

  8. this shouldn't cost the end user any money. shipping, thermal compound etc. should all be paid. if not there is like 20 firms putting together class actions. Just sign your name and a copy of your receipt.

  9. Also I think the replacement board should be provided up front. If purchased on-line return process can easily take 1 - 2 weeks if replacement is only dispatched on receipt of checked board.

    If board is bought from local dealer it could take two journeys unless shop do replacement or allow customer to replace at shop.

    Then there's the time it takes removing the board and installing new board, all takes time.

    Waiting in for replacement board, waiting in for board to be collected.

    I'm guessing if you bought a complete system from a shop you'd just take it back and it would be done for you (like car warranty recall).

    Perhaps GiGaByte/Intel should pay for the work to replace the motherboard or offer some other compensation (some extra ram or a video card upgrade).

  10. Thanks for your comments guys. We are still a couple of months away from receiving the new chipsets so we have time to work out these issues. It's important to note that everyone involved (Intel, GIGABYTE and others) will use our distribution channels to handle the replacement of affected motherboards (that's what they are for), so we urge you to cooperate with the store where you originally bought your mobo. There are also official GIGABYTE service people for every region of the world that can be found here: These can be used if you are not satisfied with the service that you are getting from your retailer.

    Intel's statement says that performance may degrade over time, so we don't expect any immediate performance hits. Seeing as we don't have the new chipsets yet, we suggest that you keep using your mobo as is until we announce that replacements are in our distribution channel.

    I do want to highlight again that this issue only affects the blue/black SATA 2 (3Gb/s) ports and does not affect the white SATA 3 (6Gb/s) ports. So if you built a PC for your mom and intend to use only 1 or 2 hard drives then there is no need to exchange your board. This is why many notebook and all in one PC vendors are not affected by this issue - they can use the two unaffected SATA ports.

  11. All it takes is a quick look around tech forums to realize that the way motherboard manufacturers end up handling this is being watched very closely by the enthusiast community.

    I have purchased Gigabyte boards exclusively since the early Athlon XP days. If I see another company offering advance RMA and a free return label but others do not, I will be switching to that company for my motherboard purchases.

    With that said, Gigabyte has been more open with the community than other manufacturers about this issue, and that is appreciated.

  12. AT THE VERY LEAST...the new boards must come first. My pc is my job. NO pc NO job.
    Intel should provide a disposable packet of heat sink goo with each motherboard.

  13. Dear Gigabyte: You need to rethink your SOP for the exchange. Cross shipping, or advance shipping of the defective board is totally unacceptable and shows total lack of consideration for your customers. If this policy is not changed, I just purchased my last Gigabyte product. Your policy seems to lack consideration in the time and energy that was necessary to get a system up and running, and in the extreme inconvenience to now shut the system down and wait for a new board. The correct thing to do is to ship out new boards to all customers who purchased these defective boards and ask them, via a prepaid return shipping procedure, to return the old board. If you do not intend to fix the defective boards (and I suspect that is the case), just ask us to destroy the defective boards.

  14. I bought my Motherboard at Provantage and they have stated that it must be returned directly to Gigabyte.

    Not all the retailers are going to be on-board. I do not want to get into a prolonged legal battle over this!!!!

    Gigabyte must accept boards for return from customers.

  15. I just purchased the UD5 motherboard from Amazon and unfortunately it had just shipped before the news broke. via an online chat with amazon, I have an email in my possession that, if I chose, I can hold on to the defective board once it arrives and they will exchange it once they have the updated boards in stock. I know this is contrary to their stated policy of a 30 day limit on motherboard returns, but I guess I'll take them at their word. I've already got too much invested in components to change to a different processor, so I'll wait for the new P67 boards to come out. Hopefully, gigabyte will start getting thee boards out to retailers soon. If not, they should make them available via the local branch offices, so we can walk in and make a swap.

  16. Will a pci express card with internal sata ports be a viable option?

  17. I also just spoke with Provantage and they said that they don't have any info on the swap, so they expect Gigabyte to handle it. For me personally, I expect the following:
    1) Gigabyte sends out the new board with a return label (assuming they want it back) and Shin-Etsu TIM (I don't want just any goo, since I have Corsair H70)
    2) I mail the old board back

    In the process of updating the boards, it would be nice if Gigabyte updates eSATA ports on P67a-UD5/7 (and maybe others) to include 12V power.

  18. We've all bought various "levels" of boards UD3, UD4, UD5, UD7, etc... Will the replacement board be at the same "level" as the one that we bought (i.e., I don't want to exchange a UD7 for a budget UD3 equivalent board)?

  19. Actually, it would be fine with me if gigabyte offered to upgrade my UD5 to a UD7 to make up for my trouble :^)

  20. now am in sudan i buy mobo from microcenter usa and id't think i will return back at least in october !!! what can i do ?
    i need open replacement opertunity !!!!

  21. I would pay to upgrade to an equvalent X68 board - it will released about the same time the replacement boards are due. I hope they would consider this option..

  22. Please clarify if replacing MB will require reinstalling Windows 7 and all program files. Or can I simply swap out the board for new board and Win7 will recognize the new MB without any problem. Thanks.

  23. Alan, you don't need reinstall Win7 after you've replaced your board. You just need to reactive it afterward.

  24. Gigabyte,

    I also think you need to to have an RMA process for this. Not everyone is going to want to deal with the retailer that built their PC. (Who may be all the way on the other side of the country).

    At this point, I think it is fine to state that the builder that sold the board, or built the system should be the first option. After all they should/could replace the board in the machine with a new board.

    However, if people do not/can not/will not deal with them you need to have a process for dealing with these customers as well including if the customer is missing items.

    I routinely lose things, or even forget where I bought a piece from (as I buy a lot of them). But I clearly have one of these boards.

  25. As a gesture of goodwill intel & GigaByte could supply a replacement board with pre-installed i7-2600K and cooler/fan and simply ship affected motherboard, processor & cooler/fan back to supplier for return to GigaByte who can pass on the cooler/fan and processor to intel.

    If I remove the cpu the heatsink compound is damaged, Do I buy a new cooler/fan with pre-installed compound. Intel guarantee the processor with their cooler/fan in the retail box, do they also cover 25+ year old heatsink compound I have?

    Holding it carefully and dropping it in once aligned was relatively straight forward.

    Removing the cpu could be tricky, I don't have an extraction tool and probably end up turning the board upside down with finger holding cpu in and then releasing it and hopefully catching it.

    When Toyota do warranty repairs they collect the car, do the work, wash the car and return it same day. They appreciate your custom and go out of their way.

    Enthusiasts that buy boards, processors and build systems should get something for their time and inconvenience. I expect anybody who bought a system will just get all the work done by the supplier and cost of work paid by intel.

  26. FYI, MSI is doing an advance RMA for P67/H67 motherboards for their customers.

    You can already register on their web site to receive a new board when they're completed, with a free return shipping label.

    IMO, there's not much point in considering Gigabyte if they're leaving their customers high and dry by comparison.

    I will be returning my board as Gigabyte suggests, except the board I purchase to replace it will be MSI.

  27. I chose the PH67 board for a couple of reasons: 1GHz Ethernet, 2*PCI, 3*PCIEx1, 4 DIMM (all used), 6*SATA(use 5), H67 chipset (on chip video). Also the combined cost of H67 board & i5-2500 seemed OK, I didn't go for the K version as I know the H67 is not for overclocking.

    I nievely chose the GigaByte PH67 as it used the H67 chipset and the reason for the H67 is it used the internal video so I was surprised when the board arrived it didn't use the on-chip graphics and I had to use an old PCI vga board (Matrox MGA 2064W).

    I think I need to buy a video card to get similar performance to what the on-chip video would of given me :-(

    And now intel announce that the SATA2 controllers are faulty, I can't put 5 devices onto the 2 SATA3 controllers so I am affected, my system is on 24x7 so it will probably be affected sooner than many...

    I'f I knew I needed a video card with the PH67 I might of got a P67 board and a decent video and only got 2 DIMM's rather than 4 !

    I think any H67 boards that don't have on-board video should have a notice declaring the board does not use the on-chip graphics. Having to turn to page 59 of the manual (which comes with the board) to find out a VESA graphics card is required, too little too late.

  28. Hopefully Gigabyte will offer advance RMA to those who can't get it from their online retailers.

  29. so far as i know intel can provide free thermal compund, i never worried or dig about it. just peek that somewhere.

    refound will be the answer until the new stepping arrives. sadly many people who is not an advanced user will suffer problems without knowledge. in the following months maybe more

  30. and that's the problem when you mr company does not have any other third party chipset manufacturer. in case of issues users that RMA their part will have to wait without working pc until new parts reach the market enough to cover all those faulty

  31. Amazon just had me print out a return mailing label. No muss, no fuss. Pretty good service. If you ask me. I never even opened the box. NOW WE WAIT!

  32. I hate the way they say if you just use the white 6gbps ports you dont have to worry, well what about the future when you want to install a blu ray writer or a new hard drive. Why buy a motherboard with all the SATA ports when you want only 2? There just stupid. We paid through the nose so we could get the best so the exchange should be offered everywhere and with a few extras (thermal paste, vouchers etc)

  33. according to intel they are already sending fixed b3 stepping chips to the mainboard manufactures. so will it go faster than "end of april"?

  34. I've been looking at purchasing a board and GPU from Gigabyte recently, until I heard about this debaucle. And after reading all of the info about it on here, and the comments i.e. "If you built a PC for your mom" then don't bother exchanging. I'm pretty disgusted by that attitude and will be taking my business elsewhere. Since when did it occur to you that condescending your customers made good business sense? It's the moral of it all. People paid good money, for a product that should work 100%. It doesn't, so you should go out of your way to ensure they get a 100% working product, or a full refund with no problems or hassle whatsoever. Regardless of if they intend to use the full capabilities of the board or not. You don't see car companies sending out 1000's of the things, and realise there's a problem with one of the airbags whereby it may or may not deploy upon impact in a collision, coming out with a statement telling customers that if they are a careful driver and have never had an accident, and don't think they'll have one soon not to bother bringing the car back in.

    Absolutely insane.

  35. Knowing what goes into creating silicon I'm not upset an issue has been found, it's not as if Intel / GigaByte ship poor products knowingly, everybody makes mistakes.

    BUT I do think we should be treated well for allowing them the time they need to resolve the issue.

    With regards to restricting the SATA to just 2 devices this shouldn't be a problem for many people, some boards only come with two connectors anyway. So if a pc manufacturer were to build systems using the affected motherboard and gluing stops in the affected SATA II connectors and selling the systems as refurbished / restricted capacity it shouldn't be a problem.

    BUT I already have 4 disks and dvd writer so I can't avoide affected SATA II controller :-(

  36. Here is the real question... Will the replacement boards allow reactivation of OEM build of MS OS's. Or will we all have to activate by phone.. I hope there is some discussion between Gigabte and MS... or at the very least, make the revised boards look the same to the OS.

  37. So what happens when the fault on the SATA controller happens ?

    The second time in the last few days I have been doing a file copy between disks and the whole system freezes. Only option is 'reset'.

    Am I to expect this to occure more frequently ?

  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

  39. Other practical issues:

    - if supplier wants board back before replacing:
    - - who supplies packaging and does it have to comply with any requirements (jiffy bag?).
    - - Where to store processor while board away, is there any intel spec on storage requirements (wrap in tin foil and keep in plastic bag ?)
    - - Removal and replacement of adhesive on intel fan/cooler, specs to maintain intel warranty ?
    - - CPU removal tool ?

    - Return and delivery of replacement board:
    - - Who pays for my lost time off work, 2 days pay ?

    - Who pays for my time to do this work, intel will be paying the likes of hp, acer, asus & dell for the work on their pc's !

  40. I think it's started...

    Needed to reboot, system acting up!

    I noticed when I rebooted one of the SATA disks took ages to appear (minutes rather than seconds). Second time I rebooted I powered cycled and disk appeared quicker.

    Two of my disks had dropped of the list of available disks when I used GSmartControl to monitor them and couldn't read them, just returned access errors.

    The first two disk on SATA-III appear OK. It's the other two disks and dvd on the SATA-II that are acting up. The disks acting up are different manufacturer, after power cycle both appear OK (for now).

    In a log file
    The two disks on the SATA-II stop responding to SMART monitoring before going off-line completely at some point. Wasn't heavily using yesterday & today.

    # grep 'Read SMART Self Test Log Failed' syslog.1
    Mar 12 16:40:24 i5 smartd[2352]: Device: /dev/sdc [SAT], Read SMART Self Test Log Failed
    Mar 12 18:40:24 i5 smartd[2352]: Device: /dev/sdc [SAT], Read SMART Self Test Log Failed
    Mar 12 21:26:22 i5 smartd[2341]: Device: /dev/sdc [SAT], Read SMART Self Test Log Failed
    Mar 12 21:26:22 i5 smartd[2341]: Device: /dev/sdd [SAT], Read SMART Self Test Log Failed
    Mar 12 21:56:22 i5 smartd[2341]: Device: /dev/sdc [SAT], Read SMART Self Test Log Failed
    Mar 12 21:56:22 i5 smartd[2341]: Device: /dev/sdd [SAT], Read SMART Self Test Log Failed
    Mar 12 22:26:21 i5 smartd[2341]: Device: /dev/sdc [SAT], Read SMART Self Test Log Failed
    Mar 12 22:26:21 i5 smartd[2341]: Device: /dev/sdd [SAT], Read SMART Self Test Log Failed
    Mar 12 22:56:22 i5 smartd[2341]: Device: /dev/sdc [SAT], Read SMART Self Test Log Failed
    Mar 12 22:56:22 i5 smartd[2341]: Device: /dev/sdd [SAT], Read SMART Self Test Log Failed
    Mar 12 23:26:22 i5 smartd[2341]: Device: /dev/sdc [SAT], Read SMART Self Test Log Failed
    Mar 12 23:26:22 i5 smartd[2341]: Device: /dev/sdd [SAT], Read SMART Self Test Log Failed
    Mar 12 23:56:22 i5 smartd[2341]: Device: /dev/sdc [SAT], Read SMART Self Test Log Failed
    Mar 12 23:56:22 i5 smartd[2341]: Device: /dev/sdd [SAT], Read SMART Self Test Log Failed
    Mar 13 00:26:21 i5 smartd[2341]: Device: /dev/sdc [SAT], Read SMART Self Test Log Failed
    Mar 13 00:26:21 i5 smartd[2341]: Device: /dev/sdd [SAT], Read SMART Self Test Log Failed
    Mar 13 00:56:22 i5 smartd[2341]: Device: /dev/sdc [SAT], Read SMART Self Test Log Failed
    Mar 13 00:56:22 i5 smartd[2341]: Device: /dev/sdd [SAT], Read SMART Self Test Log Failed
    Mar 13 01:26:22 i5 smartd[2341]: Device: /dev/sdc [SAT], Read SMART Self Test Log Failed
    Mar 13 01:26:22 i5 smartd[2341]: Device: /dev/sdd [SAT], Read SMART Self Test Log Failed
    Mar 13 01:56:22 i5 smartd[2341]: Device: /dev/sdc [SAT], Read SMART Self Test Log Failed
    Mar 13 01:56:22 i5 smartd[2341]: Device: /dev/sdd [SAT], Read SMART Self Test Log Failed
    Mar 13 02:26:21 i5 smartd[2341]: Device: /dev/sdc [SAT], Read SMART Self Test Log Failed
    Mar 13 02:26:21 i5 smartd[2341]: Device: /dev/sdd [SAT], Read SMART Self Test Log Failed
    Mar 13 02:56:22 i5 smartd[2341]: Device: /dev/sdc [SAT], Read SMART Self Test Log Failed
    Mar 13 02:56:22 i5 smartd[2341]: Device: /dev/sdd [SAT], Read SMART Self Test Log Failed
    Mar 13 03:26:22 i5 smartd[2341]: Device: /dev/sdc [SAT], Read SMART Self Test Log Failed
    Mar 13 03:26:22 i5 smartd[2341]: Device: /dev/sdd [SAT], Read SMART Self Test Log Failed
    Mar 13 03:56:22 i5 smartd[2341]: Device: /dev/sdc [SAT], Read SMART Self Test Log Failed
    Mar 13 03:56:22 i5 smartd[2341]: Device: /dev/sdd [SAT], Read SMART Self Test Log Failed
    # grep 'Read SMART Self Test Log Failed' syslog.1 | wc -l

  41. I notice that where I got my motherboard are selling B3 stepping versions of some of the boards (inc the one I've got).

    Nobody has contacted me about my board :-(

  42. And down again !

    # grep 'Read SMART Self Test Log Failed' /var/log/syslog

    Less than 24 hours after the last time !

    Mar 14 07:42:26 i5 smartd[2292]: Device: /dev/sdd [SAT], Read SMART Self Test Log Failed

    Power down again:-(

    The place I bought the motherboard from will let me send it back (then I have no computer) and if they find a fault (and process will take over a week) they will refund. BUT I won't have a computer till I can buy a B3 based motherboard. Looks like it's power cycle daily, will it go to hourly, or minutes ???

    GigaByte UK are quoting end of month or next month for stock of replacement boards, haven't been told how they will do the exchange either :-(

  43. When are GigaByte going to explain to their customers how they are going to handle the board replacement for those of us who built our own system. Fortunately I use LINUX and don't use Windowz :-)

  44. There has been a Catastrophic failure of the SATA II controllers on my board.

    My two disks and dvd went off-line and even powering off do not come back.

    In the bios it tries but fails to correctly recognise the disks (reports there's a disk but doesn't report make or any info) and totally misses the dvd.

    On booting the os the kernel complains about the two dosks and spends minutes trying to read them, slowing down from 3Gbps to 1.5Gbps but still not being able to communicate with them.

    Disconnecting the two disks and dvd from the SATA II controller the system boots correctly, but obviously I've lost my disks and dvd :-(

  45. GigaByte UK
    Dear Sir,
    As earlier indicated, Late March to April time.

    You will be contacted then.

    New B3 boards are being sold yet I've got to wait even though my board has failed and now two of my disks and the dvd are unusable !"

    And told another 2-6 weeks. will let me raise a return and if they find it

    Did you contact Giga-byte regarding this issue?

    Unfortunately we don't have any new revisions of these boards. We can raise a return and if the board is found to be faulty then it will be replaced as we still have this model in stock. If you haven't already please contact Giga-byte direct and I believe they will swap the board over once the new revision of the board is available. will l;et me return the board and if found faulty will replace with a similar faulty board :-(

    Anybody know email at intel for issue ?

  46. Next time I think I'll go with an intel board, at least they've been shipping them since Feb 25th.

    Q: When can I order production units of Intel®-branded desktop boards that use the B3 stepping of Intel® 6 Series Express Chipsets?
    A: Requests can be made through the normal order process now. Production units of Intel®-branded desktop boards based on B3 Stepping of Intel® 6 Series Express Chipsets will start shipping by February 25, 2011.

    And Gigabyte?

  47. Has anybody had a replacement board yet ?

    over 2 weeks ago the disks started failing, after ~ 1 week they failed completely. That was over a week ago.

    I see some retailers are selling new boards, mine is faulty and I'm just told I have to wait :-(

  48. Why et6 can not run in win7 ultimate , i 5 2500 k ,GA-P67A-UD3-B3,
    GeForce GTS 450 GPU ?

  49. It's now April 11th and I'm still waiting for GigaByte (UK) to contact me to replace this BROKEN/FAULTY board which does not work with 2 of my hard disks or the DVD writer I have, I can only use 2 out of the 5 SATA drives I have at the same time :-(

    For almost a month the only way I have to access my disks is to power the system down and swap them over, a VERY laborious workaround to a fault identified in JANUARY 2011.

    ALMOST 3 MONTHS and no resolution or schedule.

  50. I'm returning the board and getting a full refund.

    BUT I'm out of pocket, have to buy another cooler/fan.

    No more GigaByte products for me.

    Dreadful customer service !

  51. Got an ASUS P8H67 (B3) today, works well, all 4 disks and dvd now working...

    Finally got through to somebody in Intel who understood the issue of the heat sink compound and they sent me some via courier.

    No more Gigabyte for me.

  52. Gigabyte board refunded, no more gigabye for me EVER !

    As they say it costs 10x times more to get a customer than to retain one, and the -ve impact to potential customers is HUGE, I will NEVER recommend gigabutt !

  53. Installed processor in ASUS motherboard, In bios cpu temp is 10-15 degrees higher, which is/was correct ?

    was the original compound better than the intel replacement, I don't know?

    Happy to have all my disks back and now can also use dvd.

  54. I also have H67M-D2 with sata error.Can I exchange with new B3 stepping mother bord? Authorized dealer is STAR-TECH company in MYANMAR. Plz solve my problem.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.