Well, I can be opinionated and this is just my take but in a totally bizarre move (Edit:
but see my "Update" at the end of the post) Intel has just announced (here
) that it is:
resuming shipments of the Intel® 6 Series Chipset for use only in PC system configurations that are not impacted by the design issue.
Only computer makers who have committed to shipping the Intel® 6 Series Chipset in PC system configurations that are not impacted by the design issue will be receiving these shipments.
That's just an excerpt so please read the full statement to get the whole picture.
So why am I so confusled
by this? Well, in the case of a laptop/notebook PC there is no problem but the statement "for use only in PC system configurations that are not impacted by the design issue" does, in theory, allow shipment of a regular PC where only the non-affected SATA ports are used. But if there's a spare drive bay and the owner wants to add a 2TB HDD to store all of his or her most treasured photographs will he or she have been told that the remaining SATA headers on the motherboard may not be used? Hopefully the answer will not only be "Yes" but the affected ports will have been physically blocked or the headers removed.
We'll have to see how this pans out in practice. Will manufacturers who continue to ship systems with faulty chipsets amend their manuals and their promotional material to reflect the (unaffected) SATA port count? Will they physically disable the headers on already manufactured computers and motherboards? One would hope so but there are cowboys out there as well as respected names. Or maybe Intel will actually prohibit manufacturers of anything other than closed systems from continuing to ship the faulty chips. That would be my best case scenario but the slightly vague statement linked to above doesn't actually promise that.Update:
PC Pro have managed to talk to Intel and they report here
"we'll let desktop manufacturers go if they fulfill our requirements, which is physically disabling ports two through five"
This is great news from Intel and it will, presumably, mean that the vendors will have to make the number of functional SATA ports clear at the point of sale. That said, the Intel spokesperson does go on later in the piece to admit that some of my own concerns about, shall we say, the less scrupulous vendors may be justified and that Intel are "looking into the feasibility of providing a tool that will tell you what chipset you have in your system"
. Lets hope they can.
It's good news for all of us, really, because it should also mean that when the fixed chipsets start shipping less of them will be soaked up replacing the faulty ones. It seems that Intel's posture isn't so bizarre as I feared so I've removed the bold text at the start of this post.