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New B3 Stepping Sandy Bridge Boards Are Shipping Says GIGABYTE, ECS and ASUS!

It appears that the Sandy Bridge/Cougar Point problems are over for INTEL and its board partners. GIGABYTE, ECS and ASUS have both signalled clearly that their warehouses will be filling up with the new revisions of the boards shortly. For those too lazy to read further, the problem with your current pre-B3 Revision board is related to the on chipset SATA controller. Under heavy use, there may be a degradation in performance. While this issue happens on a VERY small percentage of boards, it was big enough of an issue for INTEL to spend a billion dollars and raise the bar for the industry in terms of taking care of the customer. Even though the problem might not even happen for years, if at all.

So if you have a board from any of the aforementioned manufacturers, you’ll be receiving your new board shortly. IF your board manufacturer wasn’t named above, then just head over to their website. I’m sure that they are getting their new boards too and you’ll beeligiblefor a replacement shortly. In the meantime, check out the press releases below from GIGABYTE, ECS and ASUS for the steps you need to take if you haven’t already submitted your RMA request.

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— GIGABYTE Ships All New B3 6 Series Motherboards —
— Totally New B3 Motherboards Feature Revised B3 Stepping Chipset, Motherboard, Logo, Retail Box Design, and Model Numbers–

City of Industry, California, February 25, 2011 – GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co., Ltd, a leading manufacturer of motherboards, graphics cards and other computing hardware solutions, today announced that they have begun shipping the totally redesigned GIGABYTE 6 series motherboards featuring the new Intel B3 stepping chipsets. Motherboards are expected to be available around 2nd week of March. Please check with your store sales representatives or online store for product availability.

The new B3 version GIGABYTE 6 Series motherboards have been totally redesigned and renamed so that they can easily be distinguished from the older B2 versions through the signature B3 at the end of the model name. For example, the GA-P67A-UD7 has been replaced by the GA-P67A-UD7-B3 and the GA-H67A-UD3H has been replaced by the GA-H67A-UD3H-B3. The new model name is highly visible on the retail box, PCB, in the BIOS at start up and on applications such as the GIGABYTE 6 Series SATA Check utility and CPU-Z.

GIGABYTE 6 Series SATA Check Utility

Immediately after learning about the B2 stepping Intel 6 Series chipset design error, GIGABYTE released the easy to use GIGABYTE 6 Series SATA Check utility that helps to optimize SATA performance by identifying the white SATA 6Gbps that can be used, while advising users not to use the affected Intel PCH SATA ports. As the new B3 versions on 6 Series motherboards start to ship, GIGABYTE just released an updated 6 Series SATA Check utility that also identifies the chipset and its stepping (either B2 or B3).

Another way to identify a B3 stepping chipset motherboard is to look for the motherboard model name as the PC boots. The new B3 version 6 Series motherboard packaging features a large B3 Stepping logo that users will easily be able to identify.

More information about GIGABYTEs all new B3 revision 6 Series motherboards is available from the official GIGABYTE website and the GIGABYTE Tech Daily blog.

About GIGABYTE Upgrade Your Life

GIGABYTE Technology Co. Ltd., headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, is known as a leading brand in the IT industry with branch offices located in 24 countries around the world. Founded in 1986, GIGABYTE started as a small research and development team and has since taken a position as one of the in the world’s top motherboard manufacturers.In addition to motherboards and graphics cards, GIGABYTE further expanded its product portfolio to include notebook and desktop PCs, datacenter servers, networking products, mobile handsets, and home entertainment devices to serve each facet of the digital life in the home and office. Everyday GIGABYTE aims to Upgrade Your Life with innovative technology, exceptional quality, and unmatched customer service. Visit www.gigabyte.us for more information.

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ECS Starts Shipping New P67/H67 B3 Stepping Chipset Motherboards

Taipei Taiwan, March 1st 2011Responding to IntelR begins to supply brand new B3 stepping chipset which solves the performance degradation problem of SATA 3 Gb/s caused by B2 stepping chipset, ECS sincerely announces that all ECS P67/H67 series motherboards would adopt B3 stepping chipset and start being shipped to worldwide from now on. Different regions would have different on-store time according to different shipment procedure.

ECS has been proud of quality of our products; therefore, ECS truly hope users would enjoy these whole new IntelR 6 series chipset motherboards. To indentify new B3 stepping chipset motherboards easily from B2 stepping chipset motherboards, users could indentify the label on PCBs, which would be between the CPU socket and RAM socket, and outside retail boxes as the following example pictures shown. For more details and information, please visit: http://www.ecs.com.tw/extra/6series/issue/index_b3.html

About ECS

The Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) has been a pioneer in designing and manufacturing computer motherboards since 1987. Today, the motherboard maker also designs and manufactures desktop PCs, notebooks, servers, motherboards, video cards, wireless solutions and handheld devices for distributors worldwide. Headquartered in Taiwan with operations in North America, Europe and China, Korea and Japan, ECS also has ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified manufacturing facilities in China.

For more information, please visit ECS at www.ecs.com.tw

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ASUS is now shipping updated Intel 6 series chipset-based Motherboards

— ASUS prompt response ensures quick availability of products containing revised 6 Series chipset technology from Intel to expedite service and ensure customer satisfaction

Fremont, CA (March 1, 2011) – As part of an overall recovery plan following the detection of the Intel 6 Series chipset design error , ASUS expedited the manufacturing and delivery of new products containing the revised B3 stepping of the Intel 6 Series chipset (Cougar Point). Along with this rapid delivery plan, ASUS also implemented extensive product return and replacement options along with a dedicated service hotline for its valued North American customers.

Based on recent deliveries of revised 6 Series chipsets from Intel, ASUS is excited to announce that updated Intel 6 series-based motherboards are now shipping. This fast response aims to prevent any further inconveniences for our customers and partners.

For motherboards, customers can easily identify revised products by checking for labels showing New B3 Revision displayed on the motherboards and their packaging. Additionally, users can verify the chipset version through UEFI or CPUIDs CPU-Z utility.

As Intel indicated the design error only occurs with the SATA 3Gb/s ports on the B2 stepping 6 Series chipset, ASUS has created an online tutorial to help customers clearly identify the unaffected SATA 6Gb/s ports for each relevant product. Additional information can be found at http://promos.asus.com/US/2011/mb/Identify_unaffected_SATA_port.html along with the ASUS SATA Verifier utility, available as a free download, to quickly identify safe-to-use SATA 6Gb/s ports.

Replacement Program Overview for North American Customers-
We would like to use this opportunity to encourage any current North American users in possession of affected ASUS products to take advantage of the return and replacement policy promptly, so that the transition to the revised hardware is as smooth and fast as possible. North American customers can visit the ASUS 6 Series Chipset Resolution site at http://service.asus.com/notice/Overview.aspx to view the replacement program details and to fill out a Service Registration Form to start the product replacement process.

ASUS is committed to delivering the best-quality products along with outstanding customer service for our valued customers. We are providing several options to resolve this issue for our North American customers:

  1. Free product replacement
    US and Canadian Customers: A free replacement service and 2-way standard shipping is available from ASUS directly. An equivalent/new product will be provided to the customer as part of this program and warranty renewal at the time of replacement*. 

    To return your affected product(s) for replacement please follow the steps here.

    Three different return options will be offered upon the issuance and approval of the RMA as part of this return program.

    1. ASUS will provide a cross-ship option that offers the customer the least amount of system downtime. Upon the receipt of a valid credit card number and approval, a temporary charge hold will be placed against the customers credit card for the MSRP value of the replacement product. The replacement product will be shipped to the customer and a prepaid label for return of the existing product will be provided. Upon return of the defective product and verification against the RMA, the temporary charge hold on the customers credit card will be lifted.
    2. ASUS will provide an advanced tracking option that expedites the delivery of the replacement product compared to our standard return process. A prepaid label for return of the existing product will be provided by ASUS. A valid credit card number is required for this process. Upon notification that the defective product is marked as In-Transit at the carrier, ASUS will ship the replacement product to the customer. If the returned product does not match the RMA, a temporary charge hold will be placed against the customers credit card for the MSRP value of the product until resolution of the RMA, at which time the hold will be removed or the credit card charged for the MSRP value of the product.
    3. ASUS will provide a standard shipping option. A prepaid label for return of the existing product will be provided by ASUS. Upon return of the product to ASUS and after verification of the product against the RMA, a replacement product will be shipped to the customer.
  2. Motherboard and desktop workaround
    ASUS has confirmed with Intel that the design error does not affect SATA ports 0 and 1. Additionally, ASUS as a leading motherboard designer and pioneer of new innovations includes extra SATA 3Gb/s and SATA 6Gb/s ports beyond Intel specifications on a wide range of motherboards. ASUS has provided an easy workaround solution to the Intel design issue here.
  3. Full refund
    If you are unwilling to wait for the free product replacement, we suggest you request a full refund from your products place of purchase (E-tailer or point of sale). If you purchased a motherboard or system in Mexico, please contact the reseller immediately for a full refund or replacement as the advanced product replacement service is not available in this region.

*All customers that register by June 30th, 2011 will have their warranty reset based on the date the replacement product is shipped. After June 30th, 2011 users with affected Intel 6 Series chipset products that have not registered for replacement may still qualify for advanced replacement options. However, the warranty period and terms of service will be based on the original product purchase date and terms of sale.

For additional information and assistance, please feel free to visit http://service.asus.com/notice/Contactus.aspx or call your North American ASUS service hotline at 1-866-625-9873 between the hours of 6:00AM to 9:00PM PST Monday through Friday.

ASUS Motherboards: No.1 in the World

ASUS has attained its industry-leading position through innovation. As the bestselling and most award-winning global motherboard brand, the company has sold more than 420 million motherboards since its founding in 1989, and has pioneered numerous innovations that have become industry standards. Recent examples include Core Unlocker, Disk Unlocker, Protect 3.0 and the worlds first Dual Intelligent Processors, which consists of the TPU (TurboV Processing Unit) performance optimization chip and the EPU (Energy Processing Unit), the industrys first real time PC power saving chip. The Dual Intelligent Processors achieve system-wide performance and energy optimization to increase output and moderate power consumption for a better, more cost-effective computing experience. With its decades of expertise and dedication to pushing the design envelope, ASUS is poised to continue leading the industry in motherboard performance, safety and reliability.

About ASUS

ASUS, the worlds top 3 consumer notebook vendor and the maker of the worlds bestselling and most award winning motherboards, is a leading enterprise in the new digital era. ASUS designs and manufactures products that perfectly meet the needs of today’s digital home, office and person, with a broad portfolio that includes motherboards, graphics cards, displays, desktop PCs, notebooks, netbooks, servers, multimedia, wireless solutions, networking devices and mobile phones. Driven by innovation and committed to quality, ASUS won 3,398 awards in 2010, and is widely credited with revolutionizing the PC industry with the Eee PC. With a global staff of more than ten thousand people and a world-class R&D team of 3,000 engineers, the company’s revenue for 2010 was around US$10 billion.

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