MSI has just announced that its first Sandy Bridge motherboards with the revised B3-stepping chipset have started to leave its factories.
The company's components marketing specialist, Scott Bentley, told us that ‘all being well, we hope to have stock at our key resellers during the week commencing 7 March.
The new H67 and P67 chipsets with B3 stepping resolve the flaw
in Intel’s original chipsets, which can lead to performance degradation and data corruption over the SATA 3gbps channels after a year or two of regular use.
MSI will highlight these revised boards with a slightly baffling sticker proclaiming the board to be ‘MSI B3 Stepping Ready.
’ Of course, the board either has the B3-stepping chipset or it doesn’t – whether or not the board is ready for B3 silicon is irrelevant.
At least there’s an attractive logo on the box, which reassures customers that the board has the fixed chipset. MSI has shown us two examples of B3 motherboards and their packaging, so you can see what you need to look for.
Click to enlarge.
‘In addition to the B3 sticker, each new revision mainboard will have further B3 branding as a part of the product code and retail box,
’ MSI told us. This takes the form of a B3 suffix for the name of the product, as well as a grey square on the box that says 'B3' in the middle.
MSI also repeated its promise that ‘UK customers who currently own a potentially affected motherboard will soon be able to register with MSI UK to exchange their board for an updated version.
’ There will be more news on how to do this soon, with Bentley telling us that ‘our end user exchange program will be starting up around the same time [as B3 MSI boards go on sale].
In the meantime, MSI has released its SATA Verifier
utility, which tells you whether the storage devices plugged into your LGA1155 motherboard are potentially at risk or not.
Is the news you’ve been awaiting? Have you got a Sandy Bridge system that worries you every time you fire it up? Let us know in the forums