Latest on the Intel Chipset Issue


Update March 23: Earlier today I published a post regarding how we will support customers who already have systems with affected versions of the Cougar Point chipset.

XPS 8300Vostro 460Alienware Aurora desktops or Alienware M17x R3 laptops that were received prior to March 1 are potentially affected by the chipset issue. Dell plans to offer all worldwide customers who received one of these systems prior to March 1 an option for a new replacement motherboard.

Please visit that post (or click on the tweet image below) for more information.

I mentioned last week that we started taking orders for new XPS 15 and 17 laptops with updated hardware from Intel. That makes us one of the first large companies to start shipping new Sandy Bridge systems with updated hardware that corrects the issue.

Beyond that, beginning today we’re expanding the list of systems beyond the XPS 15 and 17. We’re now taking orders in Europe and the United States for XPS 8300, Vostro 460 and Alienware Aurora R3 desktops with updated chipset hardware. The Alienware M17x R3 laptop is the only system we’re not yet accepting new orders for. We hope to change that soon.

Update (March 4): As several of you have noticed, we're now taking orders for the Alienware M17x R3. Regardless of the system, we are working to prioritize outstanding pending orders. 

At this point, we are starting to receive new replacement inventories from Intel in all regions, but the process is still going to take some time. We will be working to fulfill existing orders and to ship new system orders with the updated Cougar Point chipset as quickly as we can. The reality is that availability will vary by platform as well as location. I’m simply not going to be able to provide ETA dates for specific orders.

For more information, customers in the United States can refer to article #389728 on There is a Contact Us section near the lower left hand side of the screen.  If you are outside the United States, you can find the same article by:

  • Going to
  • Choosing your country from the drop-down menu near the top left of the page
  • Typing 389728 in the Search field

I’ll share more details as they become available.

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67 thoughts on “Latest on the Intel Chipset Issue

  1. Hi Lionel,

    I have a standing order for the Alienware M17x R3 laptop from January 29th, is that order going to be fulfilled? I haven't canceled the order but I keep getting email's from one of your representatives that is saying that my order will be canceled. I really don't understand how can he cancel my order if I don't agree for this?


  2. Lionel,

    Thanks for the good news, but too bad sooo many people, including myself, were disapointed in the month of February with Intel's situation. Even though I did return my XPS 8300 a few weeks ago, I am thinking of reordering the new system in due time; but a question still haunts me of that system. After I intially set up my great looking system, I played the Windows 7 'Getting Started' video and the audio and video were out of sync. Would this have been a Chipset problem, if not, then why the a/v difference? Thanks

  3. Hello and thanks for the update.  

    What I would like to know is why you are selling the XPS with the same mobo as the M17x R3 (i7 2630) with an EDD of 3/15 (when they first came out) yet my M17 which I ordered on January 27th is still in limbo with no update and I'm being told I should get it in April.  How can you ship out new computer orders when there are people who have an order over a month old and are waiting?  I understand that the inital problem was Intel's fault but to start selling and shipping these new computers before taking care of those of us who have been waiting weeks (and they have THE SAME chipset, etc.) is a slap in the face to those of us who are trying to stay loyal and wait-out the chipset issue.

  4. It would have been nice to see Canada included for the XPS 8300. I guess WE HERE in Canada are just not very important to Dell. I guess I will have to bring my business elsewere.

  5. All you guys waiting for the Alienware m17x r3. I ordered mine on the 20th January and my updated date is the 8th of April, so don't be surprised if your date changes again. P.S. three days before my ship date I got a call saying my laptop was g2g for the 15th of February. I was not happy when they changed my date on the 14th of February to the 12th of April. I've done everything to get my laptop earlier from Tweeting, to offering more money, even bluffed about ordering elsewhere(which no one can compete with the specs I like so much about the r3). Anyway I'm just glad to see Lionel updating us again, it gives me hope for an earlier ship date.

  6. What about those of us who already have a 8300. Can we call yet to get the motherboards replaced?

  7. @lionel

    good news that the systems are getting back to the shelves….. waiting for the m17x r3. please get it online asap.

  8. Hi Lionel,

    You're doing a incredible job by being an interface between Dell and us, Dell customers, and I appreciated it very much, because as I am confident the mutual feedback is important for the both sides.  I am amongst those who already purchased and received an XPS 8300 with a defectous Cougar Point before Dell stopped accepting orders on this system. In your today's update, you mentioned existing and new orders with Cougar Point. But how about us, already having XPS 8300 and other affected systems? When should we expect Dell to start the replacement work?


  9. My Vostro 460 order placed 1/30/2011 just says changed. How do I find the status of the order? When I call the reps have no clue what is happening. There has been no communicatuion from Dell. An email will help. Thanks

  10. @ Lionel

    I purchased an alienware M17x R3 back in January 30th and im still waiting for my order. First Dell said on the 18th of February then the 25th then March 4th now March 11th. Seriously? How many more times are they going to push my order? I didn't think it would take this long… its starting to get frustrating. Please help.

  11. I keep hoping that by some lucky break I will get my system earlier than the listed date, but I will be patient, I've been using this old Dimension (Pentium 4 "Northwood" @ 2.66Mhz…lol) for the last 8 years, another month shouldn't kill me.


    I'll try to catch you on Live this weekend.

  12. I to would like to know about us out here that have these systems, mine XPS8300, you have once again not addressed us . What do we do, are you going to contact us and fix our problems? Since you are so proud that you are taking orders again, don't you think it would be nice to be taking care of your exsting customers? You have not addressed us during this time I'm hoping you will now.

  13. I'm glad to see that the Alienware M17x R3 is back on sale on Dell's site. Does it mean that we are going to get our orders delivered soon?…/config.aspx

    Just one annoying thing:

    How that the new XPS 17 laptops come with a newer and better video card – the NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 555M 3GB graphics vs. the 1.5GB GDDR5 Nvidia GeForce GTX 460M offered with the M17x R3. Also the XPS 17 offers a Blu-ray writer as opposed to only a Blu-ray reader in the M17x R3. All of that, in more or less the same price as the Alienware M17x R3.

    I would think that dell could at list offer those of us who purchased the M17x R3 a free upgrade for the newer parts as a compensation for our tolerance with this quite substantial delay delivering the system.

  14. I would like to put my voice into this yet again:

    What about those of us who have already taken delivery of an XPS 8300?

    I am quite capable of handling a simple motherboard replacement so all I need is for Dell to provide the new board.

    When can I expect to receive the replacement motherboard?

  15. For those of us that already have a flawed Sandy Bridge system, this is actually a rare opportunity for Dell to make a positive lasting impression by taking care of us.. Any updates for current owners would be much appreciated!

  16. Lionel,

    I took delivery of my M17 R3 on 2/3. Possibly the last one to be sent before the delay.  I kept the laptop because my calls to Dell assured me the motherboard will be replaced as soon as parts are available. I have been waiting for Dell to send me a note telling me they understand my situation and that because I am a valued customer, they will take care of me as soon as they can.  Nothing yet.

    Lionel, I would still like to see Dell tell me that I am valued and that they care. It has been a month and I have not seen anything in my inbox nor read anything in the Newsroom or these Blogs.

    If I end up spending every day I own this very expensive laptop wondering if today is the day it will fail, Dell will indeed lose a big fan that has been buying their products since the Pentium 90 was new. Hundreds of units purchased. Please don't abandon and insult your best customers.  Just replace my motherboard please.  


  17. But what about replacement for people like me who already had the xps 8300 for a week by the time of the recall?  I was told a few weeks ago that we would be a priority.

    My hard disk is slow – the weak point of the system and there are errors for the third sata drive (after the hard disk and DVD drive.) Also, the DVD should have been put on one of teh slower ports and not on the fastest.

    Anyway, what's happened to the replacement priority??

  18. I could be wrong, but I think the new system thats up for the Mx17 R3 seems to be less expensive than the original.  Atleast my order comes out 300 dollars cheaper when configured the same way.

    If thats the case its a good thing the people that have been thru this whole ordeal get to pay more too. /sarcasum

  19. I put my order on Jan,30 and because of this issue, its delivery was pushed back to March something. I do understand that.

    Now my order statue was updated and it is now April,18.

    But !!!!! Dell is selling the same "Vostro 460" now and estimated delivery date is April,01.

    I do not understand what Dell is doing ???

    I do not want to waste my time by canceling and looking for a new computer, so I am keeping this

    But I am so done with Dell. Never!

  20. I agree wholeheartedly with the previous 2 posts.  I'm an existing customer who delivery of an affected system on 2/1.  To date, I've received no proactive communication from Dell.  In fact I got a completely different message from Tech Support when I inquired about it.  They said I'd have wait for my system to actually fail before they'd take action.  I posted a similar comment on the earlier thread on this topic and got nothing in response to that either.  The mixed messages and the lack of any kind of proactive campaign by Dell to those of us who've already been impacted is beginning to call into question Dell's focus on customer support vs. just making sales and their quarterly numbers.

  21. I"m getting more angry by the day, you people at Dell continue not to address us out here that bought this product, have and now are stuck with it. I have not heard one word about the desktops XPS 8300 and what you are going to do to help us. I to thought we where to be at the top of your list as these parts came in, it sure doesn't seem that way anymore, please address this issue!

  22. @LionelAtDell

    Can you please tell us whether or not we'll have to reinstall our OS and Apps whent the new XPS8300 motherboards arrive?

  23. This is the link for the "new" XPS 8300 computers:…/fs. Question: Where are the motherboards that Dell says is going to replace in the computers of he costumers that already has the old  XPS 8300 with the  MOB damaged?  

  24. When will be the new XPS 15 be available in INDIA. the XPS 15 series is out of stock since past two weeks. And will thee new ones be with the SANDY_BRIDGE …. as we are expecting it for a long time now

  25. This explains why my 1st purchase with Dell has been a nightmare.  Purchased a XPS 15 on 2/21 and was provided a Next Day shipping (69.00) delivery date of on or before 3/4/11.  Order status as of 11:45PM 3/5/11 still reads "In production."  I sent an email to Dell customer service and lets just say it was a less than desirable experience for a first time buyer.  Eventually a feedback manager contacted me and stated my Next day shipping charge would be refunded.  He apologized for what he described as not your typical Dell purchase experience.  Days later I get another email stating my laptop will now be shipped on or before 3/16/11. I did not understand why the timeframe was so lengthy till now. I requested some additional upgrades to my video card and processor since its stil in production but I have not heard back in over 48hours.  Tried calling customer support and they don't seem to have a mechanism to to implement request of this nature. All I can say is wow!  I was hoping Dell was going to mesmerize but unfortunately they've dissappointed me instead.

  26. SUCCESS! My order that was projected for April 12th, but it just shipped out last night and will be here on Monday. So just be patient your orders should start shipping.

  27. Hopefully its not the same as with the defective nvidia notebook graphic card, where hundreds and thousands of dell customers were burdened with the costs from dell, although dell was responsible for that built- in failure.

  28. @Lionel I think you've fixed it, but theres someone running around with the user name "direct2dell" which based on the differences between their posts and your posts (your posts are glowing blue) this individual is causing confusion as to if its an official dell communication or not.  Frettking was actually replying to that person, but…

    However his comment still stands.  You guys have done a horrible job handling this issue.  I was contacted every week at times I explicitly said "DO NOT CONTACT ME AT X TIME."  And they would call me, tell me I had one choice, cancel the order.  I would tell them I couldn't speak with them at that time, and they would give me a number to call back.  I'd call back and then be told the same story.  I would then read your posts to the CCR I was talking with, and they would transfer me to someone else.  I'd read it again for the new person, then they would reluctantly agree and put my order on hold for another week.  This scenario has happened every week since two weeks before my ship date.

    That combined with your personal lack of posting and information has not helped.  Next time theres an issue, keep us up to date, even if theres no info, at least don't make us hunt you down and drag you back here for an update.

    My last intel processor was the 386 which Intel screwed up and left a sour taste in my mouth to go strickly AMD till now.  And now same story.  This was my first dell purchase and I do believe it will honestly be my last.

  29. To all in this blog , did you read Dell post of how great they are handling this problem, I know how good it made me feel as they have never responded to me about my 8300, i'm so glad to hear how fast they have responded to the problem,I guess its just me, Thanks for nothing Dell!

  30. Any Idea when you will be taking orders for the Alienware M17x R3, as it is not yet showing on the UK site.

  31. I spoke too soon… yes Dell has finally sent my laptop out, but they have dropped the ball again. I was upgraded to one day shipping when my laptop got delayed and they shipped it just regular ground. When I asked them why it wasn't shipped fast they told me it was because they sent it at night. I don't know about you but it doesn't make sense to me. It's always something with them isn't it? hhhmmmmm…….

  32. Bawnyawd, you,ve just ruined my day. I also got my shipping method upgraded to next business day. My order has been shipped and I was hoping it would arrive tomorrow. I got this laptop for a friend and she is leaving the US on friday! So if that laptop doesnt arrive by then, it will be a mess. And Dell will have to explain why they choose to fool us by writing Next Business day on order page but sending on regular method.

  33. I bought an XPS 8300 from Best Buy in mid-January. I got a letter from them today essentially encouraging me to return it for a refund and the option to replace it with a new machine that will be available on or about April 3. If I choose not to replace it, they will copy all "data" to a 320GB drive. I don't know if that includes installed software, but I doubt it. If it did, that drive wouldn't be big enough.  I still haven't heard anything from Dell about replacing the motherboard at my location.

  34. Nickyok.

    Let me know if the same thing happens to you. I'm curious to see if they do it to anyone else.

  35. We've seen your blogs obviously.  And you repeatedly dodge the questions that those of us who already have affected systems are asking.  Dell's lack of proactive support of existing customers is shameful.

  36. @ferretking: I responded to your other comment. The reality is that our teams have contacted many affected customers, but definitely agree the process hasn't worked 100%.

    Feel free to contact me directly so we can move things forward.

  37. @ estiesf  and @Jcruiser,

    I called the number on the letter today. The guy wasn't real helpful.  My concern is exactly what you both stated.

    Here's my current thought: From very early in the discussion, we learned the only problem is with the two SATAII ports that at least on my 8300 had nothing on them until I added another HD.  It was a transplant from my old PC.  I've since disabled it and added an external eSATA drive.  Problem solved, as I understand it.

    I'm describing this mostly for Lionel and anyone from BB that may see it:  My specific software concern, besides the obvious stuff, is a very complex MS Flight SimX set up with something like 30 or 40 add on payware airplanes and a significant number of scenery add-ons. It took me three weeks to get that close to what I had on the old machine- over 70 gig in the FSX folder structure alone. Going thru another cycle of that just isn't going to happen as long as I can avoid it.  Replacing a PC for many of us is just not a trivial activity.  I don't care if it's business or personal – it is still a significant event.  So, if I can get some assurance that the replacement PC or motherboard will be transparent to what's on the drive, and are will to move the drive as part of the switch to a new machine if needed, I may proceed, otherwise I'll remain very happy with what I have.


  38. @Glennc2

    I just got the same letter…what happened to the motherboard replacement option (via Best Buy or Dell) and Lionel, will we have to reimstall the  OS and apps if we opt for the motherboard replacement?

  39. To the best buy customers of of XPS 8300: I also got the same letter from best buy. I also have 400+ Gb stuff with new software activated. So, I'm concerned about both options — 1. return 2. exchange.

    1. If I return I get a free hard 320 gb drive with my data, But, I still have to buy and reload software and activate. This may me costly. I don't want to pay for new software that I have already activated.

    2. I'm thinking of exchanging for "identical" machine (with SATA bug fixed) so it would be best buy's geek squad's problem to make sure evrything (data and software) transfered from old to new machine and working. But, could this be done? I have heard horror stories about some software companies complaining about piracy when you add/change hardware.

  40. @ bawnyawd

    Man you are lucky. I'm so sick of reading this fourm everyday. Checking my email to see if dell is finally going to ship today. Calling Sri Lanka every few days to get transferred to every internal department that Dell has. Dell has ruined alienware. All hail Dell, the e machines of the 21st century!!

  41. @Bawnyawd

    It didnt happen, they've sent my order with next business day method. So it seems maybe you are the only victim. You should call them. I know it wont help anything at this point but at least you can relax yourself by shouting someone at the phone :))

  42. @JCruiser, Fallenrei and others who have machines that are affected by the chipset issue: I know you are waiting for news on the motherboard replacement process. The reality is that our teams are still working through the details of how we will carry out the replacement process.

    What I can say is that we hope to begin this process by the end of this month. When we do, we will replace all motherboards with the defective Cougar Point chipset with a brand new motherboard that does not have the defective version of the chipset.

    As we get closer to kicking off this program, I will blog about it on Direct2Dell. In the meantime, I appreciate your continued patience. We will support all of our customers through this.



  43. ksport16

    Yes, the same thing happened to me yesterday. Had been waiting since 1/29 and then yesterday Dell canceled my XPS 8300 without notification.

  44. I just woke up this morning to find that dell cancelled my XPS 8300 order with no warning and no contact.   After keeping the order sence Jan 28.   They said I was welcome to resubmit my order at what ever the current deal is. I am beyond angry at this point.  Anyone else with an XPS 8300 order have this happen to them in the last day or so?

  45. ksport1

    I had the same thing happen to me. I was on the phone for over an hour and ended up reorder almost the same system with few changes.  Cost was almost the same.

  46. Randy SK

    What did they give you for a shipment time frame do they actually have the parts in stock?

  47. I received a email from Dell informing me that my order was cancelled because I did not respond to the original email about the Intel problems.  I did call Dell and wanted to keep my order open, but I guess the customer service person misunderstood.  It would be nice if they hired people who can speak "English".  Dell's  customer service sucks !!!!!

  48. So I guess this problem goes on, no word from Dell on us that already have one of these problems and are stuck with them 8300 desktop, the promises continue but no answers. I know I have never had any contact from Dell, have any of you? Please again Dell how about some new info!!

  49. @LionelAtDell

    Can you please tell us whether or not we'll have to reinstall our OS and Apps whent the new XPS8300 motherboards arrive?

  50. @mjv53

    I purchased and received two of the 8300 desktops in January. I have yet to hear anything from Dell about fixing my systems. Is there anyone out there that has?

    Quote from Lionel on 3/7:

    "The reality is that our teams have contacted many affected customers, but definitely agree the process hasn't worked 100%. "

    From my vantage point the process had not worked at all.

  51. You say" I mentioned last week that we started taking orders for new XPS 15 and 17 laptops with updated hardware from Intel. That makes us one of the first large companies to start shipping new Sandy Bridge systems with updated hardware that corrects the issue."

    But it seems, this is not correct.

    Thera are many reports from customers with the new XPS17 and the affected boardrevision B2 in the last couple of days.

    See here for example:…/562138-dell-xps-17-l702x-thread-17.html

    All this looks like a big foul fom Dell.

    Please give us a statement.

  52. I sure love reading all of Dell's posts re: all the new products and processerors, when all of us out here are still waiting to hear how and when we are going to helped with our products, that we are now stuck with. I notice there are no new posts from Dell for days, so i guess they want us all to give up. The customer support has been bad in the past it is now the worst, thanks for nothing Dell, how about some help for your loyal customers?

  53. I was so excited for the xps 17 (L702X), but shipping units with the still defective R2 Chipsets along with no NON-3D 1080p screen option is a deal breaker for me 🙁

  54. Please… I know you touched on this earlier, but can you identify and expand on which chipset is being used by the new XPS17.  

    I too am finding reports that the XPS17 is using a B2 chipset from new owners.  This is according to the WMI call made in Windows command window (“wmic idecontroller get deviceid”) indicating a rev 04 which Intel’s documentation (see page 9 in…/324646.pdf ) shows as having a B2 chipset.  This may be a misinterpretation or perhaps a legitimated statement, but it is disconcerting enough for me to seek your help in understanding this.

    Thank you in advance

  55. @mjv53 and @essjaygee: I know that both of you and others are waiting for details on how we will replace motherboards for customers like yourselves. I'm still working out details with the team and will blog on the topic later this week.

    Sorry this has not happened as fast as you would like, but it is being worked. More soon.

  56. @estiesf Getting a new motherboard will not require an OS software and application reinstall.

  57. @thomae and 3dbones: Bottom line, our teams are still looking into it, but software tools that people are using are not updated to show the latest stepping. I'll see if there is an easy way to identify.

  58. I finally got fed up waiting for a mobo replacement call from Dell on my XPS 8300 that I purchased in early January; so I called Dell support this past weekend.  After being transferred twice I finally was connected to Norman, who appeared to know what was going on.  He set up a mobo replacement dispatch and said a mobile tech would call me within 72 hours to set up a home replacement visit. To make a long story short, the tech just called me and had NO IDEA what he coming to my home to do. He had no idea that there was even an issue with this particular Intel 6 chipset; he just thought I was having some generic issue with my motherboard which needed replacement.  Now I'm scared to DEATH that the replacement Mobo he is going to be showing up with at my house tomorrow is even a NEW corrected Mobo – or will it simply be an old, still defective XPS 8300 mobo?? Unless the tech can conclusively prove to me that is actually IS a NEW, FIXED mobo, I will not allow him to waste his and my time.

  59. My 3D XPS17 came with BIOS A04 installed. I did the following:

    Fresh Installed Win7SP1 (64bit).

    Ran CPU-Z (v1.57). Indicated the chipset as Rev. B2.

    I flashed the BIOS to A05 & rebooted.

    CPU-Z still said the chipset was Rev B2.

    Rebooted. Went into BIOS & reloaded Default settings & Saved changes.

    Re-entering windows caused Plug N Play to redetect a whole load of devices.

    Now running CPU-Z says chipset is Rev. B3.

    I then Wiped the system partition & fresh installed WIn7SP1 again.

    This time CPU-Z stated the chipset Rev B3 right from the off.

    I'm not sure what this all indicates, and I'm still puzzled as to whether I really have a fixed B3 chipset, or whether the label has just been "patched" in the BIOS.

  60. I just published a new post re: how we plan to support customers who received an affected system prior to March 1.

    XPS 8300Vostro 460Alienware Aurora desktops or Alienware M17x R3 laptops that were received prior to March 1 are potentially affected by the chipset issue. Dell plans to offer all worldwide customers who received one of these systems prior to March 1 an option for a new replacement motherboard.

    More details in my updated March 23 post here.

    To centralize the conversation, I've closed down comments on this post. If you have questions or comments, please leave a comment on the March 23 post.

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