Bad news for those of you who own or were looking to own a Sandy Bridge system. Intel has stopped shipping its 6-Series chipset - used with new Sandy Bridge processors - after finding hard drive and DVD performance-degrading defects.
The upshot is that Intel already has a fix, and is manufacturing a flaw-free version of the support chip. The Sandy Bridge processors themselves are unaffected, and Intel claims "The only systems sold to an end customer potentially impacted are Second Generation Core i5 and Core i7 quad core based systems", and that they believe "that consumers can continue to use their systems with confidence, while working with their computer manufacturer for a permanent solution". Sounds like a bit of a hand-dusting not our problem statement, but good that this was caught sooner than later. [Intel via Maximum PC]