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Intel partners build 40km Sandybridge mainboard mountain

Well. OK. Not literally, but it does seem that one man and his dog is ready with a set of Sandybridge mainboard launches. Only problem is that we’re quite far away from the actual launch. KitGuru investigates and comes back with an explanation.

The worst time to transition from one product to another is around Christmas. nVidia did it years ago with the Ti4600 and Intel did it last year with its mainstream Core parts.

Having learned from its mistake, Intel has laid a careful path across the Sandybridge, which will see products in stores around February – perfectly ordered and under control – and allowing for a nice run down of existing stock. So what’s the problem?

Once the channel knows that something new is coming, the channel wants it yesterday. An advanced form of technology Tourette’s takes hold and the major vendors find themselves clutching uncontrollably at the roadmap, eager to launch anything that have that works. And that’s what we have right now.

Asus, Gigabyte, MSI and the other major mainboard players all have their designs laid down, tested and ready to go. Sure, there will be some production wobbles that need to be ironed out, but – from what KitGuru’s hearing – Intel’s next generation processor technology seems to be as solid as a rock and it’s ready to roll out.

With IDC’s Eszter Morvay predicting a healthy increase in PC shipments for 2011, everyone wants to make sure they’re ready. But throughout the Christmas period, you need to be selling the existing technology. Tough wait ahead for the mainboard guys then.

KitGuru believes that any mainboard production issues will have been sorted within the next 2-3 weeks, leaving all of the major factories ready to begin full scale production through the end of the year.

Those boards will ship to the major PC manufacturers through December and January, ready to go into stores (inside PCs) around Valentine’s Day.

So that begs a question for idle minds. How big will the Mainboard Mountain be by January?

KitGuru reckons it could be around 1 million units across the globe.  Serious stuff.

If we guess that a Sandybridge mainboard is 4cm high, then 1 million of these little fellas would touch the 40km mark.

If you jumped out of a specially adapted space craft, in a pressure suit, at that altitude, then you could set 4 world records at once:-

  1. Altitude record for free fall
  2. Altitude record for balloon flight
  3. Time record for longest free fall
  4. Speed record for the fastest free fall – passing the sound barrier on the way down
On 16th August 1960, Joseph Kittinger jumped at 102,800 feet (31,300 metres). In the future, someone else might beat this jump and pass the sound barrier. Remember, they'd still be several kilometres short of the height of all the Intel mainboards that will be ready for the Sandybridge launch

KitGuru says: Product transitions are a pain. They are also a necessary evil. The transition to Sandybridge will happen on a planetary scale. While these new chips are unlikely to break the sound barrier, they are likely to trounce previous benchmark records by some margin.  Whatever the outcome when Sandybridge steps out, it will certainly be fun for the tech review sites!

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