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Full range of Z77 boards on sale – so what is an NDA?

Its hard to say if the Ivy Bridge launch is the worst in Intel’s history, but it’s certainly been one of the most confusing. The staggered nature of the ‘event’ and complex nature of what can be released to who and by when, has caused a mish-mash of data and product to hit the market. KitGuru notices that some product is very definitely on sale and provides links.

NDA means non-disclosure agreement. Every industry uses them as a way to control when a new product or service will be released. The idea is simple enough. A manufacturer invents something new and decides to launch it. They make the product available, under NDA, to a select number of publications nice and early. That allows the testing and reviews to be completed and made ready for the launch.

When the launch data/time arrives, the NDA lifts and all of the big technology sites go live with the new information at the same time.


The less people you tell a secret to, the more chance you have of it remaining a secret. The lest companies you sample with new product, the lower your chances of a leak. Sending out ‘final product’ to a load of channel partners nice and early, provides the ingredients for disaster. If you then stagger the release dates for the various parts of your launch (i.e. mainboards first, then the processors, then systems and finally you are allowed to talk about all of it), then you have the ‘perfect storm’ recipe.

Right now, all of the information you could need for a Z77 article/review etc is all over the web. Sure, some sites like KitGuru have agreed to hold back until Intel actually releases its NDA – but many won’t have.

Ironically, the publications with the WEAKEST relationships with Intel will have benefited the most. Not having signed an NDA – and with no reasonable expectation of samples – these smaller sites feel perfectly justified in running every story they can, nice and early.

If you have a great relationship with Intel, then you respect the NDA and sit by while all of the smaller sites run their articles.

Alanis Morissette would be proud.

So a quick check on the UK’s bigger reseller sites reveals that one man plus dog can buy Z77 chipset mainboards from Aria, Scan and Overclockers – among others. No sign of the CPUs themselves yet, but it can’t be long until they are also being sold.

Checking the menu on the left, there are also lower-priced 'H' options available

KitGuru says: We like the idea of an NDA, but to be effective, the gap between the initial rumour of a product being made available – and the actual on sale date – needs to be as small as possible. As a chip manufacturer, you can’t sample system builders across the globe for a month before the NDA lifts and expect there to be an NDA left. That’s just our 10 cents worth.

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