Earlier this week, following Intel's news of a Sandy Bridge P67 chipset bug, MSI released
its own statement noting that it was "working closely with Intel to minimize the inconvenience to customers and retail stores with regard to related issues," and recommending that "end users who want to return their MSI Intel P67 and H67 motherboards, or their notebook, to contact the original place of purchase for more detail." While this implied that the company would honor all related product warranties and facilitate returns, the comments were more vague than some customers were comfortable with.
MSI has issued a follow-up statement shedding more light on its support plans:
MSI North America takes the quality of its products and service to its customers very serious, therefore the company is working closely with Intel to accept the return of Intel P67 and H67 motherboards, as well as its HM67 gaming laptops. MSI’s All-in-One PCs based on the new generation of Intel Core i processors are not affected, and are still scheduled to launch in late March 2011.
MSI encourages end users who want to return their MSI Intel P67 and H67 motherboards or affected gaming notebooks, to contact the original place of purchase for more details on the return or refund policy. Alternatively, end users can register their Intel 6 Series notebook or motherboard with MSI by April 30, 2011 at us.msi.com/snb_replacement to be eligible for the following options.
1. HM67 gaming notebooks: End users are eligible to receive an upgrade to MSI’s next generation gaming notebook upon its availability.
2. P67 and H67 motherboards: End users are eligible for a replacement with the new B3 stepping of the Intel 6 series motherboard when it is available in channel.
3. Shipping: To make the replacement as smooth as possible, MSI will provide end users with a UPS 3 Day shipping label for returns, and will deliver the brand new item by UPS 3 Day shipping, both at no cost.
"MSI is wholly committed to both our customers and to the overall quality of our products," noted Andy Tung, vice president of North American sales for MSI. "While we work with Intel to resolve the chipset issues, we want to make sure our customers know their concerns are our top priority. We believe offering future replacement options will help alleviate some of the discomfort this issue has caused."
MSI's option-to-upgrade if you purchased an HM67 notebook is intriguing; it's the only company we've seen thus far offering a flat new system when one becomes available. We've spoken to MSI about what constitutes a next-generation system and the company has indicated that owners of existing HM67s will receive a higher-end model (most likely with a more powerful GPU
) when such systems are available.
Users interested in investigating MSI's various options, including advanced replacement, can do so here.
The company's offer to replace affected motherboards as soon as the B3 samples are available is bog-standard for other manufacturers we've heard from.
If you've been concerned about what MSI's support plans were, there's no reason to stay that way. Every indication is that replacements will flow on schedule once Intel has the updated chipsets in the channel.