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Problems with the i840 chip set have led to decline in revenues for distributors and dealers having stock of chips with no motherboard support, it has emerged. A US dealer, who bought 40 Xeon processors on the 10th of January, told us today that his distributor has now received instructions from Intel to honour any dealer request who wishes to return processors because of the lack of mobo problem. The dealer, who did not wish to be named, said: "The truth is, Intel has sold and delivered a product that is totally worthless since there is not one commercially available motherboard that will run any of the so-called Xeon 600MHz processors with 133MHz front side bus." The problem was confirmed by a European distributor, who said this morning: "We used to have a business selling Xeons but it has gradually been chipped away." He said: "We will only support Pentium IIIs using the Lancewood motherboard. Motherboard product has been hard to get. The Cyprus motherboard, for example, we won't support with anything running at over 550MHz on a 100MHz front side bus. "There have been deaths on the 840," he said, referring to the problem with the memory translator hub on Hemlock and Willow motherboards. That's down to synchronous memory problems in conjunction with Rambus. The dearth of support for the i840s has come as a surprise following the debacle with the i820 chipset last year. When the i840 chipset, which comes with dual channel Rambus support was introduced, Intel said that it was a separately designed chipset which would not suffer the kind of problems the i820 had. There is third party motherboard support for the 840 chipset, but distributors have done good business selling boxed Intel chips and motherboards, while many dealers will only buy Intel because their customers demand it. ®

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