You may have to act quickly if you want to buy a Sandy Bridge motherboard with one of Intel's existing 6-series chipsets. A flaw in the current chipset silicon has prompted the chipmaker to halt production, and a new stepping that addresses the issue isn't expected to start shipping until later next month. Already, Newegg has deactivated listings for a good number of 6-series motherboards.
Despite the fact that no flaws have been found in Sandy Bridge CPUs, listings for Intel's latest processors are being deactivated, as well.
We're still waiting for additional details from motherboard makers on how they're handling the situation, but Gigabyte has confirmed that it has stopped shipping affected boards. The company has also instructed its customers—distributors and resellers—to stop selling 6-series motherboards. Given the number of listings disappearing from Newegg, I suspect other motherboard makers have done the same.
While I can understand motherboard makers halting sales and shipments to prevent more affected boards from getting into the hands of end users, it's odd that Newegg is also pulling CPUs off its virtual shelves. We've asked Intel for confirmation, but as far as we're aware, the company has made no effort to restrict sales of Sandy Bridge processors. At present, Amazon continues to sell Sandy Bridge CPUs and motherboards, including several Gigabyte boards.