Just yesterday, Gigabyte announced that it had begun shipping Sandy Bridge motherboards featuring a bug-free, B3-stepping 6-series chipsets. Now, we're told by a TR reader who calls himself yuriylsh that Micro Center has sent out e-mails to its customers with an update on the situation. The contents of that e-mail are said to include the following:
An important announcement regarding your Intel I7 2600K, I7 2600, I5 2500K, or I5 2400 Processor (“Sandy Bridge”) motherboard purchase.
Beginning March 3rd, we will start to receive inventory from several manufacturers for the next 2-3 weeks. Inventory however will be limited until early April. We wanted you to be one of the first to know.
There are several options open to you. So that we may better serve you, please complete a very short questionnaire concerning which options you prefer. After completing the questionnaire you will be taken to a page with further details. See your local Micro Center store with questions.
Thank you for your business and your patience through this extremely rare situation.
Googling some of the text above yields several forum threads also quoting the e-mail, so the information appears legit.
According to yuriylsh, the survey linked in the e-mail asks customers if they want an exchange right away, and it offers a $25 gift card to those who don't mind waiting until April 15 or May 15. That offer suggests supply will indeed remain tight for a few weeks, even if Sandy Bridge motherboards do make their way back onto e-tail listings. As we pointed out yesterday, Intel officially doesn't expect "full volume recovery" of 6-series chipset shipments until April.