760's been delayed?
Merely days after AMD officially launched their 760 chipset, UK-based news site The Register published a report
stating that AMD had encountered a problem with the 760 chipset, and, as a result, shipments of motherboards based on the chipset had been delayed. (Although the title of the aforementioned article suggested an entirely different situation)
According to the article: "Gigabyte has confirmed there are problems with AMD's new 760 DDR chipset, launched just two days ago and has delayed shipping its new GA-7DX mobo as a result." The article further suggests that the severity of the problem hadn't been determined and it would be another two weeks before the length of the delay would be known.
Later that day, an AMD representative spoke with Tom's Hardware Guide denying the report and reiterating AMD's position that initial systems would be available from Micron PC and NEC France in November, with widespread availability scheduled to occur during the first quarter of next year. As a follow-up, Tom's Hardware Guide also spoke with a representative from Gigabyte who also denied the report and mentioned that shipments had already begun to system integrators.
So just who is right and who is wrong? Read on to find out what we've been told…
760 Delay=No; 760 Glitch=...
After discussing the matter with a trusted source, we've discovered that a glitch has indeed been found with the current version of the chip (B2), but a fix has already been implemented by AMD.
According to our source, under certain conditions the 761 Northbridge will generate a clock glitch into the CPU that may cause the system to hang. To resolve this, motherboard manufacturers will have to integrate an external circuit to filter out the glitch.
We're assuming that it is this glitch that the Gigabyte representative is referring to. If this is indeed the case, the representative may not have known that a fix exists for this and in fact has already been corrected on AMD's latest reference design, Corona EVT-8 (Which includes the circuit.) For reference, Corona EVT-8 was made after initial samples of Gigabyte's 7DX were released.
If you recall our preview of the 760 chipset, the stability of our EVT-7 platform was fairly good, with a few lockups during 3DMark 2000 test runs. However, we still feel these issues are likely the result of damage our system received during shipping to our office in California.