Intel botches one bigtime.
August 28, 2000 5:26 PM   Subscribe

Intel botches one bigtime. They recalled their 1.133 GHz P3 the very same day that AMD started volume shipment of the 1.10 GHz Athlon. (More inside)
posted by Steven Den Beste (4 comments total)
This was necessary for a very simple reason: it didn't work.

This article from C/Net distorts the situation so badly as to rival an outright lie. Intel did like hell "appreciate the help"; they kept telling Pabst to shut up. In fact, the hobbyists didn't "help", they rammed the evidence down Intel's unwilling throat; that being the only way to make them take it seriously. The real story can be found here and it's a pretty seamy tale and well worth reading. Tom Pabst had been trying for a couple of weeks to get Intel to acknowledge the problem and they kept claiming it was operator error. Finally, Kyle Bennett of HardOCP got Tom Pabst and Anand Lal Shimpi to send their sample chips to him, and along with his own sample chip, in front of an Intel engineer specially flown in for the occasion (Intel beginning to get worried that maybe there was a real problem), demonstrated unambiguously that certain software operations failed consistently with all three chips on a mother board that the Intel engineer himself certified as being correct.

Only then did Intel finally start to take the problem really seriously; that happened last week, and over the weekend Intel duplicated the problem in their own labs. This morning, finally, they ordered the recall.

Given that today was volume shipment day for the AMD 1.10GHz Athlon, the timing simply couldn't have been worse. But Intel has been making a lot of "own goals" for the last few months; I don't understand what's happened at the front office there.

posted by Steven Den Beste at 5:43 PM on August 28, 2000

I'll make one more comment about this: I think what has happened is that Intel has reached the point that all companies eventually reach, where low level managers are afraid to report bad news up through the ranks, and would rather try to cover it up instead. If Intel learns no other lesson from this, they should learn that one.

posted by Steven Den Beste at 6:17 PM on August 28, 2000

I'm buying a Mac.
posted by aaron at 10:32 PM on August 28, 2000

Before you buy a Mac, read this.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 12:01 AM on August 29, 2000

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