There has been precious little new information on Prescott compatibility. Asus has apparently backed off claims; Gigabyte is apparently backing into them.
What to do?
There is only one prudent course: Don’t buy until you get can it in writing (a webpage is writing).
What about those who already have bought one?
Lawyers vs. Kids
A lot of people thought these mobos were Prescott-compatible from the get-go. I thought these mobos were Prescott-compatible from the get-go.
Since it is still not clear just what the problem is, let’s not start pointing fingers yet.
You can say, though, that strictly and legally speaking, no one had (or even has) promised Prescott compatibility. Most didn’t mention Prescott at all. The Asus webpages didn’t, the Gigabyte webpages don’t now.
You may say, “You’re wrong, yes, they did!” That’s the problem. It may have said that to the average person, but not to a lawyer.
What those webpages said was that the “power design” supported Prescott. In legal terms, that is not the same thing as saying that the motherboard supports Prescott.
You think it’s the same thing? Consider this: Does the same specification ever say that the PIV power supply is compatible with the mobo? No, it says that the PIV is compatible. If Prescott is just as compatible as current PIVs, why are they talking about power design rather than just listing it as a compatible CPU?
I’ll tell you a likely reason why. It gives them legal wiggle-room they wouldn’t have if they just listed Prescott as a supported CPU.
It may well turn out that such motherboards may do perfectly fine with Prescotts (just as it may well turn out that current 865/875 mobos will usually work). But people want more than “maybe.”
Until most people see the difference between the two, read these things like lawyers, and act on what’s read like lawyers, we’re going to get beat each and every time by the lawyers writing these things.
A Way Towards Accountability
For those who have already bought 865PE/875P boards, I think this is a matter of spilled milk. There’s enough legal wiggle-room for the mobos makers to wriggle out of this one.
No, we have to look to the future and try to keep this sort of thing from happening again (if indeed this has happened).
It would be simple enough for us to write letters to all the mobo manufacturers, asking them the right questions about this and asking for a written response.
It would just as simple to set up a sticky article indicating the status of particular motherboards.
Despite this, we’re not going to do this.
Why We’re Not Going To Do This
We don’t want to do this because it likely would get us into legal trouble, and because this audience doesn’t read or think like lawyers.
Let’s say I send a letter out, and I get a response which sure sounds like Mobo A supports Processor B, but does not flat-out equivically says so in such a manner that would hold up in a court of law.
Let’s say I get a response which says the “power design” is Prescott-compatible.
As I’ve indicated above, being an absolute stickler, saying that the power-supply is Prescott-compatible is not the same thing as saying the mobo is.
So I would say that Mobo A isn’t 100% Prescott-guaranteed. In all likelihood, we’d be threatened by a lawsuit from that company demanding that either the comment go down, or that the contents of their letter go up instead.
We can’t afford lots of lawsuits. They could be bluffs, but we can’t afford to call those bluffs, and God help us if we’re a bit too stickly about it and we happen to be wrong.
Even worse, because the vast majority of the audience doesn’t read nor think like finicky lawyers, what we would get for our finickiness is a lot of abuse from people who would assume we had dark hidden motives for doing this, namely bias/hatred against whatever mobo companies, or Intel.
(It’s amazing how common conspiracy theory is out there. I can write an article saying, “I think this,” give twenty-three reasons why I think that, and guaranteed, people will write me saying, “What’s your REAL reason.”
We would also get the “just put up what they said and let me decide” group, even though they’re in the “baby” category in the “stealing candy from . . .” when it comes to this.
What We’ll Do Instead
Given everything said above, a passive approach seems best. When we see written language that unequivocally says “this mobo supports Prescott,” we’ll report on that, and compile an article from that. If we’re going to err, we’re goint to err on the side of caution.
Right now, there will be no article because no written statement about any 865/875 mobo meets the standard. When one does, we’ll say so, and keep a list of those that do. We’ll also do the same thing for future platforms.