Today there was news that Asus was dropping the Marvell 88SE9123 SATA 6G chips from their P55 boards. While this report sounded accurate we still wanted to check up on things and have found that there are some issues that are concerning Asus enough for them to pull them off the production boards.
Asus will not be putting them back on the boards until they Q&A teams are certain there will be no performance or stability issues. The Asus R&D teams are working on finding and correcting the unlisted issue. It is possible that the issue could be resolved soon enough that the Marvel chips would reappear on the P55 boards but it is unlikely.
The Extra 6Gb/s performance would have been a nice feature on these boards but, in the end if they are not stable or cannot perform properly then it is best to leave them off for now. As to the rumors that it is a performance issue, this could be the issue but it is unlikely. Usually the only thing that would warrant pulling a ship this late in the game would be stability.
We spoke with Gigabyte and they are also removing the Marvel SATA 6G chips from their P55 boards. This would seem to confirm a larger problem than just a driver or performance issue.
Once source told us that Marvell may have to re-spin the 88SE9123 chips to correct the issue. They do not anticipate being able to use the 88SE9123 until the revised X58 boards hit production. If this is true then it seems extremely unlikely that SATA 6G will show up on the first generation of P55 boards, leaving AMD and nVidia to pull into a clear lead in I/O benchmarks during 2009 – according to the information we have, both companies will launch chipsets with native support for SATA 6Gbps, no 3rd party controller needed.
It looks like Intel really messed up with their decision of not implementing native SATA 6Gbps support, leaving motherboard vendors ringing up doors at Marvell, SiliconImage and others.