Marvell’s faulty 88SE9123 (SATA 6G) controller

Marvell’s new 88SE9123 SATA 6G controller is apparently responsible for a number of motherboard manufacturers having to re-engineer and re-produce their upcoming Intel P55-based boards:

I’ve now added Marvell to my list of manufacturers to avoid for storage. The list is now Silicon Image (31xx series only), JMicron (a.k.a. “GIGABYTE2” on Gigabyte boards), and Marvell. Keep ’em coming, and keep laying off your QA staff! *sigh*

Regarding the Asus P55 series, so far I’ve seen *three* separate photos of an Asus P7P55D board, and all are completely different SATA-connector-wise:

  • Board #1 — Intel connectors are red AND light blue, Marvell are white
  • Board #2 — Intel connectors are light blue, Marvell are white
  • Board #3 — Intel connectors are light blue, and I have no idea what’s on the brown SATA connector (7th SATA port)

Regarding a Gigabyte board (not sure what model): they planned on using two Marvell 88SE9123 controllers (each controller offers 2x SATA 6G ports), so in the PC Perspective photo of a Gigabyte board, the Intel P55 PCH SATA ports are light blue and the Marvell SATA ports are white.

I don’t know what MSI’s board looks like, so I don’t know what to tell people to avoid there.

Stick with the Intel P55 PCH SATA ports if you have one of these boards, and also disable the Marvell controller in the BIOS if possible. Take no chances.

2009/10/30 edit: Isn’t it funny how review sites don’t bother mentioning the problem? “Oops”.