Intel announced it will shortly start shipping P55 chipsets with the new B3 stepping:
The B2 to B3 steppings of the Intel P55 are identical in fit, form, electrical, mechanical, and thermal specifications. Thus, mainboard makers may simply start placing the new B3 version onto existing designs. Still, Intel recommends customers to perform their standard validation testing on the new stepping. Samples have been available starting from the 2nd of October, 2009, the initial commercial shipments of Intel P55 B3 will begin on the 7th of December, 2009. Customers should be ready to receive a combination of both B2 and B3 stepping chipset by the 5th of February, 2010.
Intel P55 B3 chipset will undergo the following changes, according to Intel:
* New MM number and S-spec numbers for the converted products;
* Firmware and minor BIOS updates are required with the conversion;
* Processor MRC/microcode update required to enable future processors;
* Recommended storage driver upgrade from Intel MSM 8.9 to Intel RST 9.5.