Chipsets - What's the deal?

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Chipsets - What's the deal?

Postby PDM » Sat Sep 23, 2006 3:52 am

I built my current PC a couple of years ago. It was my first build. I did a fair amt. of research prior, but one thing confused me then and does to this day. I see that there are quite a variety of chipsets available. My assumption is that the chipset is the engine of the MB. How does a newcomer know which chipset is best for his application? Are there some chipsets that are recognized as the best in the industry? Are some chipsets better for gaming? Just a couple of questions that will help me for my next build.
Thanks.
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Postby Karlsweldt » Sat Sep 23, 2006 8:02 am

All chipsets are not created equal. Some may have more features than others, such as on-board video or SATA controllers. Or SCSI controllers. The chipset is truly the heart of the PC, and the CPU is the 'brain'.
Newer chipset features do arise more than once weekly, but may take several months to be gotten into the stream of production. Chipsets cannot be updated, as they are surface-soldered to the mobo.. and are interleaved with other features. The BIOS does have some control over chipset features, and may be the only alternative to replacing the mobo so as to have the latest technological grounds to perform on.

Basically, the Northbridge chipset (closest to the CPU) will do all of the routing and memory/video controlling. The Southbridge chipset will do all of the interfacing with ports and peripherals.
You can get a brief explanation from http://en.wikipedia.org/ but you will have to copy in the [ Northbridge(computing) ] to the sub-search bar. Then there will be a link on the right-hand page for Northbridge.
Here is a basic flow-chart for a mobo..
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Postby Bridget » Fri Feb 16, 2007 12:37 pm

I've had a problem with my VIA AGP chipset as well and have been trying to research info about it all over the web. It appears now that since I can't update the chipset - either a new computer or new motherboard is inorder. Any recommendations or guidelines for what to look for if I'm gaming? thx.
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Postby Karlsweldt » Mon Apr 16, 2007 7:28 am

The newest group of chipsets work around the PCI-E design, for better graphics speed. With that setup, you can twin or parallel video cards for the best performance. There will still be one video out source for single monitor use, but you could attach a second monitor. Basically, the two graphics engines halve the workload to each, providing much faster rendering.
With the video card itself, many models have a flash BIOS feature similar to motherboards. You may be able to upgrade the video performance slightly.
And the newer SATA hard drive design provides faster data flow.

If you intend to use the system mainly for gaming, you would want a premium grade memory, rated higher than the standard type. Your choice as to AMD or Intel platforms. A good-quality video setup with minimum 256 Mb should give pleasant results. For sound setups, most on-board audio is as good as the add-on cards. The speakers are the most important for pleasant sound. A 5.1 or 7.1 sound scheme would provide the most pleasure, but a 4-speaker (surround) setup will still do nicely.

Of course, if you upgrade any system, that means a complete reinstall of the OS and all programming. Only if the chipsets are identical, do you stand any chance of a successful migration.
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