What Is A Computer Chipset?: Traffic Controller

Do you want to know more about the computer chipset and its internal work on the computer? Welcome, this article on what a computer chipset is what you need.

Learning is an everyday process, and you will learn a lot in this article about what is a computer chipset. You will also know the difference between a computer motherboard and a chipset and how the two work together.

Also, you will know what a chipset does to a motherboard and its advantage.

In addition, you will know how to identify a chipset on your personal computer. More so, We will also find out why a computer chipset matters.

Furthermore, how the chipset works on the computer and the benefits, you will also get to know the pros and cons, the features of getting a computer system with a good chipset.

Lastly, you will see the frequently asked question on computer chipsets and how to update them when they are not up to date.

What Is A Computer Chipset: Overview

What Is A Computer Chipset_ Overview

Most people often interchange the term computer chipset with the motherboard, but they are not the same.

A chipset is an electronic component in an integrated circuit that controls the data flow between the motherboard and other components in the computer.

It is also the traffic controller between computer peripherals.

Also, the chipset is a communication channel between the processor and external devices. Therefore, it determines the computer system performance.

Furthermore, a set of specialized chips on the motherboard determines compatibility between the other components. The chipset sends or receives information from the motherboard to your memory card.

In addition, if the chipset cannot communicate with the processors or memory cards, then you will not be able to receive or send information to the motherboard.


A chipset comprises one to four chips and feature controllers for commonly used peripherals.

Although the CPU has completely absorbed some chipset functions, other components help bridge personal communication for more efficient and smaller chipsets.

Finally, experts call it the glue of the motherboard because it is the Data Flow Management System of the computer.

In addition, the chipset has a northbridge and a southbridge.

Parts of the Chipset

  • Northbridge: Handles high-speed devices. For example, PCI-e video devices.
  • Southbridge: Handles low-speed devices like drive components, peripherals, and audio.
  • Memory Controller: it is a sandy/ivy bridge line and handles dual, triple, or quad-channel memory.
  • Other parts include the circuit board functionality and the circuit mechanisms.

Chipset as part of a CPU

A chipset serves as a connector between the central processing unit (CPU) and external devices. It is on the motherboard and is in charge of communication between all components.
While the CPU is the processing unit and the computer processor, it is also in charge of all the calculations in the computer system.
Also, the chipsets connect the CPU to all other computer system components. It also dictates which CPUs the motherboard can support.

Chipsets Vs. Motherboard

All chipsets are on the motherboard of a computer system and are from third-party vendors like MSI, Asus, and ASRock. Different chipsets support different CPUs, so when you want to buy a CPU, consider your processor works with motherboards using a specific chipset.

Furthermore, the features that your motherboard does not approve of will not work on your personal computer.

On the other hand, the motherboard is a PC’s chipset that controls the communication between the CPU, RAM, storage, and other peripherals. The chipset determines how many high-speed components or USB devices your best motherboard can support.

In recent times, modern chipsets are in the center of the motherboard. It allows communication with other components through the centralized location in the motherboard.

What Is A Computer Chipset: How It works

The CPU is above the Northbridge and has a direct connection to it. At the lefthand sides of the northbridge are the PCI-e and the memo northbridge.

Also, the northbridge has a direct connection to the southbridge and the BIOS/firmware. At the lefthand side of the southbridge is the SATA/IDE and USB/Peripheral, and at the right-hand side is the PCI, legacy, and audio.

Furthermore, the southbridge is connected to the CPU using the memory controller hub. Also, it links the I/O signal directly to the CPU.

Lastly, the chipset drivers support the US, Core PCI, and others while delivering several specific functionalities.

Easy to follow the analogy of the chipsets.

The chipsets on the motherboard serve as the spinal cord. In addition, it controls devices that communicate with the outside world.

Furthermore, the CPU is the brain of the computer system and needs the chipset to be fully functional.

Finally, as the I/O goes to and fro, the chipsets channel it, relay, and receive information for them to other vital organs. The other vital organs are video cards, audio, USB, peripherals, disk drivers, and so on.

How are Chipsets made?

A chipset is made from purified silicon; start by melting it, then allow it to cool to form an ingot. Then, they slice it into discs called wafers.
Afterwhich, you grid a formation on the wafer surface in a fabrication facility or “fab”.

Compatibility of Motherboard and the Chipset

To take advantage of another interface and swamp the socket out, you require motherboard replacement on your system to a more compatible one.
Even though the socket matches your CPU, that does not mean the motherboard will be compatible with it.
Therefore, the chipset comes in at this point to play its role and bridge their communication.

How to identify a computer chip on your Computers

The chipset name comes at the end of the motherboard name. If the name of your motherboard, for instance, is KAA 1st Chim Denz X600, then the X600 is the chipset.

To identify a chipset, also use your Device Manager

  • Type “Device Manager” in the search bar in your start menu.
  • Select “to expand “System Devices.”
  • Identity any of the following brand names ALI, AMD, Intel, VIA, or SIS
  • The letter and number combo should include in the chipset or motherboard listing.

How to update the Intel chipset drivers for your windows

Download the latest Intel chipset driver on your Windows PC, following the direction and explanation without any problem. Chipset update is crucial for your chipset to give your system a good performance.
Therefore, you should update your chipset drivers for your windows and help improve their performance.
The following step is for the chipset update: There are three ways to update your Intel Chipset Driver on Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, and 8.1.

FIRST METHOD: Update the driver through the Device Manager.

It is a manual method that updates the Intel Chipset Driver on windows.
– Press Windows +X to locate your device manager and select it.
– Expand your Device Manager by double-clicking on the System device.
– Look for the Intel Chipset driver and right-click on Update driver.
– Finally, click on search automatically for drivers from the new window.
– After waiting as the windows search for available driver updates. If any, it will automatically download and install it before restarting your PC.

METHOD 2: Update it Using the Intel Website

– Visit the intel website and click on the Download Center button.
– Select Chipsets from the list of options, put your specification and click on download.
– Wait for the file to download and double-click on the setup file. Finally, follow the guide that displays on the screen to install the update
– After you have completed the process, restart your PC.
NOTE: the above two methods are manual and time-consuming. It is only the third method that is automatic.


The third method is the most effective way to update your computers’ Intel Chipset drivers. Also, it is beneficial and comes with no risk.
– Download and Install Advanced Driver Updater.
– Click on the start can to run the tool.
– Allow the scanning to complete and check the scan results.
Click on Update All to update all other drivers that are not on your computer system.

What Is A Computer Chipset: Features/Factors To Consider

Features Of A Computer Chipset



The chipset is the glue that connects the microprocessor to other peripherals on the motherboard and computer system.

In addition, PC consists of two parts: the northbridge and the southbridge. All of the components of the computer communicate first with the northbridge of the chipset.


The northbridge uses the front side bus knowns as FSB for short to connect to the motherboard.

Also, the memory controller is on the northbridge and allows the central processing unit (CPU) quick access to the memory anytime. The AGP or PCI Express bus and the memory always connect to the northbridge chipset.


The southbridge is at the bottom of the motherboard. It handles lower-performing components that are close to it at the bottom level.

Also, it is responsible for the communication on the PCI bus slots and card expansion, SATA, and IDE connectors to the hard drives.

Furthermore, the southbridge is accessible for all these peripherals to communicate or talk to the CPU. These components will first connect to the southbridge before going to the northbridge and back to the CPU.

Feature compatibility between the motherboard and the computer chipset

Your specific motherboard may not support all the features that the chipset approves. For instance, if your chipset supports 9-10 USB ports, your motherboard will not accept it.

The reason is that a motherboard has a limit maximum of 4-8 USB ports. Therefore, it is not all the chipsets features that the motherboard supports. Also, Intel and AMD are the producers of Pc chipsets.

Motherboard selection

Having a chipset with a good performance depends on the kind of system you buy and the motherboard it possesses.

Also, the pin configuration determines the motherboard you choose. Most sockets can support multiple processor generations.

Example current LGA 1151 socket for intel may support 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th generation CPUs. But you will replace the motherboard if you want to swamp from one socket to the other.

Here are other things to consider as you buy a computer with a good chipset

Some maintenance that will improve your Chipset performance

  • Check the number of PCIe slots on the motherboard before purchasing it.
  • Do not push down on a CPU when inserting a socket.
  • Make sure you remove the old heat plate and clean it before applying a new one.
  • Multiple chipsets are available per socket; therefore, never throw away the plastic CPU socket cover. When you RMA the motherboard, you will need it.
  • Even if you want to swamp the socket out, you must replace a compatible motherboard. When the socket matches your CPU, It’s not so with the motherboard, except the chipset bridges the gap.

Other features to consider are:

  • CMOS battery
  • Flash memory
  • Non-Volatile BIOS memory

What Is A Computer Chipset: Pros And Cons

Pros And Cons Of A Computer Chipset


  • It determines the compatible input-output devices.
  • Therefore, it also determines system performance.
  • Additionally, it determines the room for expansion cards
  • Also, it makes room for expansion cards.
  • Even so, it determines which input-output devices are compatible.
  • In addition, it creates overclocking ability to boost performance.
  • Furthermore, it controls communication between external devices and the processor.
  • More so, it determines the overclocking ability to boost performance.
  • Lastly, chipsets designs enable it to work on a few families of microprocessors.


  • The chipset and motherboard are incompatible with the CPU. As a result, the system will fail.
  • A chipset and device drivers can be compatible when an operating system is newly installed, but installing subsequent software outdates it.
  • Also, outdated device drivers cause a lack of features and compatibility issues and reduce device performance.

What Is A Computer Chipset: My Recommendations

Recommendations 5 Picks Of A Computer Chipset
ProductCPU SocketMemory Clock SpeedChipset TypeCompatible device/ ProcessorMain Power Connector
MACHINIST X99 LGA 2011-V3 Motherboard, Intel 5th/6th GenLGA 2011 V3 Socket3600 MHzIntel X99Personal Computer/ Intel_xeon

X99 LGA2011-3 DDR4 Computer Desktop Motherboard Mainboard for Intel x99 Chipset for Intel I7 E5LGA 20112400 MHz

Intel X99Personal Computer/ 8-pin

MACHINIST LGA 1155 Motherboard, B75 Micro ATX Computer Motherboard for Desktop PCLGA 1155

N/AIntel B75 Express

Personal Computer/ Intel Pentium

24 + 4 pin

Tosuny Desktop Computer Motherboard LGA 1155 USB3.0 SATA Mainboard for Intel B75LGA 11551333 MHz

Intel B75 Express

Personal Computer/


LGA 775 Motherboard, Integrated 6 Channels, DDR3 1066/1333MHz for G41 Chipset Desktop ComputerLGA 775

1333 MHzIntel G41Personal Computer


Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
1. What differentiates the chipsets and processors?

The processor does calculations while a chipset connects and communicates to all the computer components.

2. How are chipsets made?

It is made from purified silicon.

3. What is an Intel chipset?

It helps buses and electronics interact with CPU, RAM, and I/O devices.

4. Is the chipset part of a CPU?

It also dictates which CPUs the motherboard can support.

5. Can CPU and motherboard match?

Yes. The chipset bridges the gap.

6. Does a chipset matter to your computer?

Yes, a chipset matters to your motherboard and computer. It decides compatibility on computer systems.

7. What is a chipset example?

They are ALi, AMD, Intel, NVidia, Sis, VIA, the CPU, USB hardware, PCI, or ISA.

8. How do I know what chipset I have?

From your computer and device manager.

9. What is the chipset’s value?

It dictates the processors and other modern devices or technologies that will be compatible with it.

10. What makes chips important to a computer?

It does the active running of code and manipulates data. Also, the components chips play a more passive role like storing data.

What Is A Computer Chipset: My Final Thoughts

In this article, we have an overview of the chipset. First, we discussed what it is and the architecture. We then talked about northbridge and southbridge.

To conclude, a chipset acts like a motherboard’s translator and traffic controller and determines the compatibility of the peripheral devices.

It also governs the future expansion potential and overclocking possibility. Communication between computer parts would be impossible without the chipset, receiving and sending information.

Simply put, a chipset gathers different motherboard technology and interconnects them for speedy communication between central devices.

It does the active running of code and manipulates data. Also, the components chips play a more passive role like storing data.

With all these benefits of a chipset in a computer, strive to get a computer with a good chipset.

Therefore, a motherboard with the right chipset is overwhelming.

I hope you got all the information you need to make your shopping situation easy.

Now I want to know if you found this PowerVersity guide helpful?

If it is helpful, kindly share your thoughts with the “Leave a Reply” form found towards the end of this page.

Finally, you may want to read other articles like this; visit our below pages.

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Ukie Patricia Uzoma
Ukie Patricia Uzoma is a graduate of Computer Science. She is from Ebonyi State. She is a technical writer with PowerVersity. Patricia is an easygoing lady who loves to sing, research, and cook.


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