KarbosGuide.com. Module 2d.01

On chip sets

Module 2d describes what chip sets are, and how they function on the motherboards. This module is subdivided into the following pages:

What is a chip set?
The first chip sets for the Pentium boards
Non-Intel chip sets (mostly for Super 7 boards)
Chip sets for Intel P6 processors
More chip sets for Intel P6 processors
Intel's i810 "Whitney"
Intel's i820 "Camino"
Intel's i815 "Solano"
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    What is a chip set?

    The chip set is very important to the modern PC and its performance. Many technologies meet on the motherboard and are "glued" together via these controllers, which we call the "chip set".

    When we speak about buses and motherboards, we are also speaking about chip sets. The chip sets are a bunch of intelligent controller chips, which are on any motherboard.

    The controllers are closely tied to the CPU, in that they control the buses around the CPU. Without the chip sets, neither RAM nor I/O buses could function together with the CPU:

    New technologies - new chip set

    Therefore, the chip sets are quite central components on the motherboards. When new technological features are introduced (and this happens continuously) they are often accompanied by new chip sets. The new chip sets often enable:

  • Higher speed on one or more buses
  • Utilization of new facilities (new RAM types, new buses, improved EIDE, etc.)

    The vendors

    There are several suppliers of chip sets for the motherboard:

  • Intel
  • SIS
  • Opti
  • Via
  • ALi

    Intel has hitherto been the leader in supplying chip sets to the Pentium motherboard. Therefore, let us just mention their chip sets, which have astronomical names.

    The Neptune chip set (82434NX) was introduced in June 1994. It replaced the Mercury set (82434LX). In both chip sets, there were problems with the PCI bus. In January 1995 Intel introduced the first Triton, where everything worked. This chip set supports some new features: it supports EDO RAM, and it offers bus master integrated EIDE control and NSP (Native Signal Processing - one of the many new creations, which was soon forgotten).

    However, the following chip sets were of much higher quality, and within very few years they lead to several new generations of chip sets, each of them more powerful and offering great new features.

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    Learn more

    If you want to read more about these and other chip sets, look for the excellent web site Toms Hardware Guide. Here, you will find all about these subjects.

    Read more about RAM in module 2e

    Read about the Pentium in module 3c

    Read about the Pentium II's etc. in module 3e

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