2022_03_08 Chipsets


Let’s talk about chipsets

For most people used to qualifying computers by the processor, the chipset seems either something cryptic or unimportant. Both assumptions are untrue.

A chipset is a collection of electronic components, usually combined into a single integrated circuit that provides the integration and communication between a central processing unit and peripheral devices. Processors communicate directly with RAM and GPUs but are not capable of working directly with other peripherals.

This means that a PC simply cannot function without a chipset, regardless of the processing power and capabilities of its processor.

Chipsets are manufactured by Intel and AMD for their processors. Each processor can only work with certain chipsets. Conversely, the chipset determines the functionality, the type of processor that can be mated to it, the amount of memory and its frequency, the amount and speed of additional hardware in the optional PCI-e slots, the number and size of certain buses, etc. This means that the chipset is the most important part of the PC which determines its performance and stability.

In the table below you can find the compatibility of Intel processors with modern chipsets for your reference.

Each chipset has a specific set of features. Detailed information on the chipsets can be found here.

However, basic information on the chipset series can be found in the table below:

Chipset series Description
Low-cost user segment with no overclocking options and a minimum number of PCI-e lanes
Medium user segment without CPU overclocking capability, but with RAM overclocking capability. The maximum number of PCI-e lines is higher than in the Hx10.
Above average user segment without CPU overclocking capability, but with memory overclocking capability. Maximum number of PCI-e lanes higher than B-chipsets
Servers and workstations without overclocking options
Servers and workstations segment with overclocking options for processor and RAM
Maximum user segment with overclockable CPU and RAM, with as many PCI-e lanes as possible.

Next time we’ll talk about Intel’s microprocessor families and what’s behind the mystery lakes (e.g. Coffee Lake, Kaby Lake, etc.).

We’ll bring you more information soon. Take care.


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