One could write for hours about the relative merits of various current
chipsets, not even to mention very fine chipsets of the recent past.
Look in TomsHardware.com or Anandtech.com or Motherboards.org for some
Chipsets control a lot of what goes on in a motherboard, and how. Some
chipsets have been designed for specific forms of memory (RAM) and
others to allow the use of more than one type (e.g., Rambus, SDRAM, DDR
RAM) and differing speeds of the PC bus. Specifically right now Intel
and nVidia (nForce) and SiS all make dual-channel memory architecture
chipsets for the Intel CPU line, and VIA and SiS make great chipsets for
the Athlon line. Maybe nVidia too (don't know) for the Athlon CPU
Are nForce, VIA etc. ancillary chipsets that work with the CPU or are they
third parties modifying the design and/or manufacturing the CPU itself? Some
of the MB manufacturer's list the alternate chipset model (i.e nForce) to
replace the CPU model (i.e 845PE)?
Not to get of topic here, but are there other credible CPU bench mark tests
for CPUs in addition to Toms hardware?
The ancillary chipsets are all the additional circuitry that your CPU
needs to function. Not to get into microprocessor design, but a PC
needs quite a bit of "glue" logic to be able to do things like talk to
peripherals, memory, video cards, etc. The chipsets provide this glue
logic. Once upon a time it was all done discretely with TTL logic.
Compare a IBM PC-XT motherboard and a modern motherboard. There are
hundreds more chips on an XT motherboard which has significantly less
capability than a modern mobo.
"Edge" wrote in
news:hsf0b.104664$ firstname.lastname@example.org: *wistful sigh* I remember the good ol' days when the only spec you based
your motherboard purchase on was CPU support (and maybe # of RAM slots).
Now, the list of considerations has grown quite long and complicated.
But then again, this is what enthusiasts crave--more options.