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North Bridge, south bridge?

Last response: in Motherboards
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April 3, 2011 9:09:55 AM

North bride vs south bridge. What do those do? Like are they important? Does a certain CPU or Graphics card depend on what type of north bridge or south bridge your motherboard has? Thank You

a c 107 V Motherboard
a b U Graphics card
a b à CPUs
April 3, 2011 9:53:17 AM

Mainboards used to have two main chips on them -- the North bridge and South bridge (named for their relative locations on the board). The North bridge connected the CPU, RAM, and graphics together and connected them to the South bridge. The South bridge controlled the drives, audio, and the rest of the system.

The chipset doesn't matter as much nowadays, as most of them have the same basic features. Some are better for overclocking though.

You can use any modern video card with any modern chipset.
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April 3, 2011 7:15:40 PM

I must emphatically disagree and I think Tom would too!

The chipset is the most important part of any PC. The chipset determines every feature that your PC can have!

I am an AMD fan, and thefore the chipset to have in an AMD system today is the 890FX. It incorporates an new IOMMU.

This now allows the chipset grant access to add-in cards mapped areas of main system memory. Before the 890FX, ever since AMD moved the MMU (Memory Management Unit) out of the Northbridge and onto the CPU Die, only the CPU had access to memory.

This Toms article about the 890GX

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-890gx-radeon,25...

The G means it supports graphics on the motherboard. Otherwise it is the same as FX.

The 800 series chipset from AMD took the PCI-Express channels from 24 to 42. Back at the end of February of 2010. Leaving Intel out of breath at 24 lanes for more than a year, until the Sandy bridge release, 2 lanes less just a few weeks ago... AND with big problems.

Every bit of data goes through the North bridge. So I think the chip set is very important.
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a c 216 V Motherboard
a c 540 U Graphics card
a c 107 à CPUs
April 3, 2011 7:30:19 PM

North bridge and south bridge refer to the two support chips that make up the core logic chipset on a motherboard.

The function of the north bridge is to handle communication between the CPU chip itself and with the memory bus and graphics bus (PCIe x16 & x8) controllers.

The function of the south bridge is to handle communication between the north bridge and the peripheral buses (e.g. APM/ACPI (power management), PCI/PCIe x1 Bus, AC97/HDA (audio), SATA/USB/LAN ports, other devices).

Yes these chips are important. Without them the CPU is useless because it is unable to communicate with the motherboard and its attached components.

AMD was the first to integrate the functions of the north bridge chip onto the CPU die, therefore, removing the need for a separate chip to perform those functions.

For the current Intel desktop architecture platforms the Intel X58 Express Chipset is the only one that still has a remnant of the north bridge in the X58 IOH (Input/Output Hub) that handles up to 36 lanes of the PCI Express 2.0 Graphics bus. The memory controller bus function was moved onto the CPU die itself. The Input/Output Controller Hub ICH10/ICH10R is the south bridge.

For the Sandy Bridge platform the functions of both the memory bus controller and the graphics bus controller have all been integrated onto the Sandy Bridge CPU die so there is no separate north bridge chip required anymore. The south bridge chip still exists as the H67 or P67 or Z68 chipset.

CPU support on the motherboard depends on the chipset installed.

The type of graphics card configuration you want to use is also dependent on the chipset installed on the motherboard. A CrossFire or SLI configuration will factor into the choice of chipset. A single graphics card should work with any chipset.
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April 3, 2011 8:04:23 PM

So as of today, what chipset should the motherboards have? THe motherboard I need to get, needs to have a AM3 socket for my CPU. The CPU i am getting is an AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition; and the video card i am getting is the ATI Radeon HD 4670, 1GB DDR3 and 128bit interphase.

I am wondering, is this motherboard capable of handling my CPU and are the north and south bridge chipset decent?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thank You.
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a c 107 V Motherboard
a b U Graphics card
a b à CPUs
April 3, 2011 8:43:29 PM

Just to be clear, I didn't say they weren't important ... I said they weren't as important as they were at one time. Before, they determined a lot more than just what CPU you can use. Now, comparing the most modern chipsets, they all have about the same features. So it's just a matter of determining what CPU you want, and then choosing a compatible chipset.

QQCCA3:
Yes, that can handle the CPU you want. The 870 chipset is getting a bit long in the tooth, so the 880 or 890 chipsets would be better but also more expensive.
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a c 216 V Motherboard
a c 540 U Graphics card
a c 107 à CPUs
April 3, 2011 8:52:59 PM

QQCCA3 said:
So as of today, what chipset should the motherboards have? THe motherboard I need to get, needs to have a AM3 socket for my CPU. The CPU i am getting is an AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition; and the video card i am getting is the ATI Radeon HD 4670, 1GB DDR3 and 128bit interphase.

I am wondering, is this motherboard capable of handling my CPU and are the north and south bridge chipset decent?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thank You.

If you're only planning on using a single graphics card for the life of this system and has all of the features that you want then the MSI 870S-G46 will work fine.

The MSI 870S-G46 has supported the Phenom II X6, Thuban, HDT90ZFBK6DGR, 1090T since the motherboard was first released.

The AMD 880 and 890 series chipsets are more advanced.
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April 16, 2011 5:52:23 PM

Best answer selected by QQCCA3.
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