Living on the motherboard (opens in new tab), a PC's chipset controls the communication between the CPU, RAM (opens in new tab), storage and other peripherals. The chipset determines how many high-speed components or USB devices your best motherboard can support. Chipsets are usually comprised of one to four chips and feature controllers for commonly used peripherals, like the your keyboard (opens in new tab), mouse (opens in new tab) or monitor (opens in new tab).
PC chipsets are designed by Intel and AMD but are found on motherboards from a variety of third-party vendors, such as MSI, Asus and ASRock. Different chipsets support different CPUs, so when you're buying a CPU (opens in new tab), you have to consider that your processor will only work with motherboards using a specific chipset (and CPU socket (opens in new tab)).
It’s important to note that while a chipset may allow for a certain feature (like support for up to 10 USB ports), your specific motherboard may not support that feature (many motherboards only come equipped for four to eight USB ports). If your motherboard doesn’t support a certain chipset feature, that feature will not work with your PC.
Intel and AMD Chipsets
|CPU Brand||Chipset Name||CPU||Market|
|Intel||Z690||12th Gen Alder Lake||Enthusiast|
|Intel||H670||12th Gen Alder Lake||Mainstream|
|Intel||B660||12th Gen Alder Lake||Mainstream|
|Intel||H610||12th Gen Alder Lake||Budget|
|Intel||Z590||11th Gen Rocket Lake||Enthusiast|
|Intel||H570||11th Gen Rocket Lake||Mainstream|
|Intel||B560||11th Gen Rocket Lake||Mainstream|
|Intel||H510||11th Gen Rocket Lake||Budget|
|Intel||Z490||10th Gen Comet Lake||Enthusiast|
|Intel||H470||10th Gen Comet Lake||Enthusiast|
|Intel||H410||10th Gen Comet Lake||Mainstream|
|Intel||B460||10th Gen Comet Lake||Budget|
|Intel||Z390||9th Gen Coffee Lake||Enthusiast|
|Intel||Z370||9th Gen Coffee Lake||Enthusiast|
|Intel||H370||9th Gen Coffee Lake||Mainstream|
|Intel||B365||9th Gen Coffee Lake||Budget|
|Intel||B360||9th Gen Coffee Lake||Budget|
|AMD||TRX40||Ryzen 3000 Threadripper||High-end desktop (HEDT)|
|AMD||A520||Ryzen 3000 and Athlon processors||Budget|
|AMD||X470||AMD 2nd Gen Ryzen||Enthusiast|
|AMD||X399||Threadripper 2000 and 1000||High-end desktop (HEDT)|
|AMD||B450||2nd Gen Ryzen||Mainstream|
|AMD||X300||1st Gen Ryzen||Enthusiast small form factor|
|AMD||A300||1st Gen Ryzen||Mainstream small form factor|
This article is part of the Tom's Hardware Glossary (opens in new tab).
- Dissecting the Modern Motherboard: Connectors, Ports & Chipsets Explained (opens in new tab)
- How to Choose a Motherboard (opens in new tab)
- Best Motherboards (opens in new tab)