What do modern computer chipsets look like?
Chipset - A set of microcircuits designed for the joint
So, in computers, a chipset located onmotherboard, performs the function of a connecting component (bridge) that ensures the interaction of the central processing unit (CPU) with various types of memory, input-output devices, controllers and PU adapters, both directly through itself (and having some of them in its composition), and via other controllers and adapters, using a multilevel bus system.
Since the CPU usually cannotinteract with them directly. The chipset determines the functionality of the motherboard. It includes the processor bus interface and ultimately determines the type and speed of the processor used.
Determines in many ways the type, size, speed and type of supported memory, operating frequencies of various buses, their bit width and type, support for expansion cards, their number and type, etc.
So this chipset belongs tonumber of the most important components of the system, largely determining its performance, expandability, stability of operation under various settings and conditions, upgradability, scope of application, etc.
Essentially the core of the platform / motherboard, chipsets are found in other devices, such as cell phones and networked media players.
The chipset of motherboards of modern computers consists of two main microcircuits (sometimes combined into one chip, the so-called. system controller hub:
- memory controller hub - provides interaction between the CPU and memory.Connects to the CPU with a high speed bus (FSB, HyperTransport, or QPI). In modern CPUs (eg Opteron, Itanium, Nehalem, UltraSPARC T1), the memory controller can be integrated directly into the CPU. The MCH of some chipsets may have a graphics processor integrated;
- I / O controller hub - Provides communication between CPU and hard disk, PCI cards, low-speed PCI Express interfaces, IDE, SATA, USB, etc.
Sometimes the chipset includes a Super I / O microcircuit, which is connected to the south bridge via the Low Pin Count bus and is responsible for low-speed ports: RS232, LPT, PS / 2.
There are also chipsets that differ markedly fromtraditional scheme. For example, processors for the LGA 1156 socket have the functionality of the north bridge (connection to the video card and memory) fully integrated into the processor itself, and therefore the chipset for the LGA 1156 consists of one south bridge connected to the processor via the DMI bus.
Creation of a full-fledged computing system forpersonal and home computers based on such a small number of microcircuits (chipset and microprocessor) is a consequence of the development of microelectronics technological processes developing according to Moore's law.
Chipsets for modern x86 processors
In creating chipsets that supportnew processors, processors manufacturers are primarily interested. Therefore, leading processor manufacturers (Intel and AMD) release trial kits specifically for motherboard manufacturers.
After running in, new ones are released on such chipsets.series of motherboards, and licenses are issued to various manufacturers and, sometimes, subcontractors of the motherboard manufacturers as they move to the market.
List of major chipset manufacturers for x86 architecture:
- ATI / AMD. After the purchase of ATi by AMD corporation in 2006, it became a part of it as a graphics division AMD Graphics Products Group.
For systems using ARM processors, alsochipsets were created and are being created. And if the first samples were generally similar to their modern IBM PC chipsets, then modern ones (such as Qualcomm Snapdragon and Texas Instruments DaVinci), due to the focus on mobile devices, noticeably differ both in structure and in technical features.
The marking of the chipset with a letter in front of the number means the power of the chipset within one line.
X - maximum performance for gaming computers
P - high performance for powerful mainstream computers
G - for a regular home or office computer
B, Q - for business. The characteristics are the same as "G", but they have additional functions, such as remote maintenance and access monitoring for administrators of large offices and enterprises.
The first thing that attracts attention isno north bridge. This chipset works with Intel Core series processors with integrated graphics core (Processor Graphics). For a home computer, the built-in kernel will be enough for working with documents and watching videos.
However, if high performance is required, for example, when installing modern games, then the chipset supports the installation of multiple video cards in the PCI Express 3 slot.
Moreover, when installing 1 video card, it will beuse 16 lines, two - each with 8 lines, or one 8, the other 4, and the remaining 4 lines will be used to work with devices using Thunderbolt technology.
The weakest in terms of performance are those models with only numbers in the name:
The letters G or V in the model name indicate the presence of an integrated video card in the chipset.
X or GX - support for two separate (discrete) video cards, but not at full capacity (8 lines each).
FX are the most powerful chipsets that fully support multiple graphics cards.
The bus that connects the processor and chipset at AMD is called Hyper Transport (HT).
How to choose a chipset?
- Number of Cores
There is a misconception that the more cores the better, but this is not the case.
Recall that we are talking about one of the parts of the system on a chip, namely, the central processing unit (CPU). The CPU is responsible for general management of the chipset and applications from 3 parties.
It is worth remembering the rule that limiting growthperformance is due to the increase in the number of computers. Gene Amdahl formulated the law in 1967. Therefore, more cores - more power consumption.
Sometimes, due to the large number of cores, it is impossible to place something else. the physical size of the chipset is limited.
- Clock frequency
Also important is the clock frequency of the centralprocessor. Now the maximum frequency of flagships reaches 2.45 GHz and is needed for short-term high loads (for example, when processing 4K30 video, when transferring data over the LTE network at speeds up to 1 Gbps) or for benchmarking tasks.
- Which manufacturers should you pay attention to?
A selection of the most productive chips
- AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT
AMD started Radeon RX 6900 XT sales 8 December2020 priced at $ 999. This is Navi / RDNA2 architecture desktop card based on 7 nm manufacturing process and primarily aimed at gamers. 16 GB of GDDR6 memory clocked at 16 GHz are supplied, and together with 256 Bit memory interface this creates a bandwidth of 512.0 GB / s.
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090
NVIDIA started GeForce RTX 3090 24 salesSeptember 2020 priced at $ 1,499. This is Ampere architecture desktop card based on 8 nm manufacturing process and primarily aimed at gamers. 24 GB of GDDR6X memory clocked at 19.5 GHz are supplied, and together with 384 Bit memory interface this creates a bandwidth of 936.2 GB / s.
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080
NVIDIA started GeForce RTX 3080 16 salesSeptember 2020 at a price of $ 699. This is Ampere architecture desktop card based on 8 nm manufacturing process and primarily aimed at gamers. 10 GB of GDDR6X memory clocked at 19 GHz are supplied, and together with 320 Bit memory interface this creates a bandwidth of 760.3 GB / s.
- AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT
AMD started Radeon RX 6800 XT sales 18 November2020 priced at $ 649. This is Navi / RDNA2 architecture desktop card based on 7 nm manufacturing process and primarily aimed at gamers. 16 GB of GDDR6 memory clocked at 16 GHz are supplied, and together with 256 Bit memory interface this creates a bandwidth of 512.0 GB / s.
- NVIDIA RTX A6000
NVIDIA started RTX A6000 sales October 5, 2020price of $ 4,649. This is Ampere architecture desktop card based on 8 nm manufacturing process and primarily aimed at gamers. 48 GB of GDDR6 memory clocked at 16 GB / s are installed on it, and together with 384-bit memory interface this creates a bandwidth of 768.0 GB / s.
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