PC Hardware

Chip Sets

A motherboard comes with a variety of support chips soldered in place. The primary elements constitute the chip set and are designed to work with the CPU. These chips are highly complex and coordinated ICs that help the CPU manage and control the computer's system. When replacing a CPU, you must make sure that it is compatible with the chip set and supported by the motherboard. If not, the computer won't work. A basic chip set (see Figure 6.2) consists of a:

  • Bus controller.

  • Memory controller.

  • Data and address buffer.

  • Peripheral controller.

Figure 6.2 Motherboard with chip set

On a more modern motherboard, you will find chips to control things such as cache memory and high-speed buses. You will also find boards with fewer individual chips because the manufacturer has incorporated several functions into one chip.

Keep in mind that there is a wide range of features and costs to choose from when you select a motherboard. You will need to keep up to date on the types of processors, memory design, CPUs, and expansion slots available in order to recommend and obtain the right product for your customers.

Lesson Summary

The following points summarize the main elements of this lesson:

  • Motherboards come in many sizes and shapes, but generic boards are available that fit most clone computers.

  • The motherboard determines the limits of the computer's capabilities.

  • Chip sets are unique to each motherboard design and work with the CPU to manage and control the computer's system.

  • You should make sure any new motherboard is compatible with CPU, RAM, and any other critical hardware and features that are not being upgraded at the same time.