Monday, June 25, 2007



If you ever hear a conversation involving Buses, Northbridges and Southbridges, and think that the speakers are having another boring chat about travel routes, look again. Do these “travellers” wear thick glasses and appear malnourished? If so, you seem to have stumbled upon a collectionof geeks, and they’re really having another boring chat about Motherboards and Chipsets. And to prevent your brain from shorting out, we present… a handy-dandy geekdecoder!

Chipset n.: The real definition is just “a collection of chips designed to act as one,” though it’s been corrupted to refer to the chipsets on a PC’s Motherboard. Note that true Geeks are fully aware of this.

Usage: “Well, I’ve got an nForce for my Motherboard, a GeForce for my Graphics, and an Audigy for sound. Which one did you want to know about? Front Side Bus n.: Like a real bus, it’s a way for data to travel around the motherboard—a connection between two components.

Northbridge n.: An Intel Chipset that talks to the CPU and Memory at really high speeds via ‘lanes’ (different paths for different data) on the FSB.

Recommended Geek Joke: “Let’s take a Bus down Memory Lane.”

Southbridge n.: You guessed it… another Intel Chipset—this one talks to the other, lesser devices on the motherboard—the USB ports, power management chips and so on. To speak to the, it needs to go through the Northbridge first.

HyperTransport n.: A superfast means of transporting data on motherboards, used by AMD Processors. It can let the processor talk to the memory and other devices without any chipsets in between.

: “So do you think HyperTransport will kill the Northbridge?” (Note: Use with caution near Intel fanatics)

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