What is... the chipset?
The "chipset" is the set (set) of chips that are in charge of controlling certain functions of the computer, like the form in which it interdrives the microprocessor with the memory or the cache memory, or the control of the ports and slots ISA, PCI, AGP, USB...
Formerly these functions were relatively simple to realize and the chipset scarcely was influencing the yield of the computer, therefore the chipset was the last element to which importance was granted at the time of buying a motherboard, if it is that someone was bothering to report at least on the nature of the same one. But the new ones and very complex mikes, together with a very wide technologies fan on the subject of memoirs, cache memory and peripheral that appear and disappear almost of month in month, have done that the importance of the chipset grows enormously.
Of the quality and typical of the chipset they will depend:
He must stand out the fact that the use of a good chipset does not imply that the motherboard as a whole is of quality. As example, many badges with chipsets that would give support to enormous memory quantities, 512 MB or more, do not include memory sockets for any more than 128 ó 256. Or the case of the ports USB, whose support there is foreseen in almost totality of the chipsets of last two years but which up to recent date have not had the necessary connectors in the basic badges.
We will treat only the chipsets for Pentium and Superior, since the chipset of 486 or low it is not of major importance (inside a reasonable limit) for all are in general in a similar level of services and yield, in addition to completely descatalogados. Neither we will treat all the marks, but only the most well-known or of any more interest; of any form, often it are chipsets seemingly unknown that are not but chipsets ROUTE, ALI or SIS under another mark.
Chipsets for Pentium and Pentium MMX
Of Intel (Mermen)
There were the first one (and very successful) Intel incursion in the world of the chipsets, world in which it has happened of not making practically any to have an almost entire monopoly, which is the form in which Intel likes carrying on the business. This does not turn out to be strange, since anybody better that Intel knows how to extract party to his microprocessors; also, the rest of manufacturers depends on the technical information that Intel gives them, which does it when and as he wants.
The most outstanding of these chipsets, his good yield, especially with mikes Intel. The worst thing, his scarce support for mikes not Intel, that in the field socket 7 have developments superior to those of Intel, like the AMD K6 (normal and K6-2) or the Cyrix-IBM 6x86MX (M2), in general more advanced than the Pentium and Pentium MMX.
Of ROUTE (Apollos)
A few quite good chipsets, they are characterized for having support for almost everything imaginable (memoirs SDRAM or BEDO, UltraDMA, USB...); his fight is in the scale of the HX or TX, although they are usually slightly slower than these on having equipped them with mikes Intel, not this way with mikes of AMD or Cyrix-IBM.
The good of the badges with chipsets ROUTE is that 7 continue on the market socket, as what they have support for all the new technologies like the AGP or the buses to 100 MHz, in addition to which his quality is usually intermediate - high. In the badges with chipsets Intel there is a very wide fan between very good badges and frankly bad others, in addition to being already desfasadas (no chipset Intel for socket 7 supports AGP, for example).
The last ROUTE chipset for socket 7, the MPV3, offers all the services of the BX of Intel (except I supported for dual badges), forming what names a Super badge 7 (with AGP and bus to 100 MHz), that with a mike as the new AMD K6-2 does not have anything that to envy to a team with Pentium II.
Very good chipsets, have solutions as advanced as the chipset for Super badges 7 "Aladdin V", which like the MPV3 of ROUTE turns out to be comparable to all the effects to the BX of Intel for badges Pentium II (bus to 100 MHz, AGP...); a fantastic election for mikes as the AMD K6-2.
As the previous ones, his capacities are advanced, although his speed is sometimes slightly more limited than in those of Intel. There turn out to be advisable for his use along with chips compatible Intel as the K6 of AMD or 6x86MX (M2) of Cyrix-IBM, although unfortunately they do not support for the time being the bus to 100 MHz of the new one K6-2.
Chipsets for Pentium II and Celeron
To tell truth, still without serious competition, what does not wonder having the Pentium II only one year... and belonging to Intel. They are quite advanced, except the antiquated one 440 FX (that is not properly a chipset for Pentium II, but rather for the dead Pentium Pro) and the EX-bargain sale, based on the LXth but with almost all the limited capacities.
Of other marks
They are not too much, but those who exist have all the capacities that need in a badge Pentium II. The problem which they meet is not his absence of efficacy, since although those of Intel are slightly more rolled, the yield is very similar; but the fact that for one year the people only have heard to speak about FX, LX, BX and EX-it is difficult that enter on a market where Intel has an absolute monopoly.
Glossary of related terms
It turns out a very nice knowledge that the chipset supports this or that one, but if to know what this is or that one we do not go to any side. The most important terms to be known are:
The election of the chipset
Chipset and motherboard form an indissoluble set and of the maximum importance, therefore his buy must be accompanied by a certain reflection. The first thing is to remember that a good chipset only does not do a good badge; if we find two badges with the same chipset but one costs the double that other one, for something it will be (although sometimes that one something is simply the mark of the badge, for example the badges Intel, which in general are not so advanced like the Asus, Iwill or Gigabyte but that cost the same or more than these...)
Likewise, a badge must be bought thinking about the future. For example, if we are going to buy one for Pentium II, he is worth buying one with a chipset capable of working to 100 MHz of bus (an Intel BX, Apollo Pro or Aladdin Pro II), with what we will be able to extend it in the future to mikes to 350 MHz or more, thing that we will not be able to do if we buy a LX, for example.
Do not get obsessed with Intel Inside. It is not that it has a special mania to Intel, and if it had it, one would bear it; it is a question of many people preferring to allow to go for the attraction of a mark without finding out about the characteristics of what he buys. For example, although the chipset BX of Intel for Pentium II is still the best of his category, in the field socket 7 the best developments do not belong to Intel, which has left it in favor of the field Pentium II. For it, to buy to him a badge TX now would be an error, not because it is Intel but because this chipset is antiquated (although a few months ago it was probably the best of his category); and the same happens with EX-, that it is much worse than Apollo Pro or Aladdin Pro II.
And finally, study well the buy. It can be that the chipset admits a lot of memory, but that the badge has few sockets to install it; or that we are buying a motherboard or a second-hand computer, and really it is important for us more that the memory is sufficient and easily extendable (EDO better than FPM, with empty sockets...) that the fact that it has a chipset without AGP or without AGP or UltraDMA, when it is possible that we are going to use neither one nor other.