Motherboard chipset - why you need it and how to determine the version

A chipset is a set of connectors that are usually located on a motherboard or a PC expansion card, mainly under the control of a processor. The main purpose they serve is to link the processor with other components, including external peripherals.

How to correctly determine the version of the chipset on the motherboard.

What is a motherboard chipset

What is a chipset? In computing, the term "chipset" usually refers to a set of specialized chips on a computer, motherboard, or expansion cards. On the PC, the first chipset for the IBM PC AT 1984 was the NEAT chipset developed by Chips and Technologies for the Intel 80286 processor. In home PCs, game consoles and arcade gaming equipment of the 1980s and 1990s, the term was used for audio and graphics chips. The purpose of the chipset often refers to a specific pair of chips on the main board: the north and south bridge. The north bridge connects the CPU to high-speed devices, including RAM and a video card, and the south bridge connects to lower-speed peripheral buses (such as PCI or ISA). In many modern chips, the south bridge already contains embedded peripherals such as Ethernet, USB and audio output.

Motherboards and their chips often come from different manufacturers. By 2018, manufacturers of chips for PCs and x86 laptops are represented by companies AMD, Broadcom, Intel, NVIDIA, SiS and VIA Technologies. Apple and Unix computers traditionally used specially designed chips. For large servers you need your own powerful chipset, so some manufacturers for their products are developing unique boards that meet certain requirements. In the 1980s, Chips and Technologies first launched PC-compatible chips. Computer systems created since then often use identical motherboard chipsets. For example, the NCR 53C9x, an inexpensive chipset that implements the SCSI interface, can be found in Unix computers, such as MIPS Magnum.

How the chipset works and where

The chipset consists of a system connecting the processor to the RAM, hard disk, and even to external devices that you use with a PC, through the ports (USB, slot for RAM, etc.) on the motherboard. The chip is on the motherboard and is associated with the type of processor that you are going to use. In accordance with this, there are different options for different classes and types of processors, but basically they all do the same thing. Chips are a major factor in controlling system performance. Therefore, they are more important than you think.

How to determine the chipset model on a computer or laptop

The quickest and easiest way to find out which chipset is used on your motherboard is the instruction manual. If you have documentation attached to your motherboard, it is recommended that you first refer to it.

Determine the version of the chipset without third-party programs

If you are looking for which motherboard chipset is used in Windows, you can find information about the chipset in the “System devices” section in the device manager. This is most likely ALI, AMD, Intel, NVidia, VIA or SIS. However, this information can only be seen if the chipset drivers are properly installed on the computer.

IMPORTANT. If you are trying to identify your chipset because you need to install drivers, most motherboards come with a CD in which they are stored. If you do not have a CD, go to the next step to determine the chipset and find the drivers to download from the official developer page.

If you do not have the documentation, the next best way to determine the chipset on which the motherboard is installed is to identify the motherboard installed on the computer. After the motherboard and its model are identified, you can visit the motherboard manufacturer's page and see the instructions or download utilities to determine the chipset.

Determine the chipset in the program Everest and Aida64

EVEREST is a free portable system information tool for Windows that allows you to view and identify all major hardware components of a computer or laptop. EVEREST collects information about the motherboard, multimedia devices, processor, network, storage devices, display, memory, and basic details of the operating system. Works with Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP.


  • scans quickly;
  • creating a partial or complete report;
  • easy navigation;
  • summary page;
  • portable (no installation required).


  • not such details as in similar software.

EVEREST is portable, easy to use and displays all basic hardware information. Report Wizard simplifies the creation of a log file. You can create a report for anything you want. Unfortunately, EVEREST developers are no longer updated. This means that at some point in the future, if this program is still not updated, the devices that are installed on the new PCs will not be supported and, therefore, cannot be read and defined.

For the correct functioning of the computer, users must have the necessary hardware device and the corresponding driver. One of the most frequently used programs for this is AIDA64. This utility can help users identify missing hardware devices, as well as provide preliminary control over device updates, Bluetooth PAN support, and file filtering of the scanner. For most everyday problems, users can download the free version of AIDA64 for free. For more complex problems, you may need to purchase a shareware version.

AIDA64 (formerly Everest) is software that can be used to identify hardware devices and find the right drivers. If you reinstall Windows or replace a motherboard or other device, AIDA64 is the tool you need. It gives complete information about all components of your PC (for example, data on temperature, exact name of the brand and model). Since AIDA64 is derived from Everest, utilities have a similar interface and navigation. You can determine the chip model on the same tab. So, launch the AIDA64 or Everest program, in the tree on the left, find the “Motherboard”, open the list and select “Chipset”. Value near the "North Bridge" and will be the name of your chip.

We get information about the chipset in the CPU-Z utility

CPU-Z is a free PC verification and testing utility that you can use to get information about your hardware, processor, RAM, motherboard, and video card. The software is very easy to use and gives quite detailed information. The program consists of 8 separate tabs, each of which performs its own function. The CPU tab displays information about the processor installed on your computer, for example, the code name, socket type, kernel speed and cache. For the average user, most of this information does not make sense.

The Cache tab displays information about the processors. On the tab, you will find the brand and model of the motherboard, information about the chipset, as well as detailed information about your BIOS (manufacturer, version and date). The Memory tab displays information about the type of memory installed, as well as the amount of RAM installed, its timing and frequency. The SPD tab is a continuation of the Memory tab and shows information such as the amount of RAM, occupied and free slots, and how much memory on the motherboard is total. Here you can also obtain data on the manufacturer and serial number, which simplifies the selection of identical memory bars.

The Graphics tab displays information about the graphics processor, its time and memory. Finally, on the About tab you will get a little more information about your system and several options for saving it - as a report in a text file or in HTML. Finding a motherboard chipset model is as easy as the previous example. Open the program, go to the Board tab and find the Chipset option. He points to the name of the chipset.