Northbridge FAQ
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This article shares most frequently asked questions on North Bridge....

1.What is Northbridge ?

The Northbridge is the chip or chips that connect a CPU to memory, the PCI bus, Level 2 cache and AGP activities.The North bridge chips communicate with the CPU through the FSB.


2.Why it is called as northbridge in motherboard?
 
The northbridge on a particular system's motherboard is the most prominent factor in dictating the number, speed, and type of CPU(s) and the amount, speed, and type of RAM that can be used. Other factors such as voltage regulation and available number of connectors also play a role. Virtually all consumer-level chip sets support only one processor series, with the maximum amount of RAM varying by processor type and motherboard design. A north bridge typically will only work with one or two different south bridge ASICs; in this respect, it affects some of the other features that a given system can have by limiting which technologies are available on its southbridge partner Source(s)


3.Which one is larger, Northbridge or Southbridge?

The northbridge is usually slightly larger than the southbridge.


4.How the Northbridge is distinguished from Southbridge?

The southbridge can usually be distinguished from the northbridge by not being directly connected to the CPU. Rather, the northbridge ties the southbridge to the CPU.


5.Which ties Southbridge to CPU?

Northbridge.


6.Northbridge ties Southbridge to which part of the computer?

CPU.


7.Which increases the speed of modern computers?

The Northbridge-South bridge chips.


8.Motherboard chip set is normally composed of which chips?

Motherboard chip set is normally composed of the southbridge chip and the northbridge chip.


9.Which is the fast end of the hub?

Northbridge.


10.The Southbridge is attached to the Northbridge's which part?

The Southbridge is attached to the Northbridge's PCI bus.


11.What is the other name of Northbridge?

The northbridge, also known as the memory controller hub (MCH) in Intel systems.


12.What is the name of the integrated video controllers that contain in the northbridge?

Graphics and Memory Controller Hub (GMCH) in Intel systems.


13.Which is the fast bridge?

Northbridge.


14.Why the chip set is considered as the most important part of a motherboard?

Motherboard chip set is master of all the communication between CPU, the memory, and the local bus. Your CPU drives the decision on which chip set to buy and use. A fast chip set would allow efficient data transfers and power management. Therefore, the chip set is well-deserved the most important part of a motherboard.


15.Which is said to be the master of all the communication between CPU, the memory, and the local bus?

Motherboard chip set.


16.Which are the well known Chip set manufacturers?

Intel, VIA, SiS , ALi etc.


17.What is a Motherboard Chip set?

Normally there are two major microcircuit chips installed on a computer's motherboard. The chips are called a chip set and they control the flow of data to the components on your computer. The motherboard chip set consists of a Northbridge  and a Southbridge .


18.What is the role of chipset?

Northbridge chip is responsible for contact with the CPU and control memory, AGP data transfer within the North Bridge to provide the type and frequency of the CPU, the system front side bus frequency, memory type (SDRAM, DDR SDRAM and RDRAM, etc.) and maximum capacity, AGP slots, ECC error correction and other support, integrated North bridge chip set has integrated graphics core.


19.Which bridge is known as Main bridge or Host bridge?

Northbridge.


20.Why the North Bridge chip is covered with a heat sink?

The Northbridge chip is covered with a heat sink to enhance the North bridge cooling.


21.Which bridge handles the faster components on the motherboard, including RAM, ROM, basic input/output system (BIOS), accelerated graphics port (AGP), PCI Express, and the south bridge chip as well as the CPU ?
           
Northbridge handles the faster components on the motherboard, including RAM, ROM, basic input/output system (BIOS), accelerated graphics port (AGP), PCI Express, and the south bridge chip as well as the CPU.


22.The process of running a computer component at a faster processing speed than the manufacturer’s specifications is called what?
            
Overclocking.


23.What is used as a baseline for establishing the operating frequency for overclocking ?
            
The northbridge plays a vital role in bus speed and is often used as a baseline for establishing the operating frequency for overclocking.


24.What devices are connected to the Northbridge and Southbridge?

CPU,PCI/PCIe Bus,HDA/USB/LAN,AMP/ACPI,AC 97/HDA


25. Why there is need of North southbridge in Motherboard?

On new Computers Architecture the Northbridge is not an important element in the motherboard and It's job was replaced by giving more functions to the CPU and creating new kinds of BUS (on AMD chip sets by the Hyper Transport Bus and on Intel chip sets by the QuickPath Bus). The South bridge work as interface controller between storages devices (CD, DVD, HD), USB, and others (like Keyboard, Mouse on indirect manner), but the new PCI express and AGP cards are outside of South bridge control.


26. Which bridge is responsible for the transmission of the data between the CPU, the memory and the AGP ports, and also associate to the south bridge through specific channels of the data?
            
North bridge is responsible for the transmission of the data between the CPU, the memory and the AGP ports, and also associate to the southbridge through specific channels of the data.


27. What is the difference between southbridge and northbridge?
   
The northbridge is the mainly the CPU, RAM, the north bridge chip set and the FSB connecting all of those together.
The southbridge is the IDE controllers, the PCI AGP and on older machines, ISA slots and everything connecting that to the southbridge chip set and the CPU and RAM (AGP mainly as it can directly address the main system RAM). The northbridge is usually the limiting factor out of the two when it comes to overclocking as the three most speed sensitive components are on it (CPU, RAM and the chip set). The southbridge is usually not the limiting factor, though cards or drives on it can be.


28.What does the Northbridge on a motherboard do?

The northbridge, also known as the memory controller hub (MCH) in Intel systems (AMD, VIA, SiS and others usually use 'northbridge'), is traditionally one of the two chips in the core logic chip set on a PC motherboard, the other being the south bridge.
Separating the chip set into north bridge and southbridge is common, although there are rare instances where these two chips have been combined onto one die when design complexity and fabrication processes permit it.


29.Which are  communications  handled by a northbridge?
 
The northbridge typically handles communications between the CPU, RAM, AGP or PCI Express, and the south bridge.


30.What is the purpose of the North bridge on a motherboard?

The northbridge typically handles communications between the CPU, RAM, AGP or PCI Express, and the southbridge. Some northbridges also contain integrated video controllers, which are also known as a Graphics and Memory Controller Hub (GMCH). Because different processors and RAM require different signalling, a northbridge will typically work with only one or two classes of CPUs and generally only one type of RAM.There are a few chip sets that support two types of RAM (generally these are available when there is a shift to a new standard).
The name is derived from drawing the architecture in the fashion of a map. The CPU would be at the top of the map at due north.The CPU would be connected to the chip set via a fast bridge (the north bridge) located north of other system devices as drawn.The northbridge would then be connected to the rest of the chipset via a slow bridge (the southbridge) located south of other system devices as drawn
 
    
31.Why is the northbridge faster than the southbridge?

The Northbridge coordinate the comunication and is the main interface between CPU, Graphical Interface Card and the Memory (RAM). Those need more speed and are the most used components in the computer. The Southbridge coordinate and is the interface between Storage units, USB ports, expansion cards (not PCI express), and other devices on computer. Those need less speed on data tranmission.The comunication between northbridge and southbridge is coordinate by the northbridge.


32. what is mean by Northbridge and overclocking?

The northbridge plays an important part in how far a computer can be overclocked, as its frequency is commonly used as a baseline for the CPU to establish its own operating frequency. This chip typically gets hotter as processor speed becomes faster, requiring more cooling.There is a limit to CPU overclocking, as digital circuits are limited by physical factors such as propagation delay which increases with (among other factors) operating temperature; consequently most overclocking applications have software-imposed limits on the multiplier and external clock setting


33.what is GMCH?

The northbridge typically handles communications among the CPU, in some cases RAM, and PCI Express (or AGP) video cards, and the southbridge.[4][5] Some northbridges also contain integrated video controllers, also known as a Graphics and Memory Controller Hub (GMCH) in Intel systems. Because different processors and RAM require different signaling, a given northbridge will typically work with only one or two classes of CPUs and generally only one type of RAM.There are a few chipsets that support two types of RAM (generally these are available when there is a shift to a new standard). For example, the northbridge from the Nvidia nForce2 chipset will only work with Socket A processors combined with DDR SDRAM, the Intel i875 chipset will only work with systems using Pentium 4 processors or Celeron processors that have a clock speed greater than 1.3 GHz and utilize DDR SDRAM, and the Intel i915g chipset only works with the Intel Pentium 4 and the Celeron, but it can use DDR or DDR2 memory.


34.Give the example of chipsets that support two types of RAM ?

Few chipsets that support two types of RAM (generally these are available when there is a shift to a new standard). For example, the northbridge from the NVIDIA nForce2 chipset will only work with Socket A processors combined with DDR SDRAM, the Intel i875 chipset will only work with systems using Pentium 4 processors or Celeron processors that have a clock speed greater than 1.3 GHz and utilize DDR SDRAM, and the Intel i915g chipset only works with the Intel Pentium 4 and the Celeron, but it can use DDR or DDR2 memory


35.Which two activities are normally controlled by the Northbridge part of the chip set?

In order to understand the Nortbridge you have to understand part of it used to be be the Memory Controller Chip (MCC) used to retrieve memory from RAM for the CPU. The MCC was upgraded to not only provide an interconnection between the CPU and RAM but also to be the interconnection between the CPU and other devices on the PC and was renamed the Northbridge. The Northbridge only deals with high-speed interfaces such as the connection to your video and RAM.The Southbridge works mainly with lower-speed devices such as the USB controller and the hard drive controllers. The Northbridge and the Southbridge architecture is called a ChipSet..


36.Which are two activites are normally controlled by the northbridge?

For most motherboards the Northbridge controls the AGP, or PCIe, slot(both common video/graphic card styles) along with all the RAM slots.


37.what does overclocking mean in computer terms?

Overclocking in computing means any adjustments made to computer hardware (or software) to make its CPU run at a higher clock rate than intended by the original manufacturers.Typically this involves replacing the crystal in the clock generation circuitry with a higher frequency one or changing jumper settings or software configuration.The Northbridge is a chip inside a computer that connects the central processing unit (CPU) to other primary components in the system. While the CPU is the main processor inside the computer, the Northbridge is the primary controller.


38. Which are the Northbridge Chipsets?

The northbridge typically handles communications among the CPU, in some cases RAM, and PCI Express (or AGP) video cards, and the southbridge.[4][5] Some northbridges also contain integrated video controllers, also known as a Graphics and Memory Controller Hub (GMCH) in Intel systems. Because different processors and RAM require different signaling, a given northbridge will typically work with only one or two classes of CPUs and generally only one type of RAM.There are a few chipsets that support two types of RAM (generally these are available when there is a shift to a new standard). For example, the northbridge from the Nvidia nForce2 chipset will only work with Socket A processors combined with DDR SDRAM, the Intel i875 chipset will only work with systems using Pentium 4 processors or Celeron processors that have a clock speed greater than 1.3 GHz and utilize DDR SDRAM, and the Intel i915g chipset only works with the Intel Pentium 4 and the Celeron, but it can use DDR or DDR2 memory.The name is derived from drawing the architecture in the fashion of a map. The CPU would be at the top of the map comparable to due north on most general purpose geographical maps. The CPU would be connected to the chipset via a fast bridge (the northbridge) located north of other system devices as drawn. The northbridge would then be connected to the rest of the chipset via a slow bridge (the southbridge) located south of other system devices as drawn. Intel i815EP northbridge Recent developments the overall trend in processor design has been to integrate more functions onto the chip which decreases overall motherboard cost and improves performance. The memory controller, which handles communication between the CPU and RAM, were moved onto the processor die by AMD beginning with their AMD64 processors and by Intel with their Nehalem processors. One of the advantages of having the memory controller integrated on the CPU die is to reduce latency from the CPU-to-Memory so the CPU can control the memory directly.


39.What would happen if a Northbridge failed?

The computer won't work anymore. Depending on the mobo the northbridge handles data transactions for the front side bus (FSB), the memory bus and the pci-e ports.


40. Explain Overclocking the CPU NB and HT Link on a Black Edition CPU ?

For Black Edition CPU's the CPU Northbridge and HT Link multipliers are unlocked so we can increase them beyond their stock setting.  The default multiplier for both is 10. 10 times the reference clock speed of 200MHz gives us 2000MHz which again is the default for both.  A multiplier of 11 gives us 2200MHz.  The system can probably handle this speed for both components so we will begin with a multiplier of 11.  A multiplier of 12 gives us the 2400MHz speed we need to keep up with the RAM speed and will probably require an increase to the CPU NB voltage to keep the system stable.  The next available multiplier is 13 which would overclock the CPU Northbridge and HT Link to 2600MHz. It's highly unlikely even with a large increase in the CPU Northbridge voltage that the system will be stable at that speed.  So to find our systems fastest stable CPU northbridge and HT Link speed we need a way to make smaller changes.  Increases to the reference clock is how we will achieve these smaller increases to the CPU       Northbridge and HT Link speed.We will overclock the CPU Northbridge first and then the HT Link.  We are going to be testing the CPU Northbridge using both multiplier and reference clock increases so we need to lower the multiplier for the CPU, HT Link and Memory to make sure that even with the reference clock increases we make they stay at or below their stock speeds.  We'll first set the CPU Northbridge multiplier to 11x.  We probably won't be able to get the CPU Northbridge speed above 2500MHz.  If we divide 2500 by 11 we get 227 so the highest reference clock speed with will need is 227MHz.  I'll make that settings change and that increases the speeds of the other components above their stock speeds.  I'll use their multipliers and get them at or below their stock speeds so there is no way they could be the cause of any instability while we overclock the CPU Northbridge.  I'll set the reference clock back to 200MHz. Hit esc and F11 to save this profile and I'll call it CPU NB OC Test, esc and Go back      into the MIT.We need to increase the CPU Northbridge speed about 50MHz at a time.  The multiplier is 11 so a reference clock increase of 5MHz will raise the Northbridge speed by 55MHz.  We can see the speed did increase from 2200MHz to 2255MHz.  We then need to save and exit and go into Windows.  Run Prime95 on the Blend setting for 20 minutes.


41.Indentify the functions of the northbridge and southbridge chipsets on a motherboard?

The Southbridge chipset manages onboard peripheral devices.The Northbridge chipset manages communication between the CPU, memory, and the Southbridge chipset.


42.  What does transfering data mean in computer terms?
Transfer Rate The data transfer rate (DTR) of your computer is the amount of digital data the computer moves from file to file, or computer to computer, at a particular time. The DTR can be defined as the speed "of travel of a given amount of data from one place to another," according to Search Unified Communications. Internal Data can be transferred within your computer at different rates. For instance, keyboard strokes transfer data at extremely slow rates compared to the computer's processing speed.


43. Explain Northbridge and overclocking ?

The northbridge plays an important part in how far a computer can be overclocked, as its frequency is commonly used as a baseline for the CPU to establish its own operating frequency. This chip typically gets hotter as processor speed becomes faster, requiring more cooling. There is a limit to CPU overclocking, as digital circuits are limited by physical factors such as propagation delay which increases with (among other factors) operating temperature; consequently most overclocking applications have software-imposed limits on the multiplier and external clock settings.


44. Does the North Bridge of a motherboard have anything to do with Processor Compatibility?

The northbridge is the brain of the board and, althou the southbridge has its own functions such as the mouse and keyboard controllers, hard drive and raid controllers etc, it's dependent on the northbridge. what cpu and ram you can run is determined by the northbridge chipset. With the new X38 boards out there are some really great deals on the P35 boards right now. I strongly advise not buying an X38 board now as the X48 is coming out 1st quarter of 2008 to support the 1600FSB of some of the new 45nm cpus coming out. It would suck to spend $300 on a board only to not be able to run a quad you want 3 months from now.


45.How Does A Processor North Bridge Work?

The Northbridge is a controller chip that handles interaction between the processor, memory, the Level 2 cache, the PCI bus, and the Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP).
The Northbridge chipset is often the primary factor in deciding the number, speed and type of CPU that can be utilized and the amount or RAM that can be used.


46. what is the Northbridge Memory Controller and Southbridge I/O Controller?

The two chipsets are the North and Southbridge. The Northbridge work with the AGP Port, the main memory and the FBS (Front side bus), while the Southbridge works on the data from the PCI and ISA slots. But the Computer needs both to work even thought the Northbridge seems to do all the important work.The I/O controller is and input/output device, where you give the the information to the computer and i gose to the CPU. Or the I/O controller can get the information from the existing Hard Disk or RAM.-Vlad.


47.How does data travel from one drive to another on same IDE Channel?

Data goes from the drive, via the cable, to the hdd controller, then over the controllers bus (shared or dedicated depending on the age of the motherboard), then via the chipset (generally the south bridge), then to the northbridge (or cpu depending on the northbridge design) then into the system RAM.Once enough has been collected (depends on transfer size), then the process is reversed to send data back to the next IDE drive.
The OS sends progress data to the display system as needed.DMA has allowed larger data blocks and so faster transfers, but the older PIO method was CPU controlled (byte by byte).


48.What is the realationship between the south bridge and north bridge within a system?

North bridge is (as the name indicates) is the upper end of the motherboard. More importantly, it incorporates the I/O ports (where you plug in your USB, VGA, IEEE, etc).The south bridge is the southern, or lower, end of the motherboard. This usually incorporates the PCI slots, SATA/IDE inputs, floppy header, etc (basically everything attached INSIDE the computer).The relationship between the two is that they interact with each other. The motherboard (while seeming to be two sections, north and south) is one piece and the clock speeds of the PCI and front side,dictate how fast the two work together in transporting data from internal components to the input/outputs of the north bridge.


49. explain Northbridge and overclocking?

The northbridge plays an important part in how far a computer can be overclocked, as its frequency is commonly used as a baseline for the CPU to establish its own operating frequency. This chip typically gets hotter as processor speed becomes faster, requiring more cooling. There is a limit to CPU overclocking, as digital circuits are limited by physical factors such as propagation delay which increases with (among other factors) operating temperature; consequently most overclocking applications have software-imposed limits on the multiplier and external clock setting. See Overclocking


50.What does the Northbridge of the chipset control?

The Northbridge chip is one of two chips that control the functions of the chipset.The CPU would be connected to the chipset via a fast bridge (the northbridge) located north of other system devices as drawn.The north bridge also the who controls video card,expansion cards or graphics cards.



 



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Ambily Thomas
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