A set of chips that provides the interfaces between an Intel CPU and the PC's subsystems. An Intel chipset provides the buses and electronics to allow the CPU, RAM and I/O devices to interact. Most Intel chipsets, which are contained on two to four chips, also include built-in IDE support. In the past, Intel used the name "Triton" for its chipsets and also "PCIset" for PCI-based chipsets. For an understanding of Intel CPU architecture, see Intel microarchitectures
Intel's Chipset Architecture
Intel introduced its hub architecture starting with the 820 chipset, which divides control between a memory controller chip (MCH) and an I/O controller chip (ICH). This is an illustration of the 850.
Early Pentium Chipsets
Following are the major Pentium chipsets for historical referece:
For dual core Extreme Edition and Pentium D CPUs. Includes Ethernet and HD Audio. Supports 1066 MHz FSB, 8GB dual channel DDR2 RAM, PCI Express and PCI Express x16 for external graphics.
For Extreme Edition, Pentium D and all Pentium CPUs in LGA775 chip package. Supports dual core with Hyper-Threading, 667 MHz FSB and 8GB dual channel DDR2 RAM.
For Core Duo, Core Solo and all Celeron M CPUs. GM includes graphics; PM does not, but both include PCI Express x16 for external graphics. Supports 667 MHz bus and 4GB RAM.
925X for Extreme Edition and Pentium 4 in LGA775 chip package. 925XE for 90nm Pentium 4. Includes Ethernet and HD Audio. 925X supports ECC and 1066 MHz FSB, 925XE supports 800MHz FSB. Both support 4GB dual channel DDR2 RAM, PCI Express and PCI Express x16 for external graphics.
915GM same as 915G designed for all Pentium M and Celeron M CPUs. 915GMS supports only low voltage models. 915PM for external graphics over PCI Express x16.
Same as 915P plus graphics. 915G includes PCI Express x16 for optional external graphics.
For Pentium 4 chips in LGA775 chip package. Includes Ethernet and HD Audio. Supports DDR and DDR2 memory, 800/533 MHz frontside buses and PCI Express x16 for graphics.
For Pentium 4 and Celeron D in LGA775 chip package. Includes Ethernet and HD Audio. 915GL includes graphics and supports 4GB dual channel DDR RAM; 915PL has PCI Express x16 for external graphics and supports 2GB DDR RAM. Both chipsets support PCI Express.
Same as 910GL for Celeron M regular and ultra low voltage models.
For Pentium 4, Celeron and Celeron D in LGA775 or FCPGA478 chip package. Includes Ethernet, HD Audio, graphics. Supports PCI Express, 533 MHz FSB and 2GB DDR RAM.
For Pentium 4. Similar to 865, plus support for ECC memory.
For Pentium 4, Celeron and Celeron D in mPGA478 chip package. Includes Ethernet and AC '97 audio. 865G/865GV includes graphics, 865P/865PE do not, but have AGP 8x for external graphics (865G also has AGP 8x). Supports Hyper-Threading, up to 800 MHz FSB, PCI, Serial ATA, RAID and 4GB dual channel DDR RAM.
Similar to 850, but designed for up to two Xeon processors with RDRAM increased from 2GB to 4GB.
For Pentium M. 855PM includes an AGP 4x slot, and 855GM includes graphics. Supports up to 2GB of DDR RAM.
Designed for mobile computing with support for 1GB of DDR RAM and graphics.
For Pentium 4, advanced 800 series chipset. Supports second generation I/O controller hub (ICH2), 2GB of RDRAM, 4 port USB, 6-channel AC97 sound, dual ATA-100, integrated Ethernet and CNR slot.
Similar to 840, but designed for one Pentium 4 processor and SDRAM memory. Supports lower voltage 1.5v AGP 4x/2x.
Similar to 820, but adds support for 64-bit PCI, 4GB of RDRAM and dual processors. A prefetch cache increases performance.
For high-end desktops and workstations. Provides 2-way multiprocessing (SMP), ATA-66, 4xAGP, 133 MHz system bus and was first to support RDRAM memory. Introduced hub architecture that uses a memory controller hub chip (MCH) for AGP and RDRAM, which is connected to an I/O controller hub chip (ICH) at 266 MB/sec for PCI, sound, hard disk and USB.
Uses hub architecture like the 820, but supports PC100 and PC133 SDRAM. Also provides dual ATA-100 control and integrated Ethernet. Second generation of I/O controller hub (ICH2).
- Based on 440BX chipset intended for mainstream PCs. Same as 810, but supports 133 MHz system bus and ATA-66.
For value PCs. Includes integrated 3D graphics (AGP) with video out and hardware motion compensation for MPEG-2 software playback. Supports 100 MHz system bus and 2 USB ports. Employs Intel Accelerated Hub with 266 MBps between memory and peripherals (2xPCI).
For high-end workstations and servers. Supports four CPUs, Slot M and 4xAGP.
For high-end workstations and servers.Supports four CPUs, 2MB L2 cache, Intelligent I/O, 8GB EDO memory, two 32-bit or one 64-bit PCI.
Optimized for Pentium Pro. Supports FPM memory only. KX supports dual processors, 1GB RAM. GX supports quad processors, 8GB RAM.
For midrange workstations. Supports two CPUs, 2GB SDRAM, dual AGP.
Optimized for Pentium II. Supports 100 MHz bus, FireWire, ACPI, Concurrent PCI.
Low-end version of 440LX.
Optimized for Pentium II. Supports LS-120, 33 MHz Ultra DMA, AGP, USB, SDRAM, ECC RAM, PC 97 power management, Concurrent PCI.
Optimized for Pentium Pro and Pentium II. Supports USB, EDO RAM, ECC memory, dual processors, Concurrent PCI.
(formerly Triton VX) - Geared for home market. Supports USB, SDRAM, Concurrent PCI.
(formerly Triton II) - Geared for business market. Supports EDO RAM, Concurrent PCI, BGA packaging.
Desktop and mobile use. First mobile chipset to support Concurrent PCI. Supports USB, DPMA, Ultra DMA, SMBus.
Version of 430FX designed for portable computers.
(formerly Triton) - Supports EDO RAM, Plug and Play.
Neptune - Supports 90 and 100 MHz Pentiums.
Mercury - First Pentium chipset (1993) for 60 and 66 MHz models. Supports PCI and FPM memory.