The memory bus connects the memory system and the chipset north bridge area. This section of the chipset also connects directly to the central processing unit and graphics system. While this means that the north bridge is the center of many important computer functions, it is actually the computer’s memory that determines the speed of the bus. In essence, the speed of the computer’s memory creates the speed of that bus, which determines the speed of the rest of the system.
Most modern computers have a large number of buses that connect all sorts of different areas.
In computing, a bus transfers information from one location to another. Most modern computers have a large number of buses that connect all sorts of different areas. The north bridge area of the chipset has four main buses. The front bus connects to the central processing unit, the graphics bus connects to the graphics system, the internal bus connects to the south bridge section of the chipset, and the memory bus connects to the computer’s memory.
Each of these buses acts independently of each other in most cases. The biggest exception to this is memory and front buses. They control the most essential parts of the computer’s operations and are directly linked together. The speed of your computer’s memory determines how fast information flows over the memory bus. This means that the processor can only send and receive information as quickly as the memory bus allows.
Using memory slower than the processor will have a direct impact on the speed of the computer. Basic calculations will often idle and take up processor space while waiting for follow-up information. This can create periods of latency, even on a fast computer. Strangely, more strenuous operations are rarely affected by a slow memory bus, as the time it takes the processor to compete with its operations is often longer than the transfer time.
On a technical level, the memory bus is made up of two parts. The data bus transfers information between memory and the chipset. This part of the bus is often incorrectly referred to as the memory bus, as it does the work most often associated with this part.
The second part of the memory bus is the address bus. The address bus tells the system where information can be stored as it goes into memory and where information is when it needs to leave memory. Address bus speed affects all actions on a computer, as all applications need some access to memory. Regardless of how fast this information comes and goes from the system, it is limited by the speed at which the address bus routes it.