What is an integrated chipset?

An integrated chipset is generally a term used in computer discussion to refer to a type of chip built into the motherboard and that comes standard with the motherboard. While it can have a number of different meanings, the most common uses of the term are to refer to graphics processors and the general processors in a computer. Whenever one of these processor types is incorporated into the design and build of a motherboard, it is often referred to as an integrated chipset. A graphics chipset is usually less powerful than a separate card that must be installed on the motherboard.

A computer motherboard.

The various chips and device boards used in a computer are often separate parts that must be installed on the computer’s motherboard. Although the motherboard itself typically consists of multiple circuits, ports, and connectors soldered onto the board, many devices must be attached to the board later. Whenever a processor is shipped as part of the motherboard, however, it is commonly referred to as an integrated chipset and is usually chosen by the motherboard manufacturer to work well with the board.

There are typically two main types of chipset that a person will encounter when buying a motherboard. The first is an integrated processor, which is usually soldered onto the board and comprises the north and south bridges of the motherboard’s processing. They usually work with a central processing unit (CPU) and work together to process data while a computer is in use. This type of chipset should be considered by anyone building a computer to ensure compatibility with whatever CPU they are looking to use.

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The other common type of integrated chipset, and the type most often considered by computer users, is the video or graphics processor in a computer. A chipset on a motherboard typically allows a user to plug in a monitor and display graphics of a very simple nature. For running graphically intensive applications, however, such as computer games and three-dimensional modeling software, an integrated chipset is often not powerful enough. A separate graphics card is usually installed on the motherboard to replace the chipset and provide more processing power.

There may also be a sound device built into the motherboard. This is often referred to as onboard sound or onboard sound card rather than onboard chipset. For most computer users, this kind of built-in sound is usually sufficient and is often less of a concern than the integrated graphics chipset.

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