Difference between Mother Board and Chipset

Key Difference: A chipset is nothing more than a set of chips (circuits). A chipset along with all the other components of the computer, such as RAM, hard drive, CD/DVD drive, USB port, graphic card, etc. are all connected to motherboard, which is what runs the computer.

Technology is not easy, and that is an understatement. Whenever one goes to even try to get a handle on technology, they are thrown overboard by words such as mother boards, circuits, chipsets, HDD, SSD, RAM, and so many others. How can one person be expected to remember all of these various terms.

The mother board is the main circuit board which forms the main base on which the CPU is built. All the other components that are required to run a computer attach to this single board. Hence the name, motherboard, as it is often referred to as the ‘mother’ of all components that are attached to it. This can include the chipset, sound cards, video cards, network cards, hard drives, optical drives, TV tuner cards, USB ports, etc. Basically, it can be said that anything and everything on the computer is directly or indirectly connected to the mother board.

A chipset is a part of an integrated circuit that is connected to the motherboard. Its main function is to manage the data flow between processor, memory and peripherals. Basically, it is a way to connect the processor and memory with the mother board.

Originally, a mother board came will a lot of different microchips. The still do. There is the processor, which is the most common; but there are also other microchips such as one for audio, one for video, one for the mouse, one for the keyboard, one for the camera, etc. Over time, to make things easier and to streamline them, microchips started to be combined together, so that they can take only one slot rather than many. So, for example a single chip may be used for both audio and video; another for both the mouse and the keyboard. These combined chips are called integrated circuits or chipsets.

An easier way to note the difference between the two would be to note that the processor along with some other components combine to form the chipset. A chipset is nothing more than a set of chips (circuits). A chipset along with all the other components of the computer, such as RAM, hard drive, CD/DVD drive, USB port, graphic card, etc. are all connected to motherboard, which is what runs the computer.

Consider this example:

A microchip is a single Lego. If you combine two or more Legos together, you’ll get one big piece made out smaller other Legos. This is the chipset, i.e. a set of microchips. All of these Lego pieces, i.e. chipsets can then be joined together on a large base piece, i.e. a mother board, to make a project, such as a scene from Star Wars. This would be your computer.

Comparison between Mother Board and Chipset:

 

Mother Board

Chipset

Type of

Circuit Board

Integrated Circuit

Connections

Connects all components of the computer

Connects the processor, memory and peripherals to the motherboard

Function

Allows all these different components to communicate and transfer data

Allows the processor, memory and peripherals to transfer data

Power

Draws power from the outlet and distributed it to the circuits and chips

Draws power from the mother board and uses it to power the CPU

Parts

Has two main parts: the north bridge and the south bridge. Sometimes they are integrated into one big integrated circuit. Some motherboards may have only the south bridge.

Northbridge is a type of Chipset

Southbridge is a type of Chipset

Reference: Wikipedia (Motherboard, Chipset), Computer Hope, WhatIs, Hardware Secrets
Image Courtesy: lessons2all.com, culturacion.com

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