A chipset is a microcircuit which is a link between all components of motherboard. Technical and operating characteristics of the computer are mainly depend on the parameters of a chipset: productivity, sustainability, the types of plug-in processors or memory modules.
In general, a chipset is a set of system logics; it is like a manager – it must align the work of a processor and the rest of devices by servicing the signals from buses. The main link influencing the computer productivity is a chain “processor-chipset-operating memory”. An operating speed of the whole system depends on the lowest device. For example, if a frequency of the system bus is 133 MHz and a frequency of a bus chipset-memory is 66 MHz, it is clear that this value becomes more relevant in case of various delays both from the side of memory and processor.
Nowadays there are only six manufacturers of chipsets: Intel, AMD, VIA SiS, nVidia and Ali. It is assumed that Intel and AMD have the best realization of system logics as they create chipsets for their own processors.
Motherboard is a base that serves not only to connect separate components but also to define all important characteristics connected with productivity and capacity. So it is necessary to select a motherboard very carefully.
Here are main recommendations if you select a motherboard:
- check a motherboard carefully: all details must be installed thoroughly and its soldering – polished and monotonous. A textolite basis must be straight: if a motherboard is curved, there is a possibility of cracks in the tracks or crystals of microchips. In turn, this may lead to decreasing of their operability or to their damage.
A chipset must have factory marking with clearly readable designations, for example VIA K8T800, Intel i875P, Ali 1683. If the designations are defective, ask a seller about a manufacturer. Simple labels like “PC Chips” describe the pirated usage of chipset.
- Check if there are captions near the connectors and switches on a textolite basis. The qualitative manufacturer always marks all nodes on a motherboard. The standard ports and connectors also have to be marked.
- Check an opportunity to clamp a motherboard in a system block. Placing of slots on a motherboard is often so inconvenient, that firstly it is necessary to remove the computer power box to change a memory module or to clean the processor fan. The location of IDE- and FDD-slots shall be such that the inserted cables are not hindered. Besides, a motherboard must be closely clamped to the case and its edges must be fixed.
- Check a delivery set: nowadays most motherboards are equipped with “round” IDE- and FDD-loops. Ask about additional elements in a set, for example panels with USB-ports and/or signal LEDs or the related software on a hard disk. Look through the manual to a motherboard.
But is should be noted that selection of model with famous mane or well-equipped box do not guarantee that a computer will have high productivity. It often happens, that unknown motherboard in a plastic bag can be better than a branded one. To identify a real capacity of a product, test it.
The possibility of computer overclocking depends on two components: from the user’s desire and from the capacity of a particular computer. It often happened that when a user buys rather expensive machine with the components perfect for overclocking, non-qualified seller warns him that it is not allowed changing the internal settings as it may lead to inevitable damage of processor, motherboard and other awful events. Such statements are signs of incompetence as the manufacturers of motherboards often indicate the possibility of overclocking.
Another problem for inexperienced user is buying of rather cheap components in the hope to overclock them to their more expensive analogs. In this case, it is necessary to know what to buy and hoe to choose these components; otherwise you risk of buying cheap and low-powered and absolutely unoverclocked machine.
If you are going to buy a new computer and you want to have a quiet one, draw the attention of the following moments:
- Try to decrease the amount of fans in a system as much as possible. Thus, select a motherboard with passive cooling, without any fans on a chipset.
- Select a video adapter with passive cooling but then its capacity may be insufficient for some 3D games. If you do not need a high capacity in games, you can only select a good motherboard with integrated video adapter.
- Select the processor with low value of power consumption. Both companies Intel and AMD have economic models of processors but they operate a bit slower than the other powerful processors. So while selecting a processor, try to find an optimal variant of speed and heat generation for you.
- To cool a processor, select a good cooler with effective radiator and quiet fan. Switch on the power saving technologies of your processor and automatic speed setting in BIOS in order to a fan will be able to operate at the lowest speed.
- Select a qualitative case with low-noise power supply and a fan of big diameter (120 mm). A power supply makes a substantial contribution to a general level of noise, so do not economize on it.
- Finally, select a hard disk with the lowest level of operating noise which you can find in a technical characteristic of your device. Nowadays modern hard disks operate much quieter than the older models.
You can buy the computer with such characteristics almost in each computer shop and its price would be almost the same as for the noisier ones. Such system would operate rather quiet but, if you so desire, you can make it ultra quiet by enhancing the design of your system block. If you are interested in this procedure, you can find different variants how to modernize your computer in the Internet. But there are also complete cooling-water systems and quiet cases by famous manufacturers but their prices are rather high.
There are usually several fans that produce some noise during their operation. This noise can hardly be heard in a noisy office but at home this noise can be heard very well.
Unusual noise may impede the high playing music on a computer and also create some disturbances in a room.
Fortunately, the leading manufacturers of computer equipment have highlighted this problem and now it is possible to build a silent system selecting the components thoroughly. But what if you have already had such noisy computer? In most cases, the noisiest part of computer is a fan of a central processor. You can decrease its level by setting some energy-saving technology. To change only two parameters in BIOS is sufficient for this.
- Switch on the support of energy-saving technology “Cool’n’Quiet” if you have AMD-processor, the technology “SpeedStep/C1E” – for Intel-processors.
- Switch on the function of automatic fan speed adjustment and in case of necessity perform its additional setting using BIOS parameters.
If there is not any built-in fan speed adjustment in your motherboard or its operation is not normal, try to use one of special utilities, for example SpeedFan.
If the described steps have not led to significantly reduced noise level, you should define what fans produce much noise, and if it is possible change them to more silent ones. Perform this action gently and carefully in order not to damage the other computer components.
This parameter is used in the motherboards by ASUS and includes automatic fan speed adjustment depending on the temperature of processor and chipset.
- Enabled – the fan speed is adjusted (selecting this value, you may open the additional parameters for selection a range or a mode of adjustment);
- Disabled – an adjustment is off.
Some motherboards may contain the additional parameters for speed adjustment of processor (CPU Q-Fan Control) and chipset (Chassis Q-Fan Control).
CPU Smart FAN Control, Smart CPU Fan Target
These parameters are similar to “Q-Fan Control” but are used in motherboards by Gigabyte and MSI. There are also the similar parameters in motherboards by other manufacturers but their names may different.
CPU Smart FAN Mode (CPU Q-Fan Mode)
This parameter sets the mode of fan speed adjustment depending on its construction and is available only if the speed control function is turned on.
- Auto – the fan type is selected automatically;
- Voltage (DC) – a fan is connected via a three-pin power connector;
- PWM – a fan is connected via a four-pin power connector.
The sensors for voltage and temperature control are used for automatic overheat protection of some components of motherboards. Many motherboards also have the capacity to set the fan speed that allows decreasing their noise.
CPU Warning Temperature
This parameter sets the temperature of processor with which BIOS would activate a warning signal.
- 60°C/140°F, 70°C/158°C, 80°C/176°C, 90°C/194°F – a system will activate a warning (warning signal) if a temperature exceeds selected value and if it is possible will limit an operating speed of processor (depending on a model of motherboard, a set of temperatures may vary);
- Disabled – a control of processor temperature is off.
This parameter sets that temperature of processor, with which a computer will be switched off. The possible values are similar to those for the parameter “CPU Warning Temperature”.
CPU FAN Fail Warning (CPU Fan Beep)
This parameter enables activation of warnings if the processor fan is stopped. It is recommended to turn this parameter on by setting a value “Enabled”.
System Fan Fail Warning
This parameter controls the activation of warnings if the fan in a computer case is stopped. It is recommended to turn this parameter on only if there is some case fan.
All modern motherboards are equipped with special sensors which control the supply voltage, temperature of main components and other parameters. You can find the current values of operating voltage and temperature in a section “BIOS Hardware Monitor (H/W Monitor)” or “PC Health Status”.
Most motherboards control the temperature of processor and chipset but some of them also control the temperature of the power supply. These parameters may have the following names:
- CPU Temperature – the processor temperature;
- System Temperature (MB Temperature) – the chipset temperature;
- PWM Temperature (Power Temperature) – the power supply temperature.
Except operating temperatures, all motherboards control the supply voltages which can be divided into two groups:
- the voltage produced by the power supply: 3.3 V, +5 V, +12 V, -12 V and 5 V SB (power voltage of stand-by mode);
- the voltages produced by adjustable stabilizers on a motherboard. They are used for supplying power to the processor (CPU Voltage or Vcore), chipset (Chipset Voltage), memory (DIMM Voltage) and other components.
The parameter “Voltage Battery” displays the voltage on the power voltage CMOS and system clock.
The last group of informational parameters displays the fan speed of processor, chipset and other components. These parameters may have the following names:
- CPU Fan Speed (Current CPU FAN Speed (RPM)) – the fan speed of processor;
- Chassis Fan Speed (Current SYSTEM FAN Speed (RPM)) – the fan speed of chipset;
- Power Fan Speed – the fan speed of power supply.
- Wake Up by PCI Card – allows wakening up a computer if one of PCI-cards is active;
- PowerOn by PCI-Devices (Power On By PCIE Devices) – allows turning a computer on if a device connected to PCI-bus or PCI Express-bus is active;
- Wake Up On LAN (Resume On LAN) – allows wakening a computer up over the Local Area network (LAN);
- PowerOn By Mouse (Resume On PS/2 Mouse) – allows turning a computer on using a mouse;
- PowerOn By Keyboard (Resume On Keyboard) – allows turning a computer on using a keyboard;
- PowerOn Function – turns a computer on using a mouse or keyboard and is a combination of parameters PowerOn By Mouse and PowerOn By Keyboard;
- Resume From S3 By PS/2 Mouse (PS2MS WakeUp from S3) – allows wakening a computer up from PS/2 mouse;
- Resume From S3 By PS/2 Keyboard (PS2MS WakeUp from S3) – allows wakening a computer up from PS/2 keyboard;
- Resume From S3 By USB Device – allows awakening a computer up from USB device;
- Resume by PCIE Device – allows wakening a computer up from a device connected to PCI Express bus;
- PME Event Wake Up (W0L (PME#) From Soft-Off) – allows wakening a computer up from devices connected to PCI or PCI Express bus, for example from network adapter.
In operating systems by Windows you can set wakening a computer up from separate devices using the Device Manager.
Some versions of BIOS also have subsections “IRQs Activity Monitoring” or “Reload Global Timer Events”. Here you can set interruptions or devices with the activity of which a computer will remove from the power saving mode or will not enter it (in case of selected value Enabled (On)).
When a computer is in one of power saving modes or is off, there is an opportunity to turn it on after some events, for example, after receiving the modem signal or after pressing a particular button. There are usually the parameters which may be located directly in a section “Power Management Setup” or in a separate subsection “Wake Up Events”.
This subsection usually contains settings for switching on or wakening up the computer from separate devices. For the value “Enabled (On)”, a device is allowed to turn on a computer, and for the value “Disabled (Off)” this action is not allowed. Each model of motherboards has its own set of parameters and their functions will be the following:
- VGA – allows removing a computer from the power saving mode if a video adapter is active;
- HDD&FDD – the value On will remove a computer from the power saving mode if a controller of floppy or hard disks is active;
- LPT&COM – enabled wakening up the computer if a parallel (LPT) or serial (COM) port is active;
- PCI Master – the value On will remove a computer from the power saving mode if some PCI-device is active;
- Primary INTR – the value On will remove a computer from the power saving mode if the primary controller of interruptions is active;
- PowerOn by Ring (Modem Ring On, Resume On Ring) – allows turning a computer on with internal modem ring;
- Resume by Alarm (Power On By RTC Alarm, RTC Alarm Resume) – allows automatically turning a computer on at scheduled time. Use additional parameters to set the time: Date (Of Month) and Resume Time (hh:mm:ss) or similar to them.