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Configure and Apply BIOS Settings

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Simply putting together components of a computer is useless if the CPU can’t communicate with them. Therefore, we need something there to interconnect the devices that enables the CPU to send commands to and from them.

Therefore, on motherboards, there are chips known as the Northbridge and Southbridge.

The Northbridge deals mainly with high-speed interfaces, such as the connection to your video card and RAM. The Southbridge works with the lower-speed devices, such as the USB controller and hard drive controllers.

You might have heard of this term before, chipset, which is just the fancy name for the Northbridge/Southbridge set.

Most modern processors now have the Northbridge directly on the CPU and the Southbridge is now called the Input/Output Controller Hub (ICH) in newer Intel Systems and Fusion Controller Hub (FCH) in newer AMD systems.

The chipset extends the data bus to all the other devices on your computer.

Here is a diagram of an AMD AM3 motherboard/cpu diagram. The green arrows symbolize the address bus.

bridge diagram

As you can see, every device on the computer connects to the address bus.