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What Motherboard Slot Has Direct Access To The NorthBridge?

There are two chips in the motherboard termed northbridge and southbridge. The motherboard slot PCIe has direct access to the northbridge. These bridges or chips in the motherboard are responsible for establishing connections of the motherboard with other components of your PC.

The motherboard is one of the most complex internal hardware components of your PC. Multiple slots for various storage options make it more difficult for beginners to understand. The answer the question directly, The PCIe slot has direct access to northbridge in the motherboard. 

This article primarily talks about the motherboard slot with direct access to northbridge in detail. 

What Motherboard Slot Has Direct Access To North Bridge?

The primary PCIe slot has direct access to northbridge on the motherboard. The slots on the motherboard are used for the connection of almost all the computer peripherals be it storage components, or graphics cards. 

All the motherboards have PCIe slots that can be used to attach the components for effective performance. However, the types of PCIe slots a motherboard has depends upon the model. A typical PC that is not older than 15 years should have at least one PCle slot.

What Are The Components of The North Bridge In The Motherboard?

The task of the northbridge is to connect the CPU to other main components of the system. These main parts include system memory(RAM), FSB(Front Side Bus), PCI express cards, and the AGP card. The remaining components of the system are connected and controlled by the southbridge on the motherboard.

The northbridge controls the data from the CPU and directs it accordingly. The performance of northbridge affects the whole performance of the system.

Do All Motherboards Have Northbridge and South Bridge?

Not necessarily as Some motherboards come with IHA(Intel Hub Architecture) as a substitute for north and southbridge. All the intel chipsets of the 800 series come with IHA. 

IHA consists of two parts namely MCH(Memory Controller Hub) and ICH(I/O Controller Hub). Both parts are connected to each other via BUS. The major applications of IHA include:

  • Faster data transfers
  • Transfer of data depends upon the type of data type assigned to it
  • Separate data paths are assigned for faster processing
  • IHA is a merged version of northbridge and southbridge which makes it work more efficiently. 

With the advancement in the hardware and motherboards industry, IHA gradually got replaced by north and southbridge.

Read: Different Sizes Of Motherboards And Form Factor

What Are North Bridge And South Bridge In a Motherboard?

The chipset architecture of the motherboard comes with two chips termed Northbridge and Southbridge. These chips get their name from their positioning on the motherboard. The chip placed in the northern place of the motherboard is termed northbridge and the chip installed at the south of PCI(Peripheral Component Interconnect) is termed Southbridge. 

Motherboard with all components labelled

Motherboard with all components labeled.

The main task of the northbridge is to handle the communication between the CPU and other components of the PC. Northbridge is installed near the processor for easy access as it is directly connected to it. It also controls memory and connects faster for efficient memory processing. Northbridge is also known as Host Bridge or MCH(Memory Control Hub).

Southbridge is responsible for controlling the input-output functions and is placed near the PCIe slot. Southbridge is smaller in size as compared to Northbridge. Northbridge connects southbridge to the CPU for functioning. Due to its functionalities, the northbridge is also termed an IO bridge.

What Is PCIe Slot In Motherboard?

PCIe stands for peripheral component interconnect express. PCIe acts as a primary interface for components such as storage, graphics, etc. Every time you boot your PC, PCIe determines the peripherals plugged into your motherboard. It is responsible for handling data transfers and point-to-point connections. 

PCIe Slots

PCIe Slots

PCIe slots help you add more peripherals such as graphic cards, high-end SSDs, Processor, etc. A connection of PCIe consists of serially connected multiple data transmission lanes having two pairs of wires. One wire is responsible for transmitting while the second one is for receiving the information. These wires are also termed traces.

The configuration of a physical PCIe slot is represented by its size. The different sizes of the PCIe slots corresponding to the lanes are:

  • PCIe x1
  • PCIe x4
  • PCIe x8
  • PCIe x16

Read: How To Check Type Of Motherboard On Your Laptop

What Is The Difference Between PCI and PCIe

PCIe is the latest version of PCI. The main difference between the PCIe and PCI is that the former has a serial interface while the latter has a parallel interface. PCIe is an upgraded version of PCI that delivers better scalability in performance and more precise error reports.

What Is ZIF Socket?

A ZIF Socket

ZIF socket refers to a zero insertion force socket, an integrated circuit designed to insert an IC into the socket without any force requirement.

ZIF socket uses a lever or a slider that parts spring-loaded contacts to easily place the IC on top of the socket. In the slider when placed back to its original location, the contacts close and hold the pins of IC.

The zero insertion force socket protects the IC from damages caused during insertion or removals.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Functions Of Northbridge?

Following are the functions of Northbridge:
1. Processor Support
2. L2 Cache Support
3. Main Memory Support
4. Maximum Memory Support
5. DRAM Support
6. AGP Functionality

What Are Functions Of Southbridge?

Southbridge acts as a peripheral controller. Following are the functions of Southbridge:
1. I/O Bus Control
2. Bus Bridges
3. Interrupt Controller
4. DMA Controller Support
5. ATA/IDE Interface
6. USB Ports
7. Power Manager
8. Plug And Play Support

The Conclusion

Motherboards are the soul of any PC and communication of peripherals is not possible without them. This article talked about the query “What Motherboard Slot Has Direct Access to North Bridge ” which has a direct answer and that is the Primary PCIe slot. Northbridge and southbridge are two different chipsets that are named as per their position on the motherboard.

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