Confused about Mobo features, please inform a newbie

By badadjective
Feb 10, 2005
  1. I am getting a new computer and have everything figured out except for the mobo and memory. I don't understand exactly what the following are, and how they work:

    1) Dual Channel Memory. If I have 512mb on one channel, and 512mb on the other, do I now have dual 512, where it acts like a RAID 0 array for hard drives, or do I have 1GB of RAM and it still SORT OF acts like a RAID 0 array?

    2) What are the northbridge and southbridge on motherboards? Could you explain this in detail?

    3) What does the front side bus and back side bus do? (I know most mobo's don't have a back side bus, but would still like to know what it is)

    4) The front side bus, people say an 800mhz isn't really 800mhz, its 200 x 4 or 400 x 2. What does all this mean?

    5) AMD's hypertransport technolgy. Its not really a Front Side Bus, so what is it? And why do they advertise it as 1.6GHZ but its only 800mhz FSB? All this is very confusing!

    6) Intel's EMT64, is the processor 64 bit or does it just emulate 64 bit instructions?

    If anyone could explain this that would be great, or reply with links that explain this stuff. Sorry for all the questions in one post, I am obviously very confused!
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    You will have 1GB of RAM and that is exactly how RAID 0 works.

    These are the two main chips that make up a chipset. North bridge is a high speed device that interconnects the CPU and RAM. South bridge handles all the perpherals like PCI cards, hard drives, keyboard etc. Some chipsets come on one chip so there is no "north" and "south".

    Frontside bus is the channel btween the CPU and RAM. Backside bus is the connection between the CPU core and L2 cache. For modern CPUs the BSB is a feature of the CPU, not the motherboard since both the CPU core and the cache sit on the same chip.

    The FSB has a clock signal of 200MHz, but data is transferred on both the rising and falling edges of the signal (I hope you know how a clock signal looks like). Also, on every transfer, two sets of data are sent. So effectively you send data words at four times the clock signal itself.

    Hypetransport is a point-to-point channel you can use to connect all kinds of electronic components. It is used for connecting things like AGP and PCI buses to the CPU and RAM for example.

    If you read the TS frontpage then Intel just launched the "true" 64-bit P4.
  3. badadjective

    badadjective TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks for the info, i would just like to clarify some of your answers for the following items:

    1) i thought raid 0 worked differently? if i had 2 hdd's, both 100gb, and I set them to raid 0, i would still only have 100gb, not 200gb, because it splits the data among two drives? is this the way dual channel memory works?

    5) amd's hypertransport: it has nothing to do with the front side bus? FSB is a completely different thing from hypertransport bus? could you go into a little more detail with this please

    6) the intel 64bit, so all along the "EMT64" was not really 64bit? only now it is "true" 64bit?

    thanks very much for your help!
  4. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    That's RAID1 you are thinking of. RAID0 is striping (data is spread across all disks) RAID1 is mirroring (you lose half the disk space)

    FSB is the data channel between the CPU and the main memory (the memory controller). HyperTransport is an interconnect architecture that allows you to connect all kinds of things to all kinds of other things. They are as different as the IDE interface for hard disks and the USB bus for all kinds of peripherals.

    On AMD64 machines the "FSB" is inside the CPU itself (since the memory controller is integrated). AGP and PCI buses that normally would connect directly to the FSB are linked to the CPU with HyperTransport.

    In the beginning yes, Intel's 64 technology was just a quick hack on top of the 32-bit architecture. I'm not sure when exactly the real 64-bit Intel CPUs appeared.
  5. badadjective

    badadjective TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thank you sooo much for the clear explanations, i get it now. havn't been able to find clear resources on this stuff, thank you!
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