What is the difference between Northbridge and Southbridge in computer hardware?

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Mudassir Ali
Feb 05, 2020 05:10 PM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Feb 05, 2020 05:10 PM

They are the 2 communication paths for data from the CPU to the rest of a PC an d reside in specific ICs for that task

The Northbridge can be consider as the high speed path and is between the CPU and either the e video bus or he system RAM. The southbridge communicates with all the slow hardware, the IDE, USB, the card bus internet,

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Mudassir Ali

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John Robertson
John Robertson, works at Royal Air Force
Answered Dec 14, 2014
In Intel and AMD chip sets the Northbridge is the chip whose main role is to connect (provide a bridge between) the CPU and the RAM memory. It also connects the CPU to the AGP and PCI Express slots. These are all processes which have to go really fast.

The Southbridge is more relaxed and connects the CPU via the Northbridge to the I/O devices. E.g. ATA hard drives, USBs, standard PCI slots, sound and Ethernet. These connections (bridges) are actually very fast but by comparison with the CPU are they slow.

The North and South refer to the fact that schematic drawings show the NB at the top (North) of the page and the SB at the bottom (South) of the page.

All pretty arbitrary but it is now accepted practice.

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