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Chapter 3. Getting Your Hardware and Sof... > The Importance of the Chipset

The Importance of the Chipset

Keep in mind that the CPU is only a very small part of the overall design of a motherboard and computer. Many people ask me about upgrading their computers by simply dropping in a (relatively) expensive CPU chip or going through all kinds of machinations to speed- double the chip, and so forth. Just like you don't become Arnold Schwarzenegger or Rambo by getting a brain transplant, you can't create a super computer just by upgrading the CPU. Efficiency of the CPU is interdependent with several variables, such as the support chipset and the internal system bus speed. In fact, contrary to popular belief, the efficiency of the computer is more affected by the chipset than by any other factor—not the CPU nor the video nor the hard disk.

The CPU can be changed. The memory can be upgraded. The hard disk can be swapped. But the motherboard has been designed around the capabilities of the chipset, and until you change the motherboard, your PC will function largely the same. You cannot upgrade the chipset on a motherboard; you have to replace the board. The following are some examples of what properties the chipset dictates:


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