Your motherboard contains a CPU, some RAM, and expansion slots. But it also contains some silicon chips which make all of those parts work together. The most important of these chips are called the Motherboard Chipset.

The chipset has a driver which can affect the speed and stability of many of the devices built into your motherboard. It is fairly common for computers to be running with old chipset drivers or to use the basic default drivers built into Windows. If you’re having any kind of stability problems with your motherboard then it’s a good idea to install the latest chipset drivers. AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) slots are especially susceptible to flakiness caused by old chipset drivers. Even if you don’t have an AGP motherboard, it’s a good idea to be sure that your chipset drivers are updated to the latest version.

The chipset is usually made up of two chips:

  • the northbridge, is the main chip which connects to the CPU and high-speed expansion slots.
  • the southbridge, is a support chip which provides things like USB ports, network connections, and disk drive controllers.

To install your chipset drivers, the first thing you have to do is figure out which chipset is used by your motherboard.

CPUZ is a free program which can identify the chipset on almost all PC motherboards. CPU-Z has two versions: a version with an installer, and one in a zip file. Running the one with the installer is a little easier so just download it and execute it to install it. Or if you don’t like installers and declining included software then just download the zip file and unzip it.

In the exceedingly rare cases where CPU-Z doesn’t work you can try Sandra Lite.

When you do identify your chipset drivers used by your motherboard, all you need to do is visit the company’s official website. Here is an extensive list that will definitely help.