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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Motherboard and System Devices | System Chipset and Controllers | Chipset Functions and Features | Chipset Processor Support ]

Multiple Processor Support

Some chipsets support the ability to create motherboards with two or four processors on them. The chipset circuitry coordinates the activities of the processors so that they don't interfere with each other, and works with the operating system software to share the load between the CPUs for maximum efficiency. The only current standard for multiprocessing in Pentium and Pentium Pro PCs is Intel's version of SMP (symmetric multiprocessing). It only works with Intel processors.

There is more to running multiple processors than the chipset supporting it, though that is one piece of the puzzle. In addition, the processors must be compatible, and your operating system must be able to take advantage of the extra CPUs for there to actually be a performance improvement. See here for full details on multiprocessing.

Next: Chipset Cache Support

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