Intel 5 Series

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Intel 5 Series is a computing architecture introduced in 2008 that improves the efficiency and balances the use of communication channels in the motherboard. The architecture consists primarily of a central processing unit (CPU) (connected to the graphics card and memory) and a single chipset (connected to motherboard components). All motherboard communications and activities circle around these two devices.

The architecture is a product of adjustments made to the Intel 4 Series to deliver higher performance motherboards while maintaining efficiency and low power. The changes revolve around chipset and processor design, in conjunction with a rearrangement of functions and controllers. The result is the first major change in many years of computing.

Design concept[edit]

Intel 4 Series Motherboard Design

The concept of the architecture was to improve motherboard mechanics to keep pace with the CPU as it gained more speed and multiplied in number of cores. In the previous architecture, the CPU was communicating heavily with the motherboard's central component, the Northbridge chipset, as it was the intermediary between the CPU, memory, and, in most cases, graphics card. The CPU would communicate with the Northbridge chipset when it needed data from the memory or when it needed to output graphics to the display. This arrangement caused the communication channel known as the front-side bus (FSB) to be heavily used. It was not long till either the FSB would reach full capacity or operate inefficiently with more cores. With the memory controller and/or graphics core moved into the processor, the reliance of separate motherboard chipsets for these functions are reduced.

Ibex Peak[1][2][edit]

Intel 5 Series (Ibex Peak) Motherboard Solution

The Ibex Peak chipset includes only Platform Controller Hub (PCH) per model, which provides peripheral connections, and display controllers for CPU with integrated graphics via Flexible Display Interface (excluding P-models). Additionally, the PCH is connected to the CPU via Direct Media Interface (DMI).

Taking advantage of Intel Nehalem CPUs with integrated graphics and PCI Express ports, the Intel management engine (ME) and a display controller for integrated graphics, once housed in north bridge, are moved into the Platform Controller Hub (PCH). The I/O Controller Hub (ICH) function is integrated into the PCH, removing the need for separate north bridge and south bridge.

Intel 5 Series
Model Top marking
P55 Express BD82P55
H55 Express BD82H55
H57 Express BD82H57
Q57 Express BD82Q57
B55 Express ?
Mobile Intel 5 Series
Model Top marking
PM55 Express BD82PM55
QM57 Express BD82QM57
HM55 Express BD82HM55
HM57 Express BD82HM57
QS57 Express BD82QS57
Intel 3400 Series
Model Top marking Fab ME Firmware Version PCIe
3400 BD3400 65 nm 6.0 2.0
3420 BD3420
3450 BD3450


Unlike the Ibex Peak chipsets, The Tylersburg family of chipsets do not include PCH, and the I/O Hub mainly provides extra PCI Express 2.0 ports. Peripheral connections are provided by I/O Controller Hub (ICH) connected to DMI interface. Intel 5 series IOH support ICH10, while Intel 5500 Series IOH support ICH9 or ICH10.

Intel 5 Series
Model Top marking
X58[3] AC82X58 SLGBT (B2), AC82X58 SLGMX 901076 (B3), AC82X58 SLH3M 904727 (C2)
Intel 5500 Series
Model Top marking
5520 AC5520 SLGMU 901037 (B-3), AC5520 SLH3P 904729 (C-2)
5500 AC5500 SLGMT 901036 (B-3), AC5500 SLH3N 904728 (C-2)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Intel 5 Series Chipset
  2. ^ Mobile Intel 5 Series Chipset
  3. ^ Intel X58 Specification Update, May 2010 (PDF)

External links[edit]

Ibex Peak[edit]