Thursday, December 7, 2023

Cheaper Alder Lake motherboards are finally on the horizon


According to an early listing, Intel’s B660 chipset motherboards from MSI will offer consumers fairly inexpensive options, especially compared to the company’s Z690 boards.

Leaker momomo_us shared the premature listing on Twitter, which confirms that gamers will finally be offered more affordable alternatives to the flagship Z690 motherboard.

The listing details five boards from MSI, with the cheapest motherboard being the B660M-A DDR4. The priciest out of the range is the B660M Mortar WiFi DDR4, which will set you back $211. The full list is as follows:

  • MSI Mag B660M Mortar WiFi DDR4: 186 euros/$211
  • MSI Mag B660M Mortar DDR4: 172 euros/$195
  • MSI Pro B660M-A WiFi DDR4: 162 euros/$184
  • MSI Mag B660M Bazooka DDR4: 155 euros/$176
  • MSI Pro B660M-A DDR4: 148 euros/$168

These boards will undoubtedly become enticing options for gamers looking to build an Alder Lake PC. Prices for other components such as GPUs have soared well above its MSRPs, so budget-friendly choices for parts like boards become increasingly important.

The increased prices attached to the latest generation of motherboards like the Z690 are attributed to the latest features and standards, including PCIe 5.0, DDR5, and the new LGA 1700 socket.

As noted by Tom’s Hardware, the relatively low prices for these MSI motherboards are associated with the B660 chipset’s cutback in regard to connectivity options compared to the Z690. Only a single PCI-e Gen 5.0 interface is found on the primary x16 slot, while reductions have also been applied to USB port connectivity. DMI lanes have also been halved on B660 motherboards from eight lanes to four.

Unlike the Z690, B660 boards will not be able to overclock the CPU. However, the ability to overclock the memory remains. The upcoming motherboards will aptly become a good match with the company’s recently leaked midrange, non-K Alder Lake CPUs.

While connectivity has been reduced, you’ll still be left with a motherboard that will be sufficient enough for gaming purposes. Unless you’re an enthusiast who requires a broader range of connectivity options, the majority of users can depend on the B660 boards for an adequate Alder Lake-based system.

When Intel launches a new generation of processors, it normally releases two chipset series as well. Enthusiasts and overclockers are offered Z-series boards, while the mainstream segment of the market receives the H-series. The latter has yet to materialize, but as pointed out by Tom’s Hardware, Intel is said to have canceled or postponed its H670 chipset in favor of the budget-friendly B660 motherboards from MSI.

Intel is expected to announce the B660 range of boards at its CES 2022 conference on January 4.

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