Friday, November 12th 2021

Intel B660 Motherboards May Lack PCIe 5.0 Support

The ASUS PRIME B660-PLUS D4 has allegedly been inadvertently sent instead of an ASUS Z690 motherboard to a reviewer for Alder Lake testing. The reviewer provided images of the product packaging to VideoCardz which clearly show a label indicating PCIe 4.0 support. This has come as a surprise as the Intel 12th Generation Alder Lake processors include attached PCIe 5.0 lanes separate from the chipset. The B660 chipset will target the mid-range market so the lack of PCIe 5.0 support on this specific motherboard may be a cost-cutting or artificial separation measure.

The first consumer PCIe 5.0 graphics cards and SSDs aren't expected to arrive until H1 2022 and will likely come at a significant premium so the exclusion of support could make sense for a more budget-oriented platform. Intel is also preparing to launch a higher-end H670 chipset which is expected to include PCIe 5.0 support. We cannot be sure if this label is accurate and if the lack of PCIe 5.0 support will apply to all B660 motherboards so take these rumors with a healthy dose of skepticism until the chipset and motherboards are officially unveiled.
Source: VideoCardz
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78 Comments on Intel B660 Motherboards May Lack PCIe 5.0 Support

#51
Valantar
ARFThe PS5 internal SSD has a speed of 5500 MB/s. That is PCIe 4 SSD territory.
The PS6 will probably have double or triple of that. That would be PCIe 6 or 5.
Though you didn't quote anything I take it you're still responding to me like you were. You're right about the first thing - it is a PCIe 4.0 SSD, after all. For the latter? Nah. They have already multiplied the sequential speeds of their storage devices by ~50x. Another 2-3-4x on top of that doesn't make much of a difference - the change is just that much smaller. And it's likely few games are making full use of the PCIe 4.0 drive (Ratchet & Clank is likely the most heavily taxing one). So unless there's a clearly tangible benefit to going for a new and even more expensive SSD, they'll likely be sticking with PCIe 4.0 for a while.
ARFNo game developer has any benefit in keeping HDD owners "happy" when these same HDD owners probably have no CPU nor GPU that meets the minimum game requirements, anyways.
Has anyone here said this?
ARFThe game developers must optimise for console-like gaming experience, but keeping in mind that the console also has dedicated chips for further acceleration of assets processing.
Will keep the old HDDs either unsupported or meeting the absolutely minimum game requirements.
This is what DirectStorage and GPU-accelerated decompression is supposed to solve, so yeah, it's on its way. Given that very few console games make use of these functions it's going to be a while until the PC ports start using DS though.
ARFAnd speaking of x8 GPUs, AMD did the same terrible job with Polaris Radeon RX 560X which also has only PCIe 3 x8 throughput.
Why is that terrible? Given that a 2080Ti is essentially not bottlenecked whatsoever by PCIe 3.0 x8, why is it somehow bad for the RX 560 to be limited to x8? Why spend the money on giving a GPU an interface it will never, ever make any use of? Heck, the RX 560 probably doesn't lose too much performance over PCIe 2.0 x8 even, given that the 2080 Ti only loses 6-9% depending on the resolution. Complaining that a GPU lacks a feature that it would never utilize doesn't make sense to me.
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#52
R-T-B
ARFThere are no PCIe 5 graphics cards and M.2 NVMe SSDs.
And there won't ever be if there are no ports for it either.
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#53
AlwaysHope
Storm in a teacup, B & H range of 500 series more than enough for office PCs atm & yrs into the future.
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#54
chrcoluk
ValantarDid you see the review I linked in the post you quoted? TPU has tested this already. 3.0x4 is equivalent to 1.0x16, so you'll lose some performance, but it's by no means horrendous. If you're connecting it to the chipset I would expect a bit more loss, but still not a ton.
No, thank you for pointing it out to me. I may have seen the review and forgot, or just not read it, saves me some time to satisfy my curiosity.

I think there is some overhead improvements that were made in gen 3 as well in terms of achievable data rates, so I would expect 3x4 to be a bit better than 1x16.

Just read it now, the link didnt show very easily in your reply, but found it when hovering, the load that TPU put on the card suggests the 3080s need more bandwidth than I thought, but still would probably be comfortable on 4x4 and 3x8, so with directstorage maybe 4x8, depending on the bandwidth requirements of directstorage, I have assumed no compression of data so a worse case scenario..
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#55
Minus Infinity
Sorry, what's the problem. So budget builders won't spend big dollars on products that won't make didley squats difference for very many years and by then PCi_E 6 will be released and we'll hear Intel's not fitting it to B960 MB's.
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#56
TheUn4seen
Is that really news worthy? I would be much more surprised if such a niche, edge technology made it to entry-level lineup.
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#57
bug
TheUn4seenIs that really news worthy? I would be much more surprised if such a niche, edge technology made it to entry-level lineup.
It's a reference for those waiting for cheaper motherboards, I guess.
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#58
Crackong
TheUn4seenIs that really news worthy? I would be much more surprised if such a niche, edge technology made it to entry-level lineup.
Except B660 isn't the entry level lineup ?
Since the Hx10 series always be the entry level lineup
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#59
TheUn4seen
bugIt's a reference for those waiting for cheaper motherboards, I guess.
Yes, but those in a market for a cheaper board seem to be an unlikely target for this information, since for the foreseeable future no one will care about it at all. Even in several years, when PCIe 5.0 will be more mainstream, Alder Lake will be a legacy thing of the days gone available only on a second-hand market, and on this market people tend to be more careful about what they purchase.
CrackongExcept B660 isn't the entry level lineup ?
Since the Hx10 series always be the entry level lineup
I was always under the impression that it went Z > H > B, with even lower-end products appearing to get rid of production waste that couldn't be binned as a product in the early days of production.
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#60
Valantar
TheUn4seenYes, but those in a market for a cheaper board seem to be an unlikely target for this information, since for the foreseeable future no one will care about it at all. Even in several years, when PCIe 5.0 will be more mainstream, Alder Lake will be a legacy thing of the days gone available only on a second-hand market, and on this market people tend to be more careful about what they purchase.
There are plenty of hardware enthusiasts with tight budgets, so the information is still valuable to some degree. That obviously doesn't mean the lack of PCIe 5.0 actually matters, but knowing it's absent is still good.
TheUn4seenI was always under the impression that it went Z > H > B, with even lower-end products appearing to get rid of production waste that couldn't be binned as a product in the early days of production.
Nah, it's more of a consumer/business split, with Z and B being consumer oriented and Q and H being business oriented - but Hx10 also fills out the universal low-end/budget tier. This is a rather implicit split though, as they're all listed as "PC/Client/Tablet" in Intel's documentation (unlike the W480 and W580 which are explicitly for workstations). They're not "pro" chipsets as in supporting vPro, but they are squarely aimed at the OEM and prebuilt markets, including vPro-less business desktops, AIOs and the like. Z and B chipsets are very rarely found in those product segments.
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#61
Khonjel
Mark my words. So will B650 from AMD. Maybe even X670.

BTW since I'm talking outta my aß here, will Zen 3+ bring new chipset or new chipset coming with Zen 4?
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#62
Wirko
ValantarNah, it's more of a consumer/business split, with Z and B being consumer oriented and Q and H being business oriented - but Hx10 also fills out the universal low-end/budget tier. This is a rather implicit split though, as they're all listed as "PC/Client/Tablet" in Intel's documentation (unlike the W480 and W580 which are explicitly for workstations). They're not "pro" chipsets as in supporting vPro, but they are squarely aimed at the OEM and prebuilt markets, including vPro-less business desktops, AIOs and the like. Z and B chipsets are very rarely found in those product segments.
Hx70 are consumer chipsets and B are for business PCs - Puget has a nice overview. At least that's how it was in the Skylake era.
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#63
Valantar
WirkoHx70 are consumer chipsets and B are for business PCs - Puget has a nice overview. At least that's how it was in the Skylake era.
Calling Hx70 consumer is rather weird given how few consumer motherboards are made with that chipset - though I guess it could be "consumer OEM", i.e. for OEMs making consumer-oriented products but not wanting to splurge on Z-series. Calling B business-oriented is just weird though. It might be that the B-series was originally intended as a mid-range business oriented series, but it's been widely adopted as consumer/DIY midrange for years and years. Just look at the spread of chipsets for Intel motherboards on Newegg for any recent platform - Z is by far the most common, with Bx60 being a clear number two, and anything H series trailing far behind that. There are typically more Hx10 boards than Hx70 boards available, which says something about how uncommon those chipsets are.
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#64
bug
ValantarCalling Hx70 consumer is rather weird given how few consumer motherboards are made with that chipset - though I guess it could be "consumer OEM", i.e. for OEMs making consumer-oriented products but not wanting to splurge on Z-series. Calling B business-oriented is just weird though. It might be that the B-series was originally intended as a mid-range business oriented series, but it's been widely adopted as consumer/DIY midrange for years and years. Just look at the spread of chipsets for Intel motherboards on Newegg for any recent platform - Z is by far the most common, with Bx60 being a clear number two, and anything H series trailing far behind that. There are typically more Hx10 boards than Hx70 boards available, which says something about how uncommon those chipsets are.
I believe Q is the official business oriented chipset (the only one that has vPro support). But businesses routinely go for off-the-shelf, cheap builds that may very well be built around H or B chipsets.
Whether "business oriented" is what Intel says or what the real world actually uses is a discussion I'd rather not have ;)
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#65
Wirko
ValantarCalling Hx70 consumer is rather weird given how few consumer motherboards are made with that chipset - though I guess it could be "consumer OEM", i.e. for OEMs making consumer-oriented products but not wanting to splurge on Z-series. Calling B business-oriented is just weird though. It might be that the B-series was originally intended as a mid-range business oriented series, but it's been widely adopted as consumer/DIY midrange for years and years. Just look at the spread of chipsets for Intel motherboards on Newegg for any recent platform - Z is by far the most common, with Bx60 being a clear number two, and anything H series trailing far behind that. There are typically more Hx10 boards than Hx70 boards available, which says something about how uncommon those chipsets are.
Intel makes the distinction based on the presence or absence of enterprise features like vPro, SIPP, TXT, Intel Standard Manageability and other stuff that I don't understand anyway.

H170 and older (H97, H87) boards used to be quite common. Q too. It looks like things have changed a lot since then, and H570 and Q570 are a rare sight now.
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#66
Valantar
WirkoIntel makes the distinction based on the presence or absence of enterprise features like vPro, SIPP, TXT, Intel Standard Manageability and other stuff that I don't understand anyway.

H170 and older (H97, H87) boards used to be quite common. Q too. It looks like things have changed a lot since then, and H570 and Q570 are a rare sight now.
Only the Q series supports those things though, at least vPro.
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#67
Nike_486DX
whats more interesting is how fast they skipped the 4.0 :wtf: Like 4.0 was introduced just a year ago or so, alongside with X570
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#68
bug
Nike_486DXwhats more interesting is how fast they skipped the 4.0 :wtf: Like 4.0 was introduced just a year ago or so, alongside with X570
I believe they already have PCIe 5.0 on some server parts, it was probably cheaper to just migrate that.
Checkbox feature, just like PCIe 4.0 before it.
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#69
Totally
ChaitanyaAt this moment other than enterprise who cares about PCI-e 5.0?
So you expect people to cough up another $$$ for a new mb when an upgrade utilizes it and then matters?
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#70
bug
TotallySo you expect people to cough up another $$$ for a new mb when it does matter?
Totally. By the time PCIe 5.0 becomes even remotely relevant, Alder Lake will be obsolete.
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#71
rainxh11
Intel lineup segmentation is so ancient
they still lock CPUs multiplier and charge a premium to unlock it
they wasting a golden opportunity to put the E-Core in all of the SKUs from top to bottom since 4 E-Cores take the die space of one P-Core, the locked i5 & i3 & pentium could really benefit from such hybrid design
and they should've focused on making the DMI PCI-E gen 5
and the whole Z & B chipset thing should be a thing of the past in my opinion, just make one bloodddy chipset
the i5-12600k is a beast of a CPU that is ruined by the platform cost, motherboard are ripping you blind, Z690 are the most expensive boards i've seen in a mainstream lineup
and the cheaper ones are DDR4 only, why would anyone buy an alder lake just to pair it with a DDR4
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#72
bug
rainxh11Intel lineup segmentation is so ancient
they still lock CPUs multiplier and charge a premium to unlock it
they wasting a golden opportunity to put the E-Core in all of the SKUs from top to bottom since 4 E-Cores take the die space of one P-Core, the locked i5 & i3 & pentium could really benefit from such hybrid design
and they should've focused on making the DMI PCI-E gen 5
and the whole Z & B chipset thing should be a thing of the past in my opinion, just make one bloodddy chipset
the i5-12600k is a beast of a CPU that is ruined by the platform cost, motherboard are ripping you blind, Z690 are the most expensive boards i've seen in a mainstream lineup
Of course they're the most expensive you have seen in a mainstream lineup. They're all high-end boards.
rainxh11and the cheaper ones are DDR4 only, why would anyone buy an alder lake just to pair it with a DDR4
Because, save for a few scenarios, there's basically no difference between DDR4 and DDR5? I have done exactly that: ordered a 12600k to use with my current DDR4 RAM.
You have just complained about the high cost of the platform and now you're saying everyone should use RAM that's twice as expensive? :wtf:
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#73
chrcoluk
rainxh11Intel lineup segmentation is so ancient
they still lock CPUs multiplier and charge a premium to unlock it
they wasting a golden opportunity to put the E-Core in all of the SKUs from top to bottom since 4 E-Cores take the die space of one P-Core, the locked i5 & i3 & pentium could really benefit from such hybrid design
and they should've focused on making the DMI PCI-E gen 5
and the whole Z & B chipset thing should be a thing of the past in my opinion, just make one bloodddy chipset
the i5-12600k is a beast of a CPU that is ruined by the platform cost, motherboard are ripping you blind, Z690 are the most expensive boards i've seen in a mainstream lineup
and the cheaper ones are DDR4 only, why would anyone buy an alder lake just to pair it with a DDR4
If they ditched the B chipset, the prices would stay on Z and force B owners to downgrade or pay more for Z.

I think its great B chipset ditches things that are no longer important, for me, CPU overclocking days are over, they perform so well out of the box, amd also not been forced to pay the PCIe5 gen tax as well.
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#74
bug
chrcolukIf they ditched the B chipset, the prices would stay on Z and force B owners to downgrade or pay more for Z.

I think its great B chipset ditches things that are no longer important, for me, CPU overclocking days are over, they perform so well out of the box, amd also not been forced to pay the PCIe5 gen tax as well.
I don't think they to ditch anything, but the Z, H, B, Q. We, on TPU, are supposed to be tech-savvy. When we can't tell otoh what they stand for, they failed in their mission.
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#75
Valantar
bugI don't think they to ditch anything, but the Z, H, B, Q. We, on TPU, are supposed to be tech-savvy. When we can't tell otoh what they stand for, they failed in their mission.
Don't forget Wx80.

I think five (six?) chipsets per generation is excessive though. A high-mid-low range makes sense, and I guess one for business with vPro and one for Xeon workstations also makes some sense - though ideally those would just be kept separate in some way. They could at least give them useful and understandable designations. If B is supposed to stand for business, it's weird that they don't support vPro and are universally seen as the "not Z" consumer option. If H stands for Home, why have they never been used in consumer-oriented motherboards to any extent? Why are Hx70 and Qx70 the same number, yet have very different featuresets? Why is Bx60 severely cut down compared to the x70 ranges, despite just being 10 lower in number?

Possible solutions: Make the business chipsets vPro versions of the other chipsets. I.e. instead of Z490, W480, Q470, H470, B460 and H410, you'd have Z490, Z490 vPro, B460, B460 vPro, and H410. Let the BIOS decide whether to unlock OC functionality and the like based on what CPU is installed, instead of using bespoke chipsets for every single little thing. The vPro versions wouldn't be sold much at retail anyway, and OEMs would have the option to flash vPro BIOSes to their PCs at will, without needing to manage stock for 5-6 different pieces of silicon.

If anything, this just mirrors Intel's CPU naming woes: the segmentation itself makes sense in some way, but the naming is confusing and messy to such a degree that it completely undermines the segmentation and makes it seem arbitrary and weird.
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