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

#76
bug
@Valantar I didn't forget about W. It's the only one that makes sense (W ~ workstation), but we don't need to worry about it in the consumer space.

And while I agree we don't need that many chipsets, with the increasing number of features provided, it's easy to see that encourages further segmentation. But it makes you wonder why board manufacturers put up with additional designs and dealing with more SKUs.
For m it's pretty simple: I don't buy cheap, so it's Z or the better H chips for me.
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#77
TheUn4seen
ValantarThere 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.
(...)
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.
All information is valuable, that's true. And on that note, thank you for clarifying the chipset situation for me.
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#78
Valantar
bug@Valantar I didn't forget about W. It's the only one that makes sense (W ~ workstation), but we don't need to worry about it in the consumer space.

And while I agree we don't need that many chipsets, with the increasing number of features provided, it's easy to see that encourages further segmentation. But it makes you wonder why board manufacturers put up with additional designs and dealing with more SKUs.
For m it's pretty simple: I don't buy cheap, so it's Z or the better H chips for me.
In some sense I agree - but I don't really see a reason to add more chipsets, as too much segmentation just breeds confusion. It would make perfect sense to me to keep PCIe 5.0 support Z and W series only, 4.0 support for B/mid-range H, and even stick to 3.0 with Hx10 (unless other factors force board quality to be where 4.0 is feeasible at the same cost). And of course for the chipset lanes I'd stick with 4.0 on Z/W only, with the rest getting some mix of 3.0 and 2.0 as before. Anything else will just drive up prices unnecessarily, and adding more tiers just means more costs for distributors and retailers with limited benefits for anyone - you can get pretty affordable Z-series boards anyway, so if you need Z-series features you can typically manage to go that route.
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