Tuesday, December 7th 2021

Intel H670, B660, and H610 Chipset Features Leaked

Intel is preparing to significantly expand its 12th Gen Core "Alder Lake" desktop processor series next January, alongside more motherboard chipset choices for the client-desktop segment. These include the H670, the B660, and the H610. The H670 offers most of the I/O features of the top Z690 chipset, but you lose out on CPU overclocking. The B660 is the mid-tier option, and while you still get a formidable I/O feature-set, the chipset bus is narrower. The H610 is the entry-level chipset with very basic I/O, and no CPU-attached NVMe slots. The interesting thing is that all these chipsets support PCI-Express 5.0 x16 (PEG) from the CPU, but leave it to the motherboard vendors whether they want to implement it. There do exist Z690 motherboard that lack Gen 5 PEG (and only feature Gen 4).

The chipset-attached downstream PCIe also varies greatly across the lineup. The top Z690 part puts out 12 Gen 4 lanes besides 16 Gen 3 lanes; while the H670 puts out 12 each of Gen 4 and Gen 3. The B660 puts out 6 Gen 4 lanes and 8 Gen 3 lanes. The H610 completely lacks downstream Gen 4, and only puts out 8 Gen 3 lanes. The H670 and B660 put out up to two 20 Gbps USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 ports; while the H610 lacks 20 Gbps ports. All chipset models put out at least two 10 Gbps Gen 2x1 ports; and at least four 5 Gbps Gen 1x1 ports. An interesting aspect of the lineup is that Intel is allowing memory overclocking across H670 and B660 chipsets, provided the CPU supports it.
Source: momomo_us (Twitter)
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37 Comments on Intel H670, B660, and H610 Chipset Features Leaked

#1
Chaitanya
Thats a lot of castration of features. This excludes other cpu features which will be "disabled" based on chipset.
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#2
Mussels
Freshwater Moderator
H610 doesnt even get CPU direct NVME?

wow the've cut some things far back
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#3
The red spirit
Yet another gimped Hx10 series chipset. Intel has been fucking them up since H410.
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#4
BSim500
I like to think everyone who doesn't overclock and who just wants something "fast enough" for minimal cost has already figured out the newest B boards are a ripoff and just bought last gen stuff. There's no reliable "B upgrade path" anyway in recent years (see how B460's were arbitrarily blocked from using Rocket Lake resulting in B560's having a barely 6-8 month lifecycle) plus how the fact Intel consistently delays B/H boards behind Z ones by a few months means the 24 month lifespan of a Z690 (before "Socket 1701" is introduced) falls to just 16-20 months for H610/B660/H670.

You want Premium Intel? Get a Z690. You want cheap Intel? Get a B460 + i5-10400F / i7-10700F on clearance. Increasingly expensive but increasingly crippled B boards (SATA also dropped from 6 to 4 I see) make zero sense for a "money saving" platform.
Posted on Reply
#5
asdkj1740
MusselsH610 doesnt even get CPU direct NVME?

wow the've cut some things far back
not the first time. h510 same.
ChaitanyaThats a lot of castration of features. This excludes other cpu features which will be "disabled" based on chipset.
even ryzen cpu got 4*10g usb, not every x570 provides that 4*10g.
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#6
Chrispy_
The red spiritYet another gimped Hx10 series chipset. Intel has been fucking them up since H410.
Yeah, both H options here kind of suck; The H610 because it's far too crippled in ways that won't necessarily result in much cheaper boards, and the H670 has so much enabled that the boards are gonna be hella expensive so why cripple the CPU on an otherwise expensive board to to save, what, $20 on the chipset? (the H570 chipset was only $18 cheaper than the Z590, for example)

It's Z690 if you want everything or B660 for a balanced option that looks to be more than enough for non K-series chips.
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#7
Wirko
ChaitanyaThats a lot of castration of features. This excludes other cpu features which will be "disabled" based on chipset.
Well yes but that's nothing new. One of the main roles of Intel chipsets is to tell the CPU what it isn't allowed to do. It's been this way since Intel invented Ks and Zs.
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#9
Wirko
Chrispy_Yeah, both H options here kind of suck; The H610 because it's far too crippled in ways that won't necessarily result in much cheaper boards, and the H670 has so much enabled that the boards are gonna be hella expensive so why cripple the CPU on an otherwise expensive board to to save, what, $20 on the chipset? (the H570 chipset was only $18 cheaper than the Z590, for example)

It's Z690 if you want everything or B660 for a balanced option that looks to be more than enough for non K-series chips.
A few generation back there used to be a good selection of Hx70 boards, and the prices were appropriate compared to Z and B, considering the features. Hoping for the good times to come back (no, they probably won't).
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#10
TheLostSwede
Chrispy_Yeah, both H options here kind of suck; The H610 because it's far too crippled in ways that won't necessarily result in much cheaper boards, and the H670 has so much enabled that the boards are gonna be hella expensive so why cripple the CPU on an otherwise expensive board to to save, what, $20 on the chipset? (the H570 chipset was only $18 cheaper than the Z590, for example)

It's Z690 if you want everything or B660 for a balanced option that looks to be more than enough for non K-series chips.
Only $18 cheaper? The B560 is $2 less than that, so a huge gap in cost for what is more or less just overclocking...
Intel has a bizarre cost structure for its chipsets.

Also, that $18 is $50 by the time you buy the board.
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#11
Tigger
I'm the only one
Not much point buying a high end CPU and putting it in anything but Z. But i understand these, are for lower end chips. Imo only one worth it is H, the rest are true budget.
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#12
Raendor
I don't see the reason for so much whining. B660 looks decent and so was b560 that allowed mem OC and was this way perfect for 10 and 11th series CPUs (unlike b460 that had no mem OC). K processors can be OCed, yes, but the benefit of OC diminishes every year and is long enough within 5% or less margin to be rendered worthless for mainstream/home user. B560 + 11400(f)/11700(f) was a way to go this year and so would be B660 + 12400/12700 the next one for new system builds on intel.
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#13
Chrispy_
TheLostSwedeOnly $18 cheaper? The B560 is $2 less than that, so a huge gap in cost for what is more or less just overclocking...
Intel has a bizarre cost structure for its chipsets.

Also, that $18 is $50 by the time you buy the board.
Yeah, I guess I should have reworded it - What I was trying to say is that the H670 is such an expensive board to make because of all the PCIe lanes. It's going to be expensive many-layer PCB that won't really be meaningfully cheaper than the Z690 to make.

The chipset cost is such a small part of the Z690 price because (despite cynicism that they're extorting the impatient flagship market) the OEMs claim that the real costs are in PCIe 5.0 and so many PCIe 4.0 lanes. The H670 has so many of those that the entry-level H670 boards are probably going to be $200 and that's still a hell of a lot for a locked-down board.

If you need lots of PCIe lanes, there's no reason not to get the Z690. If you don't need the lanes then the B660 boards should be waaaay cheaper with half of the Gen5, Gen4, lanes and a narrower chipset bus that will invariably translate to fewer layers of PCB as well.
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#14
TheLostSwede
Chrispy_Yeah, I guess I should have reworded it - What I was trying to say is that the H670 is such an expensive board to make because of all the PCIe lanes. It's going to be expensive many-layer PCB that won't really be meaningfully cheaper than the Z690 to make.

The chipset cost is such a small part of the Z690 price because (despite cynicism that they're extorting the impatient flagship market) the real costs are in PCIe 5.0 and so many PCIe 4.0 lanes. The H670 has so many of those that the entry-level H670 boards are probably going to be $200 and that's still a hell of a lot for a locked-down board.

If you need lots of PCIe lanes, there's no reason not to get the Z690. If you don't need the lanes then the B660 boards should be waaaay cheaper with half of the Gen5, Gen4, lanes and a narrower chipset bus that will invariably translate to fewer layers of PCB as well.
Sorry, but I would say that the $18 price difference is much bigger than the cost of a single SMT mounted PCIe slot and slightly better improved PCB materials. You're looking at maybe $6-10 extra cost over a Z590 boards for that, assuming no extra redrivers or retimers are needed, which shouldn't be the case for most Z690 boards. The PCB materials have come down in cost quite a bit thanks to AMD moving to PCIe 4.0 first and Z690 boards not using any more advanced PCB materials.

What you are paying a lot more for is the PWM circuitry, as there's a combination of a shortage of the components and as we know, much bigger power draw from these CPUs, so the board makers have had to put in better PWM designs even at the lower-end. This has probably added something like $10 per board and even H610 boards will need that.

How does the B660 have half the PCIe 5.0 lanes?
Posted on Reply
#15
Chrispy_
TheLostSwedeHow does the B660 have half the PCIe 5.0 lanes?
Derp, I meant slots. Presumably the traces to wire up one slot at x16 and the second slot at x8 is a subantial cost as that's yet more trace density to increase complexity of the PEG slot wiring.
TheLostSwedeWhat you are paying a lot more for is the PWM circuitry, as there's a combination of a shortage of the components and as we know, much bigger power draw from these CPUs
I don't agree - the Z590 boards from only 8 months prior needed exactly the same quality of PWM: tpucdn.com/review/intel-core-i9-11900k/images/power-stress.png - Rocket Lake is arguably even more power-hungry than Alder Lake when de-restricted - it's 14nm don't forget, rather than 10nm 7nm!

Are you saying that PWM circuitry supply chain issues are what are driving up the costs and that if the Asus Z590 was launched today it would be at least $50 more than it was 8 months ago? I don't really know how much of the BOM the PWM components actually make but one of the main citiations the board manufacturers used for the Z590 vs Z490 price hikes were the complexity of the PCBs to deal with PCIe 4.0. You're saying it's PWM components, the manufacturers were saying something different, If you have a link to the PWM supply issue changing drastically in the last 8 months I'd like to have a read but I just assumed the dire PWM IC shortage was ongoing from 15 months ago and hadn't changed enough to be newsworthy - there certainly don't seem to be any recent headlines.
Posted on Reply
#16
TheLostSwede
Chrispy_Derp, I meant slots. Presumably the traces to wire up one slot at x16 and the second slot at x8 is a subantial cost as that's yet more trace density to increase complexity of the PEG slot wiring.
Most Z690 board only has a single PCIe 5.0 slot though. The ones with two slots need a retimer and that's where the real extra cost lies. I don't have an exact price, but they're a lot more expensive than redrivers, which are used on X570 boards and one of the reasons the cost went up so much that time. That said, redrivers are also used for USB 3.2 2x2 (20Gbps).
Chrispy_I don't agree - the Z590 boards from only 8 months prior needed exactly the same quality of PWM: tpucdn.com/review/intel-core-i9-11900k/images/power-stress.png - Rocket Lake is arguably even more power-hungry than Alder Lake when de-restricted - it's 14nm don't forget, rather than 10nm 7nm!
Well, I dunno, the board makers have kitted out the Z690 boards with more expensive PWM parts, obviously some of that has to do with the shortage.
Chrispy_Are you saying that PWM circuitry supply chain issues are what are driving up the costs and that if the Asus Z590 was launched today it would be at least $50 more than it was 8 months ago? I don't really know how much of the BOM the PWM components actually make but one of the main citiations the board manufacturers used for the Z590 vs Z490 price hikes were the complexity of the PCBs to deal with PCIe 4.0. You're saying it's PWM components, the manufacturers were saying something different, If you have a link to the PWM supply issue changing drastically in the last 8 months I'd like to have a read but I just assumed the dire PWM IC shortage was ongoing from 15 months ago and hadn't changed enough to be newsworthy - there certainly don't seem to be any recent headlines.
No, I never said the PWM components added $50 to the total cost of the Z690 boards. I'm guessing it's $1-2 per phase on the more basic boards, more on the higher-end boards due to those components being more pricey anyhow. A lot of boards had to be re-designed kind of last minute, due to many of the commonly used parts being unavailable.
I never said the new PCB materials don't add some cost, but the PCB material is still a form of fibreglass, just a much higher quality one, which still doesn't add a huge amount of extra cost.
I don't have any third party source, I just know what I've been told by people that work at the board makers. I mean, I do know a few people in the industry after all, so it's not hard for me to ask questions. The difference is, as far as I can tell, that they had placed the orders for the 500-series boards before the shortage really kicked in, whereas that wasn't the case for the 600-series boards. I will get back to you about the cost difference between feature similar/identical Z690 vs. H670 boards, as I've asked about that too, but won't find out until tomorrow.
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#17
Wirko
Chrispy_The H670 has so many of those that the entry-level H670 boards are probably going to be $200 and that's still a hell of a lot for a locked-down board.
$200 is very improbable, that's more than the price of cheapest Z690 boards in US pre-tax.

There are other reasonable ways to cut costs. Not including PCIe 5 at all would be one, along with no DDR5. That should be perfectly fine for entry-level H670 and most (or maybe all) B560 boards.

Z690 boards start at 190 € including EU VAT. H670 will start at 130 €, B660 at 100 €, and H610 at 90 €, at least if 400- and 500- series boards are any indication for the future.
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#18
TheLostSwede
Wirko$200 is very improbable, that's more than the price of cheapest Z690 boards in US pre-tax.

There are other reasonable ways to cut costs. Not including PCIe 5 at all would be one, along with no DDR5. That should be perfectly fine for entry-level H670 and most (or maybe all) B560 boards.

Z690 boards start at 190 € including EU VAT. H670 will start at 130 €, B660 at 100 €, and H610 at 90 €, at least if 400- and 500- series boards are any indication for the future.
As above, the actual cost of PCIe 5.0 for the single x16 slot isn't very high compared to the cost of a lot of other things on the board, hence why it's one of the last things to go on really cheap board SKUs.

H670 is unlikely to be that much cheaper than Z670, at least not on feature for feature like boards. As explained above, the board makers have had to change their PWM parts over to more expensive parts, due to some products being EOL and as such being forced to use more costly solutions, that are costing even more now due to the component shortage.
The new normal is expensive.

Anyhow, trying to get some actual data on what the cost increase of Z690 vs. Z590 is and if I can get something that makes sense, I'll put up a news post about it.
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#19
TheinsanegamerN
H670 and B660 both look good, H670 better for the higher chipset bandwidth, B660 is good if you dont have many expansion cards/devices. H610 is garbage as always and will be found in garbage systems running pentiums and celerons.

A H670 with a 12700F and 4000 mhz will be a killer setup
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#20
GoldenX
So nothing changes, more expensive boards and less features than the competition. Ridiculous.
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#21
TheinsanegamerN
TiggerNot much point buying a high end CPU and putting it in anything but Z. But i understand these, are for lower end chips. Imo only one worth it is H, the rest are true budget.
Why, exactly? Outside of not being able to get that sweet sweet 100 mhz OC, the H 670 looks nearly feature complete. Oh no, you only get two 20 Gbps USB instead of four, however will we cope when most motherboards only provide 1 anyway?
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#22
Wirko
TheinsanegamerNH670 and B660 both look good, H670 better for the higher chipset bandwidth, B660 is good if you dont have many expansion cards/devices. H610 is garbage as always and will be found in garbage systems running pentiums and celerons.

A H670 with a 12700F and 4000 mhz will be a killer setup
What a beautiful world we live in where a PC consisting of these parts is called garbage:

H610 board
16GB dual-channel DDR4-3200 CL16
i3-12100
either iGPU or something like 1050 Ti or 1650
512GB PCIe 3.0 x4 boot drive
a SATA HDD or SSD
USB 3.1 connectivity

(I have only included parts that I think make sense in a H610 system)

Edit: USB 3.1 (10G), not 3.0 (5G)
Posted on Reply
#23
Tigger
I'm the only one
TheinsanegamerNWhy, exactly? Outside of not being able to get that sweet sweet 100 mhz OC, the H 670 looks nearly feature complete. Oh no, you only get two 20 Gbps USB instead of four, however will we cope when most motherboards only provide 1 anyway?
Guess you are running a 5950x in a B450 board then
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#24
Mussels
Freshwater Moderator
TiggerGuess you are running a 5950x in a B450 board then
I would be if i had two of em :P

I wonder if intel set VRM standards in the specs for the chipsets as well
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#25
asdkj1740
the cost goes to pcb materials (signal integrity), not the physical slots.
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