MSI B660 Alder Lake Motherboards Allegedly Leak, Priced From $119

Intel Alder Lake
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Intel thrust the Alder Lake-S processors onto the PC scene in early November, led by the brawny Core i9-12900K, asserting dominance in gaming and multi-threaded benchmarks. Not surprisingly, they quickly landed on our list of the best CPUs for gaming. Currently, Alder Lake processors can only be paired with pricey Z690 motherboards, but a tweet from chi11eddog (opens in new tab) (via WCCFTech (opens in new tab)) alleges that MSI is ready to deliver at least ten B660-based motherboards targeting more mainstream gamers.

We need to sprinkle a heavy dose of salt on these allegations, but here's what MSI allegedly has in the B660 pipeline, along with estimated MSRPs for the motherboards:

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Alleged MSI B660 Motherboards
MotherboardPrice
MAG B660 Tomahawk WiFi$259
MAG B660M Mortar WiFi$239
MAG B660M Mortar$219
MAG B660M Bazooka$199
PRO B660-A$209
PRO B660M-A- WiFi$209
PRO B660M-A$189
PRO B660M-G$139
PRO B660M-B$129
PRO B660M-E$119

For those looking for a bargain-basement motherboard for Alder Lake, the Pro B660M-E looks to be your best bet with an MSRP of $119. From there, prices quickly ramp through the $209 Pro B660-A to the flagship MAG B660 Tomahawk WiFi, which lists for $259.

According to chi11eddog, all the motherboards above come with DDR5 memory support. DDR4 counterparts were nowhere to be found, according to the leaker. DDR5-only support is curious, as MSI offers Z690 motherboards with either DDR4 (a la the Z690 Tomahawk WiFi DDR4) or DDR5 support. So it would make sense that MSI's B660 motherboards, which target more cost-conscious customers, would offer DDR4 variants.

After all, supporting DDR4 would allow MSI's B660 motherboards to hit even lower price points and allow customers to use their existing modules. Unfortunately, with an all-DDR5 strategy, you're putting undue pricing pressure on mainstream customers, given the added costs involved for the modules.

We should also mention that out of the ten motherboards that leaked, only two are standard ATX motherboards; the rest use a microATX form-factor. But, again, this is also just a rumor at this point, so keep that salt shaker handy.

Intel's CES 2022 keynote is scheduled for January 4th, so we'll likely hear more about the B660 chipset, Alder Lake-S "non-K" desktop processors, and the upcoming Alder Lake-P mobile processor family. In addition, we should also hear more at CES 2022 about the highly anticipated Intel Arc family of discrete graphics cards. 

Brandon Hill is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware. He has written about PC and Mac tech since the late 1990s with bylines at AnandTech, DailyTech, and Hot Hardware. When he is not consuming copious amounts of tech news, he can be found enjoying the NC mountains or the beach with his wife and two sons.

  • cyrusfox
    Good to start seeing these come to light. If true DDR5 only, that contradicts reports I saw saying only Z690 would be DDR5 compatible(maybe it only has to do with memory speed then?). I could see cutting PCIE Gen 5 or limiting lanes of PCIE Gen4 as well as memory speed support differences between the highest chipste (Z690) vs the business/budget options .

    I am in the market for a cheap LGA1700 mATX and ITX DDR4 board.
    Only 2 ITX Z690 DDR4 options and they aren't great, cooler placement issues I read on the gigabyte and the asrock still not released...

    Even if you can get the CPU at a great price/discount. I personally don't want to drop $300 on a board.Bad timing I am guessing with chip shortage and tariffs.
    Reply
  • Why_Me
    No DDR4 B660 boards would mean a total bust for Intel. People purchase those boards and locked cpu's in order to save money.
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    Why_Me said:
    No DDR4 B660 boards would mean a total bust for Intel. People purchase those boards and locked cpu's in order to save money.
    There will be DDR4 B660 boards. Asus apparently shipped some already by accident. No PCIe-5 support.

    https://www.tweaktown.com/news/82686/asus-b660-motherboard-ships-early-doesnt-have-pcie-5-0-support/index.html
    Reply
  • watzupken
    Kind of silly if they are bringing in budget boards that requires DDR5 memory that is non-existent or cost more than double than the board. Basically the lack of DDR5 memory, and lack of options for more affordable DDR4 boards are hampering Alder Lake take up.
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    watzupken said:
    Kind of silly if they are bringing in budget boards that requires DDR5 memory that is non-existent or cost more than double than the board. Basically the lack of DDR5 memory, and lack of options for more affordable DDR4 boards are hampering Alder Lake take up.
    If these are going to be used as budged mobos then they are going to used in 4-5 months time when the budged CPUs come out, so current ddr5 prices don't matter.
    For the time being, or rather for whenever these come out they will just be a cheaper option for the non-k models compared to the high end z boards.
    Reply
  • watzupken
    TerryLaze said:
    If these are going to be used as budged mobos then they are going to used in 4-5 months time when the budged CPUs come out, so current ddr5 prices don't matter.
    For the time being, or rather for whenever these come out they will just be a cheaper option for the non-k models compared to the high end z boards.
    I am not optimistic DDR5 prices will come down in the next 6 months, at least not to the current DDR4 prices. They are super rare now due to shortage of components, which may stretch on.

    Also, I don't feel that everyone people buying the overclockable Intel processors will actually overclock it eventually. The base and boost clockspeed are higher with the K models, than the non K models, which itself can be quite attractive. I generally go with K models, but because I don't overclock the CPU, I don't mind going for lower end H or B series motherboards.
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    watzupken said:
    Also, I don't feel that everyone people buying the overclockable Intel processors will actually overclock it eventually. The base and boost clockspeed are higher with the K models, than the non K models, which itself can be quite attractive. I generally go with K models, but because I don't overclock the CPU, I don't mind going for lower end H or B series motherboards.
    In that case how does it not make sense for them to support ddr5?
    Why would you want a super high end CPU and use it with ddr4?

    I'm sure that if ddr5 prices don't come down by the time the rest of AL releases they will release cheap mobos with ddr4 support only. Or they or some other company will do that anyway at some point.
    Reply
  • cyrusfox
    watzupken said:
    Also, I don't feel that everyone people buying the overclockable Intel processors will actually overclock it eventually. The base and boost clockspeed are higher with the K models, than the non K models, which itself can be quite attractive. I generally go with K models, but because I don't overclock the CPU, I don't mind going for lower end H or B series motherboards.
    Exactly no reason to overclock, I am running a 11700K on Water and a 10850K with a giant air cooler(Both on Z490 boards), The extra 100-200MHz I can get out of them isn't worth the power or stability hit. At stock boost they are perfect.

    Really looking to move both over to 12900k, too bad Alder lake has killed the resale value of those old CPU's, (I have seen the 11900k selling for $225...).
    Reply
  • cyrusfox
    TerryLaze said:
    In that case how does it not make sense for them to support ddr5?
    Why would you want a super high end CPU and use it with ddr4?

    I'm sure that if ddr5 prices don't come down by the time the rest of AL releases they will release cheap mobos with ddr4 support only. Or they or some other company will do that anyway at some point.
    Very few are going to go for DDR5, yes it is faster but on most applications no improvement detected, also if you already have $300-400 in DDR4 and you can reuse it, why wouldn't you seek to do so? DDR5 is essentially double the price, looking at $550 just for a kit of 2x32GB and $330 for a kit of 2x16GB, both kits are generally sold out everywhere...

    I have a 64GB DDR4(2x32GB) platform used for content creation, and 32GB(2x16) on the gaming machine. no need to move to DDR5 till 2023, Raptor lake will also support DDR4, 2 years hopefully prices will approach DDR4, with the added components on a DDR5 module though I don't expect it ever to reach parity.
    Reply
  • UnCertainty08
    I can't believe how stubborn they are with trying to force DDR 5 on everyone. There is no DDR 5 to be found in stock. Scalper prices are just ridiculous and I would never give one of those leeches any money.

    If there was enough DDR5 to match the 12000 CPU's they would have sold out of CPU's. There is a legitimate very good IPC improvement. Big multi core improvement with the extra E cores. I had a 12900K and ASUS Max Apex XIV in my cart at Newegg, but there has never been any DDR 5. I signed up for notifications for everything I could and haven't gotten one in stock alert.

    I don't believe for a second Intel and board partners didn't know how scarce DDR 5 was going to be.
    I don't understand why they didn't release more DDR 4 boards. There are a couple ok boats but they are missing something that's a deal breaker to me .

    I would think Intel and partners would want as much money as quick as possible. Lack of DDR5 is losing a lot sales.
    Reply