Intel's H670, B660 and H610 chipsets are rumored to launch in January 2022. However, hardware leaker momomo_us (opens in new tab) provided us with a sneak peek of the specifications for the trio of unreleased chipsets.
H670, B660 and H610 motherboards will arrive in DDR5 or DDR4 flavors, similar to flagship Z690 products. If you plan to overclock your processor, the more expensive Z690 route is the only option, though. Memory overclocking, however, is spread across the Z690, H670 and B660 chipsets. Unfortunately, the H610 chipset lacks that capability, meaning consumers are stuck with the default memory speed supported on Alder Lake.
Meanwhile, PCIe 5.0 support, which comes from the Alder Lake processor, is present on all four chipsets. Nevertheless, it's important to mention that not all vendors will slap PCIe 5.0 support on their Intel 600-series motherboards. For Z690 and H670 motherboards, you can expect to find one or two PCIe 5.0 expansion slots. A single slot runs at 1x16, whereas dual slots will drop to a 2x8 configuration. B660 and H610 motherboards, on the other hand, are limited to one PCIe 5.0 expansion slot. Alder Lake provides four PCIe 4.0 lanes for M.2 storage, and only the H610 chipset lacks this functionality.
Intel doubled the DMI connection's throughput on Alder Lake. While previous generations of Intel processors had an x8 DMI 3.0 pipeline (7.88 GBps) to the chipset, Alder Lake enjoys an x8 DMI 4.0 pipeline (15.66 GBps). According to momomo_us' information, this is true for the Z690 and H670 chipsets. The B660 and H610 chipsets are restricted to an x4 DMI 4.0 connection. A narrower DMI interconnection obviously constrains the number of connectivity options on B660 and H610 motherboards.
H670, B660 and H610 Specifications
|Header Cell - Column 0||Z690||H670||B660||H610|
|Memory||DDR5 / DDR4||DDR5 / DDR4||DDR5 / DDR4||DDR5 / DDR4|
|CPU PCIe 5.0||1x16 / 2x8||1x16 / 2x8||1x16||1x16|
|CPU PCIe 4.0||1x4||1x4||1x4||-|
|DMI 4.0 Lanes||8||8||4||4|
|USB 3 (20G)||4||2||2||0|
|USB 3 (10G)||10||4||4||2|
|USB 3 (5G)||10||8||6||4|
In terms of high-speed IO (HSIO), Z690 delivers 12 PCIe 4.0 lanes and 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes. H670 features a 12+12 setup, while B660 has a 6+8 configuration. H610, however, only supplies eight PCIe 3.0 lanes. Motherboard vendors have the freedom to play around with the connection options.
Connectivity-wise, the Z690 chipset is the most generous, offering up to four USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C (20 Gbps) ports, 10 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) ports, 10 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps), and 14 x USB 2.0 ports. Logically, the remaining chipsets will arrive with a reduced number of USB ports. H610 is the only chipset that won't come with USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C ports.
Conventional storage options also vary between the different chipsets. Z690 and H670 come equipped with up to eight SATA III ports, while B660 and H610 are down to four ports. Unless you have a lot of secondary storage drives or plan to run a RAID array, four SATA III ports should suffice for regular users.
Looks like Intel won't budge on feature parity. Kind of sad to see. Oh welp.
Microsoft Office, browsing, Amazon shopper, Joe average home user types?
Heavy duty video work?
Those using integrated graphics only would have zero interest?
Here's hoping there is a good variety of Micro ATX boards under say 200 bucks. Not holding my breath.
So, why do you support that segmentation? Wouldn't it be better to have unlocked chips* across all the vertical stack of both chipsets and CPUs?
https://www.amazon.com/12-Thread-Unlocked-Desktop-Processor-Stealth/dp/B08ZMFS7R8/AMD 5 3600 $249.00
https://www.newegg.com/amd-ryzen-5-5600x/p/N82E16819113666AMD Ryzen 5 5600X $299.00
https://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.aspIntel CORE I5-10400F $149.99
https://www.newegg.com/intel-core-i5-11400-core-i5-11th-gen/p/N82E16819118241Intel Core i5-11400 $189.98
I feel the segmentation is more growing towards PCIe lanes and bandwidth than anything else. You have the single x16 slot and m.2 slot as budget, chipset offering slower or less lanes. And then you have the high end chipsets offering 3 or more m.2 slots, multiple x16 lanes and faster PCIe. USB4/Thunderbolt 4, things like that.
That Intel hasn't chosen to match AMDs B chipset features isn't surprising, people don't expect it. That they took away XMP from B460 was the real oddity, that was when AMD WAS still in the lower end CPU market. And it isn't that AMD has left it, they just don't have the production to accommodate it in their product stack. 8 core chiplets just don't pump out too many quad core parts.
5600G and 5700G would be great options if not for the GPU shortage, like the 2200G and 3200G used to be.
Traditionally the Hx70 boards have always been Z boards without overclocking for the most part. I think the B board has adopted more features of late in order to compete with AMD, who added functionally. Intel's budget board is always the Hx10 boards, akin to AMDs A series boards.
They experimented with an unlocked i3 a couple times, but not anymore. If you give most people an unlocked i3 and i5 together with an unlocked H or B chipset with a few less features than the Z variant, you can bet it's going to sell like hot cakes, but Intel also knows if they do that, the Z platform will have little reason to exist for gamers or gaming oriented builds. The fact they are now allowing memory OC, is only because they don't want to look too bad compared to AMD. You can say, the memory OC is them throwing a bone to consumers and telling you to like it.
Now ask yourself why AMD left the budget market when gamers are doing everything they can to cut cost in order to fit an overpriced gpu in their budget.
The upcoming i5 12400F and i7 12700F expected to retail at $200 and $280 . The B660 boards with decent VRM's will probably retail for $140 - $160+ depending on how much goodies you want with your motherboard. btw the new $300 Alder Lake i5 12600K/KF beats both the 5600x and 5800x in gaming.