MSI Brings BCLK OC, PCIe 5.0 To Intel B660 DDR4 Motherboard

MSI MAG B660M Mortar Max WiFi DDR4
MSI MAG B660M Mortar Max WiFi DDR4 (Image credit: chi11eddog/Twitter)

Twitter user chi11eddog (opens in new tab) has shared photographs of an unreleased MSI motherboard. The upcoming MAG B660M Mortar Max WiFi DDR4 reportedly sports a Renesas external clock generator for driving both BCLK overclocking on non-K CPUs and PCIe 5.0 support. These two features aren't available on the existing MAG B660M Mortar WiFi DDR4.

The refreshed Intel B660 motherboard will carry the Max moniker to differentiate itself from the vanilla version. In addition, the Renesas RC26008 external clock generator is an excellent addition to MSI's budget-friendly B660 motherboard. The generator will open the doors to BCLK overclocking for Intels locked 12th Generation Alder Lake processors, such as the Core i5-12400. The hexa-core chip is already one of the best CPUs on the market, and the opportunity to overclock it would only make it better.

Overclockers have pushed the Core i5-12400 to as high as 5.2 GHz. Only the premium motherboards, such as the ASRock Z690 Aqua or the MSI MEG Z690I Unify, supported BCLK overclocking on Alder Lake. It's unlikely that consumers would pick up a locked processor and pair it with a high-end Z690 motherboard or expensive DDR5 memory. Offerings like MSI's upcoming MAG B660M Mortar Max WiFi DDR4 make more sense for buyers on a budget.

Another bonus of the Renesas controller is PCIe 5.0 integration with the MAG B660M Mortar Max WiFi DDR4. It's a big plus, considering the B660 chipset does not natively support the PCIe 5.0 standard and is limited to PCIe 4.0 speeds.

The photographs of MAG B660M Mortar Max WiFi DDR4 show the Renesas controller sitting right next to the primary M.2 slot on the motherboard, suggesting the primary M.2 slot and primary PCIe x16 slot could be getting Gen 5 support. If true, this will put the Max variant at an advantage over AMD's upcoming B650 chipset motherboards, which only feature PCIe 5.0 support on the primary M.2 slot.

With the new upgrades in mind, the MAG B660M Mortar Max WiFi DDR4 could be a competitive motherboard in the B660 landscape, featuring BCLK overclocking Intel's non-K Alder Lake chips and PCIe Gen 5.0 support. We don't have an official MSRP now, but the non-Max costs a respectable $159.99 on Newegg (opens in new tab). If MSI keeps the Max variant around this price, it would be an excellent option for budget gamers and overclockers or anyone looking for a cheap motherboard with PCIe 5.0 connectivity.

Aaron Klotz
Freelance News Writer

Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.

  • LolaGT
    I knew when this came to light a couple months ago someone would make a budget board with the capability.

    That is going to be a winner
    Reply
  • hotaru251
    IIRC wasnt this in news in jan?

    How bclk allowed OC non k cpu and intel wasnt happy?
    Reply
  • LuxZg
    IDK, Intel and non-K overclocking was a thing for a short time in Skylake era, I got in, and got burned after Intel plugged the hole(s). Never again. Plus Max will never be same prices as non-Max board, expect at least 50$ more. And at that price you're better off with entry Z board.
    Reply
  • KyaraM
    At that price point the board is utterly pointless. Just get a MSI Z690-A Pro and be done with it. Marginally more money than the non-Max version for better features and connectivity. What a waste...

    Edit:
    hotaru251 said:
    IIRC wasnt this in news in jan? How bclk allowed OC non k cpu and intel wasnt happy?
    The news is that now there is more than one manufacturer offering BCLK OC. Not that it is offered now.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    LolaGT said:
    I knew when this came to light a couple months ago someone would make a budget board with the capability.
    Skip the first generation or two, then it becomes standard across the board and you don't have to pay a massive premium anymore unless there is a bunch of new stuff most people won't need for another 3-4 years tacked on top to justify yet more skyrocketing prices. I'm glad I built my i5-11400 last year: I get to skip all of the new non-essential stuff's teething issues and early adopter taxes.
    Reply