Why you can trust Tom's Hardware
Like other MSI BIOS configurations, the Pro B660-A starts you out with an informational EZ Mode that allows editing of some high-level functions, including enabling XMP profiles, adjusting fan speeds, and more. The main menu is informational up top, while the bottom two-thirds is where the adjustments happen. You select the section you want on the left or right sides, and the details show in the middle. You don’t have to dig down several screens to reach the overclocking options, as they are mostly on the main page. Some digging is inevitable, but overall we find this BIOS full of options and easy to read and get around.
For software, the theme these days is to place a lot of the functionality in one program. MSI’s take on this is called Dragon Center, which lets you download individual applets. Some of the programs include Mystic Light (RGB control), LAN Manager, User Scenario (overclocking, monitoring, and fan control), Super Charger, MSI Companion (help record games), and many more. Though updates should fix this down the road, it’s worth noting that you cannot overclock the system with the version I had. But serious overclockers will want to do their tweaking in the BIOS anyway.
Test System / Comparison Products
We’ve updated our test system to Windows 11 64-bit OS with all updates applied. We kept the same Asus TUF RTX 3070 video card from our previous testing platforms but updated the driver to version 496.13. Additionally, our game selection has been updated, as noted in the table below. We use the latest non-beta motherboard BIOS available to the public unless otherwise noted. The hardware we used is as follows:
Test System Components
|Intel Core i9-12900K
|GSkill Trident Z DDR5-5600 CL36 (F5-5600U3636C16GX2-TZ5RK)
|Row 2 - Cell 0
|ADATA XPG Lancer DDR5-6000 CL40 (AX5U6000C4016G-DCLARBK)
|Row 3 - Cell 0
|GSkill Trident Z Neo DDR4-3600 (F4-3600C16Q-32GTZN)
|Row 4 - Cell 0
|GSkill Trident Z Royal DDR4-4000 (F4-4000C18Q-32GTRS)
|Asus TUF RTX 3070
|Coolermaster MasterLiquid PL360 Flux
|EVGA Supernova 850W P6
|Windows 11 64-bit (21H2, Build 22000.282)
|NVIDIA Driver 496.13
|Integrated HD audio
|Integrated Networking (GbE or 2.5 GbE)
EVGA supplied our Supernova 850W P6 power supply (appropriately sized and more efficient than the outgoing 1.2KW monster we used) for our test systems, and G.Skill sent us a DDR5-5600 (F5-5600U3636C16GX2-TZ5RK) memory kit for launch day testing.
|Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
|Row 0 - Cell 1
|Version 2.0.249 64
|Row 2 - Cell 0
|Office Suite, Video Editing (Premiere Pro), Photo Editing (Photoshop, Lightroom Classic)
|Version 2.20.7290 64
|Row 4 - Cell 0
|Firestrike Extreme and Time Spy Default Presets
|Row 6 - Cell 0
|Open GL Benchmark - Single and Multi-threaded
|Row 8 - Cell 0
|Full benchmark (all 3 tests)
|Application Tests and Settings
|Row 9 - Cell 1
|Row 11 - Cell 0
|Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3: Command: -b 160 --nores (160Kb/s)
|Row 13 - Cell 0
|Sintel Open Movie Project: 4.19GB 4K mkv to x264 (light AVX) and x265 (heavy AVX)
|Row 15 - Cell 0
|Row 17 - Cell 0
|Integrated benchmark (Command Line)
|Game Tests and Settings
|Row 18 - Cell 1
|Far Cry 6
|Ultra Preset - 1920 x 1080, HD Textures ON
|Ultra Preset - 1920 x 1080, HBAO+, RT Med, TAA + 16xAF, Bahrain, FPS Counter ON
MORE: Best Motherboards
MORE: All Motherboard Content
Current page: Firmware, Software and Test SystemPrev Page Features and Specifications Next Page Benchmarks and Final Analysis
Joe Shields is a Freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He reviews motherboards.
AI-generated content and other unfavorable practices have put longtime staple CNET on Wikipedia's blacklisted sources
AI worm infects users via AI-enabled email clients — Morris II generative AI worm steals confidential data as it spreads
Intel Bluetooth driver update alleviates PS5 DualSense controller connectivity issues
It's interesting how much difference motherboards make to both performance and power consumption. There's a 35% difference in system power draw from top to bottom in that power chart.Reply
If the product doesn't include RGB in the naming or marketing, RGB should not be either a pro or con in the final result.Reply
Great review. I think Raptor Lake will benefit from having these low end boards appropriate to the lower end chips available at release. Alder Lake was hampered by only very high priced premium Z-series boards being available. Hopefully the needed BIOS updates will be quickly available.Reply
What does this board do that allows for superior performance in the Office and Excel tests? It's beating the top Aorus/Hero/Taichi boards in these tests. I would expect these results to follow the others or at least be even across the boards. It's like a Toyota Camry actually handled a daily commute faster than a Corvette.
I think that is meant to be two full-length slots.
Co BIY said:I think Raptor Lake will benefit from having these low end boards. It's like a Toyota Camry actually handled a daily commute faster than a Corvette.
Good Point…Toyota Camry qualified! If I could only convince my girlfriend in giving-up her 5-year old HP laptop, I would consider this kind of ‘economy class’ MB in building her a new daily driver. Going from her HDD 5200RPM to NVME! After all her laptop never leaves her one-room apartment and she has steadily refused for me in offering her new 27-inch monitor for the bigger picture. Her Corvette upside: “She can walk that walk and talk that talk and has other attributes which are uniquely visible.
I used to have a 6 yo HP laptop. I loved that huge bulky baby.Tom Sunday said:Good Point…Toyota Camry qualified! If I could only convince my girlfriend in giving-up her 5-year old HP laptop, I would consider this kind of ‘economy class’ MB in building her a new daily driver. Going from her HDD 5200RPM to NVME! After all her laptop never leaves her one-room apartment and she has steadily refused for me in offering her new 27-inch monitor for the bigger picture. Her Corvette upside: “She can walk that walk and talk that talk and has other attributes which are uniquely visible.
I did not use it often but sometimes I did. It looked so well that I did not have a problem selling it
for good money.
I think when you use a laptop all your life, you nevr know how comfy a PC feels at home.