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 (via WCCFTech) 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:
|MAG B660 Tomahawk WiFi||$259|
|MAG B660M Mortar WiFi||$239|
|MAG B660M Mortar||$219|
|MAG B660M Bazooka||$199|
|PRO B660M-A- WiFi||$209|
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.