Cheaper motherboards only in theory

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The first MSI H670, B660, and H610 motherboards appeared on the market, i.e. theoretically cheaper models for the new Intel processors. 

The 12th generation Intel Core processors have been exceptionally well received by the market, mainly due to a significant increase in performance. It is worth remembering, however, that the new platform includes not only processors but also motherboards for the LGA 1700.

Recently, we’ve had some big changes when it comes to motherboards. Until now, only the top models with the Z690 chipset were available on the market, but the manufacturers introduced new models: H670, B660, and H610, which will allow for the construction of cheaper sets for less demanding users.

The difference comes down to inferior functionality, which directly translates into fewer connectors on the motherboard. In addition, cheaper models do not allow the processor to be overclocked (such as the Z690) – in the case of the H670 and B660 models, faster RAM can be installed, while the H610 does not even provide such an option.

It is worth noting that the new boards are available in versions that support DDR4 and DDR5 RAM. However, some models do not allow the use of the PCI-Express 5.0 bus (the slots operate in the PCI-Express 4.0 mode, which offers less bandwidth).

MSI LGA 1700 – a review of cheaper motherboards for players

Models designed with gamers in mind should attract your attention. Such motherboards are primarily distinguished by effective style. In addition to that, you can find faster network adapters and better sound chips.

The MSI MAG H670 Tomahawk WIFI DDR4 model is so far the only manufacturer’s offer with the Intel H670 chipset. The design is distinguished by an effective design that should attract the attention of players. Extensive heat sinks and interesting, dark colors deserve attention.

Also worth reading: MSI MAG Z690 Tomahawk WiFi – not too cheap, not too expensive

When it comes to functionality, the manufacturer has provided (as the name suggests) four banks for DDR4 RAM. In addition, three PCI-Express x16 slots (one PCIe 5.0 x16), as well as three M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4 slots (hidden under the M.2 Shield Frozr heatsink) and six regular SATA. The fast Intel 2.5G LAN network card and wireless Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) connectivity are also noteworthy. The basic Realtek ALC897 codec is responsible for the sound.

The manufacturer’s offer also includes similar boards with the Intel B660 chipset – we are talking about the MSI MAG B660 Tomahawk WIFI and MSI MAG B660 Tomahawk WIFI DDR4 models (the difference comes down to the supported memory – the first is for DDR5 memory, and the second for DDR4). Both constructions have a dark, effective style.

The boards, however, offer slightly worse functionality. There are two PCI-Express x16 slots (the main one is only in the 4.0 standard) and one PCI-Express x1, as well as three M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4 slots and six regular SATA slots. However, 2.5G LAN (Realtek) and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity were not abandoned. Interestingly, the manufacturer used a better audio codec (Realtek ALC1220P) here.

MSI MAG B660M Mortar is a smaller design that comes in four versions – for DDR4 or DDR5 memory, and each of them with an optional Wi-Fi card. As befits equipment addressed to players, the manufacturer took care of an effective design (ordinary models are kept in dark colors, and versions with a Wi-Fi card are black and silver).

There are two PCI-Express x16 slots on the mATX laminate (the main one works in 4.0 standard) and one PCI-Express x1. In addition, two M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4 slots are provided for high-speed SSDs and six regular SATA. On the rear panel, there are, among others, fast 2.5G LAN network cards (Wi-Fi models also have a Wi-Fi card in the 6E standard).

The MSI MAG B660M Bazooka DDR4 is a similar design to the MSI MAG B660M Mortar DDR4. This motherboard should be of interest to players who are looking for a slightly cheaper proposition (and at the same time can afford worse functionality). This time, the choice was black and green.

The functionality of the board is very similar. The mATX laminate has four DDR4 memory banks, two PCI-Express x16 slots (the main one works in 4.0 mode), and one PCI-Express x1Two M.2 slots (only one of them is equipped with a heat sink) and six regular SATA slots are available for the drives. In terms of network and audio, the board uses a Realtek 2.5G LAN controller and a Realtek ALC897.