ASRock B660 Steel Legend or the cheapest motherboard in tests

The low price of a motherboard brings with it a few unconventional limitations. Ones that are not often found in competing models for similar money. Some of these are of the safety variety to avoid unnecessary damage to critical components. For a customer buying a standard, reasonably set-up build in this price class, they won’t be a bother, and saving money with the B660 Steel Legend can be beneficial. Read more “ASRock B660 Steel Legend or the cheapest motherboard in tests” »

One Mini-ITX board is not enough. Biostar released the B660T-Silver

Biostar is building its motherboard lineup gradually. Most of the models for the Intel LGA 1700 platform arrived at once, with the ending of the embargo, but since then some have been added “solo”. Relatively recently it was a Micro ATX-format board from the Silver series (B660M-Silver), now it’s the B660T-Silver for even smaller desktops with a square PCB with a 170 mm side (Mini-ITX form factor). Read more “One Mini-ITX board is not enough. Biostar released the B660T-Silver” »

Otherness everywhere you look – Biostar B660GTA (review)

Most motherboards from the same classes look pretty much the same. While they differ in color scheme and heatsink shape, the layout, features, and overall operation (including power management) are like a carbon copy. The Biostar B660GTA goes upstream in many ways and presents an attractive option for those users who always find something lacking on boards in this price range. Read more “Otherness everywhere you look – Biostar B660GTA (review)” »

MSI MAG Z690 Tomahawk WiFi DDR4: Top chipset for mid price

From the B660 motherboard tests, we now move on to Z690. These are always better equipped at least at the chipset level. One of the main advantages is the ability to manually overclock processors with an open multiplier. The Tomahawk DDR4 seems to be an option that has a well prepared VRM for such performance boosts while still keeping to an affordable price. The important thing though is what kind of board it is from an overall perspective. Read more “MSI MAG Z690 Tomahawk WiFi DDR4: Top chipset for mid price” »

Gigabyte B660 Aorus Master DDR4: A board both efficient and flashy

Last time, we looked at a motherboard that is suitable for use with cheaper processors thanks to its lower price. Now we have the roughly 50 EUR more expensive Gigabyte B660 Aorus Master DDR4. The premium here has a clear justification and reflects on the better features. The power delivery is significantly more efficient, the heatsinks are more effective, and the features are richer overall, including illumination. Read more “Gigabyte B660 Aorus Master DDR4: A board both efficient and flashy” »

Asus TUF Gaming B660 Plus WiFi D4: Entry level for Core i9 too

Alder Lake CPUs’ favorable price/performance ratio was initially spoiled by expensive motherboards. However, after the arrival of models with Intel B660 chipsets, the unfavorable situation began to turn around and in some cases quite dramatically. Asus TUF Gaming B660 Plus WiFi D4 with support for DDR4 memory, which is far cheaper than DDR5, can handle even the fastest CPUs. And the vast majority of users won’t even feel any bottlenecks. Read more “Asus TUF Gaming B660 Plus WiFi D4: Entry level for Core i9 too” »

Thin Mini-ITX motherboard with LGA 1700? It’s here, from Asus

Asus has the first standardized motherboard (Thin Mini-ITX format) with LGA 1700, which is powered by a 19V adapter and is also designed for retail sales. The wait was, naturally, for the power-efficient Intel processors from the 12th Generation Core. The Pro H610T D4-CSM motherboard is designed primarily for enterprise clientele, and its equipment is optimized with this in mind. All Alder Lake processor models with TDP up to 65 W are supported. Read more “Thin Mini-ITX motherboard with LGA 1700? It’s here, from Asus” »

Follow-up: MSI MAG B660M Mortar WiFi performance with Core i5

We will do as we promised. We will test all motherboards with two processors – a powerful one, which will push the board hard, and a weaker one, which will show something a bit different. Namely, how the more expensive motherboard will (not) help the cheaper processor from the lower class. Can more expensive boards really benefit cheaper models in CPU tests, as some believe? Read more “Follow-up: MSI MAG B660M Mortar WiFi performance with Core i5” »

Larger test of the smaller MSI MAG B660M Mortar WiFi mobo

While others have resigned from full-fledged motherboard tests long ago, we’re just kicking it off. Tests with differently powerful processors, without power limits, but also with limits set by Intel. And when we test performance, we also test M.2 slots, USB or Ethernet. Power draw analysis done at the level of individual branches, and thermal imaging with temperature tests (including SSD heatsink efficiency measurements) are a no-brainer. Read more “Larger test of the smaller MSI MAG B660M Mortar WiFi mobo” »

AMD X670 chipset on AM5 platform could be a pair of B650 dies

New AM5 platform and a socket is coming this year for AMD CPUs, even adopting the LGA approach for the first time. Some details have already leaked, but much remains unknown. Rather interesting news about the new chipsets, to be used on ADM AM5, has popped up recently: a mainstream version named B650 and a high end version called X670 are coming, the latter being notable for allegedly consisting of multiple chips. Read more “AMD X670 chipset on AM5 platform could be a pair of B650 dies” »

Z690 Alder Lake boards can lack PCIe 5.0 too, for cost reasons

There was news that (some) boards for Alder Lake using B660 chipset won’t support PCI Express 5.0. But it looks that may not be an actual limitation of that chipset, but rather something that will depend on pricing of each particular model. It turns out that even some Z690 boards will be like this. Gigabyte has a first such board, and it seems that these models might be the key to building an Alder Lake PC relatively cheaply. Read more “Z690 Alder Lake boards can lack PCIe 5.0 too, for cost reasons” »

Alder Lake testing toolkit: the MEG Z690 Unify and DDR5 memory

We already have one of the Alder Lake processors in our editorial office and this time we’ll be quick – we’ll publish the full tests at the earliest possible date, November 4. Until then, we have to keep quiet about the features of Intel’s new processors. But we can already give you a little teaser with a preview of the platform we’re testing on. In the article you will also find a thermal image of the VRM of the MSI MEG Z690 Unify motherboard. Read more “Alder Lake testing toolkit: the MEG Z690 Unify and DDR5 memory” »

ASRock’s cheap chipset-less Thin Mini-ITX motherboard with AM4

There are only a few modern motherboards of the Thin Mini-ITX format. The latest among them is the ASRock X300TM-ITX. It is in its essence very simple and does not even have its own chipset. The equipment of the board is thus more modest, but it will be one of the cheapest options for AMD APU. Support is across all classes, from Athlon Raven Ridge to the highest performance Renoir (Ryzen 7 Pro 4750G). Read more “ASRock’s cheap chipset-less Thin Mini-ITX motherboard with AM4” »

AGESA 1.1.9.0 update coming to Ryzen: AMD lists the new features

If you’re running an AMD Ryzen processor, you’re probably familiar with updating the so-called AGESA code, which is built into (and updated with) the motherboard’s BIOS. This can improve performance on newly released AMD processors and also fix various bugs. Such an update is now being prepared for the new Ryzen 5000 with AM4 architecture: AGESA 1.1.9.0 should bring several improvements, including in stability. Read more “AGESA 1.1.9.0 update coming to Ryzen: AMD lists the new features” »

Report: How it works in an Asus service center

Do you know what is most often replaced on graphics cards and motherboards during the repair process? Really, try to guess before you begin reading this article. Visiting an Asus repair shop revealed a lot of attractive information you can’t be deprived of. In addition to responding to annoying questions, you’ll learn ways in which hardware failures are routinely detected and fixed. Read more “Report: How it works in an Asus service center” »