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H610 vs B660? What’s the best low-cost Intel chipset?

Introduction

Wondering which to chose between H610 vs B660?To support its 12th Generation Alder Lake CPUs, Intel has introduced three new 600-series chipsets. The most current batch of H670, B660, and H610 motherboards support Intel’s newly unveiled Alder Lake non-K series CPUs and are designed for users who only want some of the more costly features Z690 motherboards provide.

The top-tier Z690 chipset is the only one that supports processor overclocking. On the other hand, the Z690, H670, and B660 chipsets support memory overclocking. Up to two DIMMs per channel are supported by the trio of chipsets. The H610 chipset, however, is limited to the DDR5-4800 for DDR5 and DDR4-3200 for DDR4 official permitted data speeds. Only the H610 chipset is limited to a single Memory per channel.

Intel has improved the DMI connection that links the chipset to the CPU once again with the 600-series chipset. The PCIe 3.0 x4 to PCIe 3.0 x8 upgrade for the 500-series chipset was made. Intel increased the DMI to PCIe 4.0 x8 for the 600 series, providing twice as much bandwidth. The B660 and H610 chipsets feature an x4 connection, whereas only the Z690 and H670 chipsets offer full x8 connectivity.

Up to 12 PCIe 4.0 lanes are provided by the Z690 and H670 chipsets, compared to up to six by the B660. Nevertheless, the H610 chipset doesn’t offer any. The Z690 and H670 chipsets have 16 and 12 PCIe 3.0 lanes, respectively. The B660 and H610 both support a maximum of eight PCIe 3.0 lanes.

Details about Intel’s H610 and B660 Chipsets

H610B660
Memory OverclockingYesYes
P & E-Core & BCLK OverclockingNoNo
SATA 3.0 (6 Gb/s) Ports84
System Memory Channels Supported22
Chipset PCIe 4.0 Lanes612
Chipset PCIe 3.0 Lanes812
Total USB 2 Ports1214
USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (20G)22
USB 3.2 Gen 2×1 (10G)44
USB 3.2 Gen 1×1 (5G)68
DMI 4.0 Lanes48
Intel Rapid Storage Technology 19.xYesYes
Intel VMDYesYes
PCIe Storage SupportYesYes
PCIe RAID 0,1,5 SupportNoYes
Integrated Intel Wi-Fi 6E (Gig+)NoYes

The H610 and B660 chipsets are included in the 600 series of motherboards that Intel offers for its Alder Lake 12-generation processors.

To be more exact, these two chipsets, together with the H670, were launched simultaneously as Intel’s desktop 12th Generation Alder Lake Non-K processor range. The letter K in the Intel series indicates that a CPU is unlocked for overclocking.

The H610 and B660 chipsets are more cost-effective alternatives to the Z690 and represent that the non-K CPU series primarily targets budget gamers and ordinary users who are less interested in overclocking.

Compatibility of the CPU and the Socket

H610 vs B660: Which budget-friendly Intel chipset is best? - Spacehop

Socket Type Supported

The LGA1700 socket is supported by all chipsets in the Intel 600 series, including the H610 and the B660.

The previous Intel sockets (LGA1200, LGA1511, etc.) all have a width of 37.5 millimetres. Still, the LGA1700 is 7.5 millimetres longer and features a 4-key socket keying mechanism instead of the 2-key system that the prior sockets employed. The LGA1700 also has the same width as its predecessors.

In light of the above, the LGA1700 has a greater pin count, enabling a much-improved power flow from the motherboard to the CPU.

The LGA1700 should also be able to handle the thirteenth generation of Intel central processing units, known as Raptor Lake.

Support for/compatibility with the CPU

Intel 12th Gen CPU specs

As was said before, the whole of the Intel chipset 600-series was designed for use with Alder Lake processors, also known as the 12th Generation of Intel CPUs.

When it comes to the desktop CPUs (Alder Lake-S), each one of them has support for PCI Express Gen 5 16x and four times as many lanes for PCI Express Gen 4. In dual-channel mode, they can also support up to 128GB of either DDR4 3200MHz or DDR5 4200MHz memory.

GPU Compatibility

Both the H610 and the B660 chipsets feature the CrossFire technology, which enables two or more graphics cards to operate in conjunction with one another.

On the other hand, none of these chipsets is compatible with the Scalable Link Interface (SLI) since Intel stopped developing and supporting that technology after the Z490 (which you can see here compared to Z390).

Performance

Except than the Z690, none of the chipsets in the 600 series will allow you to overclock your system.

Both the H610 and the B660 do not have the capability of having their CPUs overclocked.

Data Transmission Speed

All the Intel motherboard chipsets in the 600-series are compatible with Thunderbolt 4.0, including the H610 and the B660.

PCIe data transfer rates may reach up to 32GB/s with the 4.0, which is twice as fast as the previous generation of Thunderbolt, version 3.0.

Memory Capacity concerning Compatibility

The H610 and the B660 are compatible with DDR4 and DDR5 memory, with DDR4 memory supporting speeds up to 3200MHz and DDR5 memory supporting rates up to 4800MHz, respectively, with a maximum capacity of 128GB. This was discussed before when we were discussing CPUs.

Both of them also have two memory channels. On the other hand, the B660 has four available memory slots, while the H610 only has two.

Both also enable memory overclocking, and Intel has helpful instructions on how to overclock RAM if you are interested in extracting more performance from your Random Access Memory.

Compatibility with WiFi

Both the H610 and the B660, in addition to all of the other chipsets in the 600-series, support the Intel 6E WiFi standard when it comes to WiFi.

Whether or whether the motherboard you purchase will come with built-in WiFi is, of course, a separate and independent topic. When you acquire your board, read the tiny print carefully since third-party manufacturers are known to tweak specifications.

Choices About Connectivity

The H610 has no PCIe 4.0 lanes but does have eight PCIe 3.0 lanes, in contrast to the B660, which has up to six PCIe 4.0 lanes and eight PCIe 3.0 lanes.

The good news is that both the H610 and the B660 support CPU PCIe 5.0 (1/16), and all these configurations are available.

When it comes to SATA, both chipsets provide a total of four ports that are capable of SATA 3.0 (6GB/s). In contrast, for example, the H670 is equipped with eight SATA connections.

In conclusion, the B660 features two more USB 2 ports than the H610, bringing the total number of ports on both devices to 12.

To be more specific, H610 possesses the following:

  • 0 USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 ports that are capable of 20Gb/s
  • 2 ports that are USB 3.2 Gen 2×1 (10Gb/s)
  • 4 USB 3.2 Gen 11 ports with a bandwidth of 5Gb/s each

On the other hand, the B660 has the following:

  • 2 USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 ports that are capable of 20Gb/s each
  • 10 gigabits per second via four USB 3.2 Gen 2×1 connections
  • 6 USB 3.2 Gen 11 ports with a bandwidth of 5 Gb/s each

Prepare for the future

Since both the H610 and the B660 support DDR5, it will be beneficial in the long term to have a motherboard compatible with it when this memory type becomes more frequently utilized, as it undoubtedly will.

Also, given that the LGA1700 socket will most certainly be compatible with the Intel 13th CPU Generation, both the H610 and the B660 can handle it.

The fact that these two chipsets do not permit CPU overclocking is the most significant drawback; thus, if your system is having trouble running new software, that is just how things are.

Motherboards Recommendation for the H610

ASUS Prime H610M-E D4

We tested a couple different H610 motherboards so that you won’t have to. These are our recommendations:

  • Check the Pricing of the ASUS Prime H610M-E D4 on Amazon.com.
  • Check the price on Amazon for the Gigabyte H610M S2H.
  • Check the price of the ASUS Pro H610T D4-CSM on Amazon Motherboards that are recommended for the B660 series
  • Gigabyte B660 X AX Gaming D4 Gigabyte B660 X AX Gaming D4

If, on the other hand, you are searching for a motherboard with the B660 chipset, the following are some suitable options:

  • Check the price of the Gigabyte B660 Gaming X AX DDR4 on Amazon.com.
  • Check the Pricing of the ASUS Prime B660 Plus D4 on Amazon.com.
  • Check the Pricing of the ASUS ROG Strix B660-A Gaming on Amazon.com.

Conclusion

As you can see in our post comparing the H670 and Z690 chipsets, the Z690 chipset is clearly the shining star of Intel’s 600-series, with the H670 chipset coming in a close second.

Yet, the H610 and the B660, even though they are not as powerful as those two, nevertheless have a lot to offer, particularly for frequent users and those concerned with cost.

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