Buyer's Guides

B660 vs Z690 Chipsets – What’s The Difference?

Two of the most common chipsets supporting Alder Lake are the B660 and Z690. But, which one should you choose to invest in? Which one would be compatible for your needs and your device’s functionality?  Well, look no further because this segment is all about B660 vs Z690

A chipset describes the components on a motherboard. Moreover, it enables interaction between the processor (CPU), expansion cards, storage, video card, and RAM. Different chipsets offer a variety of features and other interfaces in order to support various CPU generations.

Trying to search for each chipset’s features and differences may be a tedious task. Therefore, we have done the research on your behalf to make the task easier for you.

Further Understanding Chipsets

If you want to know further about how chipsets work in depth to understand B660 vs Z690, then continue to read on. A chipset describes the components on a motherboard.

Moreover, it enables interaction between the processor (CPU), expansion cards, storage, video card, and RAM. Different chipsets offer a variety of features and other interfaces in order to support various CPU generations.

Let us first understand the chipset that begins with the letter “Z,” which has traditionally been Intel’s top-of-the-line model. Overclocking is supported, and Z690 motherboards feature the most PCI-E expansion lanes. They are forums that are typically targeted at high-end users, including professionals and avid gamers.

On the other hand, the B660 chipset is meant for the consumers who are on a budget. Due to a lack of PCI-E extension lanes, B660 boards may support fewer features overall. But, still support a wide range of capabilities.

Furthermore, while these LGA 1700 chipsets are the most popular amongst users, there are two other motherboard types. The majority of Z690’s features are included in H670, with overclocking being the most notable exception.

On the other end of the spectrum is H610. It is best suited for customers with low storage and connectivity requirements who run locked CPUs. This is because it is deficient in all except the necessities.

Z690

Z690

Since Intel’s Z690 chipset is the most renowned, it should come as no surprise that it offers the most USB ports, PCI Express lanes, and other features. The only 600-series chipset that supports CPU overclocking is this one as well if you have a K-series CPU.

Additionally, PCIe 4.0 lanes are added by the Intel Z690 chipset. A stronger PCIe Gen4 link between the new CPUs and the chipset doubles the bandwidth. It can reach to 15.76 GB/s from 7.88 GB/s on the X570 and 7.70 GB/s on the Z590.

Moreover, the new chipset supports up to 24 Gen 4 lanes. The integrated Wi-Fi 6E and 2.5G Ethernet may now coexist with other features like 10G Ethernet and 20G USB ports. Therefore, highlighting an improvement.

Intel-Z690-Chipset-Block-Diagram-hacktoday

B660

B660

The mid-level alternative, the B660, uses the majority of the I/O from the Z690 chipset and has a narrow chipset bus. If the CPU allows it, memory overclocking is supported as well.

The H670 chipset includes 4 SATA 6 Gbps ports, 12 USB2 ports, 2 20 Gbps USB3 ports, 4 10 Gbps USB3 ports, and 6 5 Gbps USB3 ports. The CPU cannot be overclocked. Hence, you should not link it with a CPU that is locked.

Major Differences

ChipsetSZ690B660
CPU Overclocking and Bclk OverclockingYesNo
Memory Overclocking and XMPYesYes
No. of Memory Channels22
DMI 4.0x8x4
PCIe and SATA

PCIe 4.0 Lanes

PCIe 3.0 Lanes

SATA 3.0 Ports

 

Up To 12

Up To 16

Up To 8

 

Up To 6

Up To 8

Up To 4

No. of USB Ports

• USB 3.2 Gen 2×2

• USB 3.2 Gen 2×1

• USB 3.2 Gen 1×1

• USB 2.0

 

4

10

10

14

 

2

4

6

14

Storage

Intel Rapid Storage Technology 19.x

• Intel VMD

• PCIe Storage Support

• Raid Modes

• Raid Support

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

0,1,5,10

SATA / PCIe

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

0,1,5,10

SATA

Wi-Fi 6E SupportYesNo
No. of Supported DisplaysUp to 4Up to 4
Thermal Design Power6 Watts6 Watts
Launch DateNovember 19th, 2021January 5th, 2022
Package Size (approx.)28mm x 25mm28mm x 25mm

Overclocking

When talking about how to push your PC to its maximum, overclocking almost always comes up. To get the CPU’s cores to run as quickly as they can while maintaining stability, adjustments must be made to the multiplier and voltages.

Since overclocking is not possible with the B660, this is the only B660 vs. Z690 metric where there is no space for sacrifice. This makes Z690 extremely desirable to enthusiasts and is probably the main factor in some of them purchasing one.

However, when it comes to RAM, the scenario is reversed. Since using a chip’s factory frequency implies wasting a significant amount of potential performance, overclocking is practically required.

DDR4 users will notice more of a performance hit if they don’t overclock. However, owners of DDR5 will also see a performance hit if they neglect to switch XMP on.

Thankfully, XMP profiles are available on both the Z690 and the B660. It enables you to access the BIOS and raise the RAM’s claimed factory clock to its highest setting. Some chips with high-quality ICs also permit additional overclocking, however at the penalty of increased power use or looser timings.

PCI-E Lanes

Connectivity and future-proofing are significantly influenced by the type and quantity of PCIe lanes enabled by each type of motherboard. Since Z690 boards are the top of the line, they will support the most lanes and the most recent PCI-E standard. In this situation, Z690 supports 2 x8 or 1 x16 PCI-E 5.0 slots but B660 only supports 1 x16 lane.

For your demands in terms of high-speed storage and expansion cards, both chipsets have a number of PCIe 4.0 and 3.0 lanes. The B660 only has eight PCIe 3.0 and six PCIe 4.0 lanes, which is only half of what you could theoretically obtain on the more sophisticated chipset. This makes a significant difference.

Graphics Card

The choice of graphics card is one of the more important factors in any PC design. This will ultimately be the most expensive part of the build.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to operate several graphics cards on a motherboard with the B660 chipset. Since so few games enable dual-GPU operation, this is unlikely to be a problem for gamers.

However, you will need to look at the Z690 boards for dual-GPU operation for workstations that require graphic processing power.

The linked lanes are always CPU-bound since the chipset may be a barrier to the amount of data necessary to run a graphics card. Either the primary PCIe 5.0 x16 slot on Z690 motherboards can operate at full speed or the second slot can be used in a 28 configuration. Only the former is possible with B660 boards.

Storage

On Z690 boards, there are a total of five M.2 slots available. Additionally, it’s not unusual for every M.2 drive on a Z690 board to be a PCIe 4.0 device.

Typically, Z690 motherboards have six SATA ports, however the platform can support up to eight. On B660 chipsets, the number of legacy drives is capped at four. In order to get around this, some manufacturers add two more ports using additional chips.

Conclusion

When it comes to B660 vs Z690 any chipset which you purchase, should be according to the function you need it for. The greatest chipset option for workstations with the broadest range of capabilities and connectivity is unquestionably Intel’s Z690.

It is understandable that the chipset debuted at the same time as this CPU generation. The B660’s requirements have been further reduced, but not significantly, and for those who don’t intend to add many expansion cards or other devices, it should be fine.

FAQs

Is B660 good for gaming?

For achieving high-performance metrics without overclocking, B660 boards are still fantastic! However, even if having more feature options is wonderful, B660 boards are still a fantastic alternative for budget gaming.

In order to maximize performance for gaming, GIGABYTE B660 Series motherboards have updated power solutions, the most recent storage standards, and exceptional connections.

Can you overclock on B660 motherboard?

While generally the B660 boards do not support overclocking, you can attempt to overclock on K-CPUs, which have an inbuilt clock generator to increase the speed of the clock, without investing in an external generator.

Does B660 support RAM overclocking?

On B660-based chipsets, the CPU cannot be overclocked, although the platform does support memory speed customization.

Will intel 13th gen support ddr4?

DDR 4 and DDR 5 memory will be supported on all Intel 13th generation Raptor Lake processors. An exclusive article posted on the website of a tech journal provided confirmation of the story.

Gamers will be able to save money on motherboards and memory modules thanks to this as it was in fact anticipated given that new desktop series motherboards are also compatible with 600-series motherboards.

What is Raptor Lake processor?

Raptor Lake CPUs will be Intel’s 13th-generation processors. They will essentially be the Alder Lake CPUs’ successors, which are now ruling performance rankings.

Raptor Lake CPUs are anticipated to have better performance thanks to an improved 10nm architecture. Intel will continue to work on reducing power consumption, enhancing clock speeds, and adding more cores, as it did with the 12th Gen series.

Rida Rehan

Hello, I'm Rida Rehan, an undergraduate student, and an inspiring journalist who likes to explore various topics and fields to broaden my horizon, and to keep myself updated on information and trends.

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