In the middle of Christmas it is not surprising that many of you are considering buying a new PC. It is true that Intel has the crown of performance right now, as well as that the prices are high and that there is no DDR5 memory available. All that will change shortly, since the characteristics of all the chipsets that Intel has prepared for Alder Lake CPUs have been leaked, what is yours? H670, B660 or H610?
There are not too many surprises compared to what we could expect at first from any of the three named against the top of the range Z690. Likewise, let’s go in order, since it is worth reviewing everything they can offer.
Intel Z690 vs H670 vs B660 vs H610
Based on the fact that all of them will have support for DDR4 or DDR5 (normal as the CPU has the IMC and not the motherboard), what we will not have depending on the choice is the possibility of overclocking the CPU. Curiously, Intel will limit in all chipsets the opportunity to do it less in Z690, so this will determine a lot the sales of processors linked to chipsets.
Regarding the overclocking of the RAM memory, Intel has been more flexible, since except for H610 the rest will be able to do it without problem and within the speed that each model indicates. Making the leap to the PCIe lines and taking into account that the controllers also go in the CPU, Z690 and H670 will have double configuration in case we want to install more than one card in PCIe 5.0: 1 x16 or 2 x 8.
B660 and H610 will only have the opportunity of a slot with 16 PCIe 5.0 lanes. In PCIe 4.0 we will only have 1 x4 less in H610 that will not have this configuration. We cannot forget the essential DMI 4.0, which has a higher bandwidth thanks to its 8 PCIe lanes, which is repeated both in Z690 and H670 but not in the rest of the chipsets of the 600 range.
This is important to take into account, because it will drag down the rest of the benefits that we are going to see.
Half the bandwidth
This limitation in DMI 4.0 and its lines has a direct impact on PCIe 4.0 and 3.0, since we will go from 16 and 12 to 12-6-0 and 12-8-8 respectively between H670, B660 and H610. USB of different speeds suffer the same fate and are cut as we lower the range of the chipset.
So from 4 USB 20 G that we will have in Z690 we go to 2 in H670 and B660 and none in H610, where in the case of talking about USB3 to 10G it is even more blatant with 10-4-4-2. The rest of the USB versions are more or less established with a minimum, especially the much more common USB 2.0.
Another small change between chipset that will have to be evaluated is that of the SATA 3 ports, since Z690 and H670 maintain a maximum of 8 and the remaining two chipsets only 4. The aforementioned makes the segmentations quite clear, which are now much more decisive depending on the CPU to choose and the type of RAM memory. The main problem is not the disparity in performance, but the existing limitations, where only the Z690 chipset can support CPU overclocking, which limits the choice too much compared to what AMD offers.