Question Best Affordable B660 Mobo for my build?

Sep 8, 2022
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Hey everyone, so after doing a bunch more research, I’ve come to the conclusion that it would be better for me to just start fresh and put together my first PC with all new parts. I was going to fix up this old Alienware X51 a coworker gave me, but I’d have to replace the motherboard, case, hard drive at the bare minimum (maybe more), and after looking into New Old Stock parts, it was going to end up costing the same or more, to fix this old computer, using old technology, then just buying new parts! Which is insane. So I'm just going to do a complete new build instead and looking for some help with the Motherboard.

TLDR: which Mobo’s in my list below is the most reliable, has great customer service, great performance, and best value in the $110-140 range

I’ve done a LOT of research everyday over the last few weeks about every part of the build. But since I’m new to this stuff, I still don’t know everything. And one area of parts I’m having a hard time deciding on is the MOBO. I’m for sure going with the Intel i3 12100F chip and the B660 chipset mobo. Also know how much RAM/what kind I'll be getting, same for the SSD, PSU, case, etc.

But I’m having a hard time deciding on which board to get. All the ones in my price range and performance tier "seem" all about the same, all have about the same ports, performance, and everything. The only real difference I see seems very minor for what I need/want. I've read that in general ASUS used to and still does make some of the best boards, but that in recent times, they are overpriced compared to other offerings. And that ASRock, MSI and Gigabyte make as good or better products for a better price/better value? So just wondering of the boards I’m listing below, which ones are going to be the best for what I want, and the most reliable with great CS?

Here is the list of Mobo’s I’ve narrowed my search down too. But I’m sure I may be missing some. Please feel free to suggest something else not on this list if it's in the $110-140 price range and fits with my desired build and needs.

ASRock B660M Steel Legend - ~$135

ASRock B660 Pro RS - ~$125

ASUS Prime B660M-A D4 - ~$130

ASUS PRIME B660-PLUS D4 - ~$140

ASUS TUF GAMING B660M-PLUS WIFI D4 LGA 1700 (PCIe-5) - ~$135

MAG B660M BAZOOKA DDR4 - ~$130


One thing you should know is I don’t care AT ALL about playing games. The most I will ever do with this PC is run PS or Ai. Other than that, it’s just for classes, personal computing and maybe sometimes work. So I’m not even installing a GPU. The Mobo needs to have iGPU.

And I don’t need the fastest or best anything or a ton of PCIe slots or a million USB 3.2 ports, etc. I don’t want the bottom of the line, but I definitely don’t need the best everything. I just want parts that work well and are snappy. And down the road, once I have this thing up and running smoothly, I’d like to add a few clean looking ARGB/RGB fans and maybe some interior lights, but nothing crazy. So it has to have those 5v RGB headers or at least the ability to easily add some sort of ARGB controller to the system I’m building.

One Mobo brand I have left out, even though many reviews say they have some great B660 boards is Gigabyte. Because most reviews say that trying to get the RGB/ARGB stuff to work with those boards is a nightmare and doesn’t work well at all. So that is why I’ve left them out. But if that is not correct, please correct me, as I found 1-2 really great Gigabyte boards that are in the $105-130 range.


Here is what I’m more or less planning on building for around $400-600 total:

CPU: Intel i3 12100F chip

Mobo: B660 w/4 RAM slots (doesn’t need WiFi or super fast LAN port, I can buy a WiFi card if I need one down the road, and crazy fast internet doesn’t help me with anything I’m doing) Only looking to spend around $100-140 on a Mobo

Memory:
DDR4 2x8=16GB for now, but with 4 slots on the Mobo at 32gb each for the ability to upgrade to 128gb total someday if I ever needed to

CPU cooler: do I even need one? I don’t feel like I do, using it for what I’ll be doing on this PC. I’m never going to be gaming or running massive programs all at the same time. Just regular personal computing, internet, email, some small to medium sized programs, etc. And if I do need one, I can always just get something cheap for like $20-40

Storage: NVMe PCIe 4 SSD and probably a cheap 1TB HDD for back up and storage purposes

Case: Fractal Design Define 7 or Pop

PSU: Some decent 80+ Gold PSU in the 500-600w range. I’ve used multiple online power use calculators for this build and they all come up with around 450w needed. So I’m just going to go a bit over, so in case I ever need/want to add anything else, I can

Extras: down the road some clean looking ARGB fans or lights
 
Reactions: muhammadafzal
the most reliable with great CS?

The Mobo needs to have iGPU.

Intel i3 12100F chip

CPU cooler: do I even need one?
"Most reliable with great CS"......I'd forget "great" CS. Most reliable has a major crapshoot element. Unfortunate, but that's the way it is. Your dozens or hundreds of hours of research and hand-wringing can be overwhelmed by luck. Or....rely on anecdotes and convince yourself they have some relevance.

If you want "iGPU", you need to AVOID Intel CPUs ending in F. So...12100, 12400, 12500, 12600....not F or KF.

Cooler; you certainly do need one. The included cooler on the Intels may well be perfectly adequate, but may be noisier than you might like under a decent load as it gains RPM.
 

Eximo

Titan
Ambassador
Yep, you will need a non-F CPU to get graphics output, it is part of the CPU. Motherboards do not have graphics (except expensive server boards)

Intel's best graphics offering starts with the i5-12500, the i5-12400 and i3-12100 will have a slightly slimmed down version.

As for the motherboard, I think you would be pleased with any of them. Except maybe the ASrock B660 Pro RS. The rest of your choices are pretty high quality.

For longevity, I suggest getting the i5.

This PSU is at a reasonable price, top tier, and Platinum rated. SuperFlower Leadex III Gold 550W for the same price, but why when you can get a more efficient one for the same price.

https://pcpartpicker.com/product/6p8H99/evga-supernova-p2-650-w-80-platinum-certified-fully-modular-atx-power-supply-220-p2-0650-x1

Stock cooler is fine for the i3, for the i5, a cheap $25-$35 tower cooler will do fine. Deepcool AK400 is a fine choice.
 
Reactions: Haliax68
Sep 8, 2022
47
2
35
0
"Most reliable with great CS"......I'd forget "great" CS. Most reliable has a major crapshoot element. Unfortunate, but that's the way it is. Your dozens or hundreds of hours of research and hand-wringing can be overwhelmed by luck. Or....rely on anecdotes and convince yourself they have some relevance.

If you want "iGPU", you need to AVOID Intel CPUs ending in F. So...12100, 12400, 12500, 12600....not F or KF.

Cooler; you certainly do need one. The included cooler on the Intels may well be perfectly adequate, but may be noisier than you might like under a decent load as it gains RPM.
Oh, ok. Didn't know that reliability is a major crapshoot and that none of the companies have good CS? When I read about those things, most people and sites seem to think that Asus, MSI, ASRock and Gigabyte are much better than the rest of the brands out there.

And thank you VERY much for alerting me to the fact that I'll need the regular i312100, not the F version if I just want iGPU. That would have been bad news if I hadn't found that out now. That is why I'm doing as much research as I can, but also asking questions, as I'm a newb to all of this. I'm trying to learn, so thank you for that very important nugget of info! Thank you for your response and help, I appreciate it
 
Sep 8, 2022
47
2
35
0
Yep, you will need a non-F CPU to get graphics output, it is part of the CPU. Motherboards do not have graphics (except expensive server boards)

Intel's best graphics offering starts with the i5-12500, the i5-12400 and i3-12100 will have a slightly slimmed down version.

As for the motherboard, I think you would be pleased with any of them. Except maybe the ASrock B660 Pro RS. The rest of your choices are pretty high quality.

For longevity, I suggest getting the i5.

This PSU is at a reasonable price, top tier, and Platinum rated. SuperFlower Leadex III Gold 550W for the same price, but why when you can get a more efficient one for the same price.

https://pcpartpicker.com/product/6p8H99/evga-supernova-p2-650-w-80-platinum-certified-fully-modular-atx-power-supply-220-p2-0650-x1

Stock cooler is fine for the i3, for the i5, a cheap $25-$35 tower cooler will do fine. Deepcool AK400 is a fine choice.
Excellent, thank you so much for mentioning the non F chip thing. VERY important to know.

Thank you for the Mobo info, much appreciated!

And thank you for that excellent PSU suggestion! It's only $70 for that higher Wattage and Platinum rated version. Some other normal 80+ or Gold 500W ones I was looking were like $40-60, so that will be a much better addition to my build for hardly any extra cost. Thanks!

And thanks for the cooler info. I'll just go with the stock one for now, and if I feel like the sound is too loud, I'll get a better one like you suggested.

Thank you VERY much for all your info and help. I really appreciate it!
 
most people and sites seem to think that Asus, MSI, ASRock and Gigabyte are much better than the rest of the brands out there.
Well..............that's largely because those 4 brands are far and away the most commonly purchased by home PC builders like you and me. I'd guess those 4 might have 85 or 90 percent of the total, at least in the US?

But choosing between them on the basis of customer service? That's largely a crap shoot. Naturally, no one likes a crap shoot in that context, so many spend hours on what passes for research in an attempt to uncover something useful. But about all that's out there is anecdotal stuff, not legit and controlled surveys.
 

geofelt

Titan
First, to get integrated graphics the processor must not have a F suffix.
The supplied cooler will be fine.
Tip:
The key to a good stock cooler mount is to press down on diagonal pairs of pushpins simultaneously. If you do them one at a time, it will not go on level.

Go to newegg and filter on B660 lga1700 motherboards.
You also want DDR4 versions and perhaps wifi.

Sort on price.

One of the more likely candidates would be the ASUS prime A D4:
https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16813119541

Anything can come as defective. If it does, just return to seller for an exchange. Failure later on is not common.

On ram, buy what you will ever need up front.
Just because a motherboard has 4 ram slots does not mean that you can add ram later and be confident that it will work.
Ram must be factory matched in one kit for proper operation.

A m.2 nvme ssd is a good pick for everything.
For reliability, Puget systems thinks highly of Samsung:

Your psu needs are minimal. 350w would do it.
In case you might want to install a discrete graphics card, here is what is recommended for various cards:
http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page362.htm

Nothing wrong with higher wattage, a psu will only use what is demanded, regardless of the max capability. You will find that the price difference between 550w/650w and 750w may be minimal.
For example a Seasonic GB-550w is $107, the 650w is $120 and 750w is $130.
https://www.newegg.com/seasonic-focus-550-gold-ssr-550fm-550w/p/N82E16817151203
https://www.newegg.com/seasonic-focus-750-gold-ssr-750fm-750w/p/N82E16817151201
I mention Seasonic because they seem to have sales this time of year.

Regardless, do not buy a cheap psu.
Gold rating is a measure of efficiency, not one of quality.
Look for a unit with at least a 7 year warranty.
 
Reactions: Haliax68
Sep 8, 2022
47
2
35
0
Quick question I didn't see answered, will all of those Mobo's I listed,
First, to get integrated graphics the processor must not have a F suffix.
The supplied cooler will be fine.
Tip:
The key to a good stock cooler mount is to press down on diagonal pairs of pushpins simultaneously. If you do them one at a time, it will not go on level.

Go to newegg and filter on B660 lga1700 motherboards.
You also want DDR4 versions and perhaps wifi.

Sort on price.

One of the more likely candidates would be the ASUS prime A D4:
https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16813119541

Anything can come as defective. If it does, just return to seller for an exchange. Failure later on is not common.

On ram, buy what you will ever need up front.
Just because a motherboard has 4 ram slots does not mean that you can add ram later and be confident that it will work.
Ram must be factory matched in one kit for proper operation.

A m.2 nvme ssd is a good pick for everything.
For reliability, Puget systems thinks highly of Samsung:

Your psu needs are minimal. 350w would do it.
In case you might want to install a discrete graphics card, here is what is recommended for various cards:
http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page362.htm

Nothing wrong with higher wattage, a psu will only use what is demanded, regardless of the max capability. You will find that the price difference between 550w/650w and 750w may be minimal.
For example a Seasonic GB-550w is $107, the 650w is $120 and 750w is $130.
https://www.newegg.com/seasonic-focus-550-gold-ssr-550fm-550w/p/N82E16817151203
https://www.newegg.com/seasonic-focus-750-gold-ssr-750fm-750w/p/N82E16817151201
I mention Seasonic because they seem to have sales this time of year.

Regardless, do not buy a cheap psu.
Gold rating is a measure of efficiency, not one of quality.
Look for a unit with at least a 7 year warranty.
Wow! Thank you for all of that. Some of that stuff I've learned on my own, and some I didn't know. But much appreciated info as a newb starting out, trying to learn and make sure I do everything correctly.

One thing I was hoping you could go into more detail about is the RAM? What do you mean that I can't add more later? And why does it need to be factory matched in one kit? I've purchased RAM for my old PC years ago, and same for my Mac Laptop. Never had any issues. So can you explain more about that?

Thank you so much for all the great info, I really appreciate it!
 
One thing I was hoping you could go into more detail about is the RAM? What do you mean that I can't add more later?
Adding RAM later adds some risk of incompatibility with the existing RAM...the new RAM may run only at the speed of the existing RAM or can even not be acknowledged at all. Even though the new RAM appears to be a match for the old....possibly even down to the level of brand, model, and model number. There's a reasonable chance new RAM will at least "work", but the better idea is to buy what you need in a single "kit" for one price.

The chances of you ever needing more than 32 are very small. You'd probably be fine with 16. I've never had more than 8. When I next rebuild I will get 16.
 
Reactions: Haliax68
Sep 8, 2022
47
2
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Adding RAM later adds some risk of incompatibility with the existing RAM...the new RAM may run only at the speed of the existing RAM or can even not be acknowledged at all. Even though the new RAM appears to be a match for the old....possibly even down to the level of brand, model, and model number. There's a reasonable chance new RAM will at least "work", but the better idea is to buy what you need in a single "kit" for one price.

The chances of you ever needing more than 32 are very small. You'd probably be fine with 16. I've never had more than 8. When I next rebuild I will get 16.
Ok, that's good to know. Thank you much for you help and explanation.

Follow up question, should I get 2 sticks of 8gb memory or 4 sticks of 4 in order to get to 16 total? And which one is going to be faster? From my initial research, it seems as if the 4 sticks of 4gb will be faster, but that's just from preliminary research, nothing in depth. And can I buy TWO separate sets of 2x4gb memory? Or do I have to buy ONE whole kit of 4x4gb memory? The memory I'm looking at: the Corsair Vengeance RGB RS DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory does not come in 4x4 kits. Only 2x8 or 2x4 or other combos. But no 4x4. So just wondering if I can buy TWO sets of 2x4 and be fine, or not?

Thanks
 
Last edited:
Jul 22, 2022
1
0
10
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Hey everyone, so after doing a bunch more research, I’ve come to the conclusion that it would be better for me to just start fresh and put together my first PC with all new parts. I was going to fix up this old Alienware X51 a coworker gave me, but I’d have to replace the motherboard, case, hard drive at the bare minimum (maybe more), and after looking into New Old Stock parts, it was going to end up costing the same or more, to fix this old computer, using old technology, then just buying new parts! Which is insane. So I'm just going to do a complete new build instead and looking for some help with the Motherboard.

TLDR: which Mobo’s in my list below is the most reliable, has great customer service, great performance, and best value in the $110-140 range

I’ve done a LOT of research everyday over the last few weeks about every part of the build. But since I’m new to this stuff, I still don’t know everything. And one area of parts I’m having a hard time deciding on is the MOBO. I’m for sure going with the Intel i3 12100F chip and the B660 chipset mobo. Also know how much RAM/what kind I'll be getting, same for the SSD, PSU, case, etc.

But I’m having a hard time deciding on which board to get. All the ones in my price range and performance tier "seem" all about the same, all have about the same ports, performance, and everything. The only real difference I see seems very minor for what I need/want. I've read that in general ASUS used to and still does make some of the best boards, but that in recent times, they are overpriced compared to other offerings. And that ASRock, MSI and Gigabyte make as good or better products for a better price/better value? So just wondering of the boards I’m listing below, which ones are going to be the best for what I want, and the most reliable with great CS?

Here is the list of Mobo’s I’ve narrowed my search down too. But I’m sure I may be missing some. Please feel free to suggest something else not on this list if it's in the $110-140 price range and fits with my desired build and needs.

ASRock B660M Steel Legend - ~$135

ASRock B660 Pro RS - ~$125

ASUS Prime B660M-A D4 - ~$130

ASUS PRIME B660-PLUS D4 - ~$140

ASUS TUF GAMING B660M-PLUS WIFI D4 LGA 1700 (PCIe-5) - ~$135

MAG B660M BAZOOKA DDR4 - ~$130


One thing you should know is I don’t care AT ALL about playing games. The most I will ever do with this PC is run PS or Ai. Other than that, it’s just for classes, personal computing and maybe sometimes work. So I’m not even installing a GPU. The Mobo needs to have iGPU.

And I don’t need the fastest or best anything or a ton of PCIe slots or a million USB 3.2 ports, etc. I don’t want the bottom of the line, but I definitely don’t need the best everything. I just want parts that work well and are snappy. And down the road, once I have this thing up and running smoothly, I’d like to add a few clean looking ARGB/RGB fans and maybe some interior lights, but nothing crazy. So it has to have those 5v RGB headers or at least the ability to easily add some sort of ARGB controller to the system I’m building.

One Mobo brand I have left out, even though many reviews say they have some great B660 boards is Gigabyte. Because most reviews say that trying to get the RGB/ARGB stuff to work with those boards is a nightmare and doesn’t work well at all. So that is why I’ve left them out. But if that is not correct, please correct me, as I found 1-2 really great Gigabyte boards that are in the $105-130 range.


Here is what I’m more or less planning on building for around $400-600 total:

CPU: Intel i3 12100F chip

Mobo: B660 w/4 RAM slots (doesn’t need WiFi or super fast LAN port, I can buy a WiFi card if I need one down the road, and crazy fast internet doesn’t help me with anything I’m doing) Only looking to spend around $100-140 on a Mobo

Memory:
DDR4 2x8=16GB for now, but with 4 slots on the Mobo at 32gb each for the ability to upgrade to 128gb total someday if I ever needed to

CPU cooler: do I even need one? I don’t feel like I do, using it for what I’ll be doing on this PC. I’m never going to be gaming or running massive programs all at the same time. Just regular personal computing, internet, email, some small to medium sized programs, etc. And if I do need one, I can always just get something cheap for like $20-40

Storage: NVMe PCIe 4 SSD and probably a cheap 1TB HDD for back up and storage purposes

Case: Fractal Design Define 7 or Pop

PSU: Some decent 80+ Gold PSU in the 500-600w range. I’ve used multiple online power use calculators for this build and they all come up with around 450w needed. So I’m just going to go a bit over, so in case I ever need/want to add anything else, I can

Extras: down the road some clean looking ARGB fans or lights
Well, i read the whole post, but i've a question, whats the compatible mobo to pair with Ryzen 5 5600x?
 

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