July 13, 2024

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Intel’s B760 Raptor Lake Chipset May Get a Disappointing Price Hike Over B660

Intel’s B760 Raptor Lake Chipset May Get a Disappointing Price Hike Over B660

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People who are interested in upgrading to the latest platforms from AMD and Intel have been met with a surprising roadblock on their journey to PC Valhalla: expensive motherboards. Both companies’ new platforms — AMD’s X670 and Intel’s Z790 — have surprised upgraders with high price tags, as many models cost around $300 and upwards. Thankfully both companies also have more affordable, watered-down chipsets, which release a few months after the flagships. For Intel that is its B760 chipset, which competes with B660 for Alder Lake. Unfortunately, a new report indicates this new “mainstream” chipset will be a bit more expensive than its predecessor, adding to the woes of potential Raptor Lake upgraders.

One of the big benefits for Intel upgraders compared with AMD this time is they have the option of buying older chipsets, even for a new Raptor Lake CPU. The company supports both Alder Lake and Raptor Lake CPUs on its LGA 1700 socket, so people don’t have to buy the newest gear if they don’t want to. Intel’s platform also supports both DDR4 and DDR5, so users can bring their memory over from their old system as well. This is a big advantage over AMD’s Zen 4 platform, which requires a new motherboard as well as buying expensive DDR5 memory. AMD’s newest CPUs also cost a lot, though the company has unofficially lowered prices on some SKUs already to compete with Intel.

This chart shows the difference between Intel’s 12th Generation chipsets. It has yet to release the less expensive versions for Raptor Lake. Click to expand. (Image: Intel)

For potential Raptor Lake upgraders, the mainstream B760 chipset will be the way to go. People who have passed on Z790 (and Z690) have been waiting for these boards to launch. However, according to a now-deleted post on the Chiphell forums via HotHardware, B760 is anticipated to be about 10 percent more expensive than the B660 chipset it’s replacing. If this is true, it’s hard to imagine why anyone would choose the newer version over the old one.

Intel has yet to release specifications for its B760 chipset. However, in the past, the main difference between the B-series chipsets and Z-series is the former doesn’t support CPU overclocking. The CPUs can still boost on their own, of course. But you can’t go into the BIOS and tweak any settings related to clocks or voltage. Memory overclocking is still supported, however. Overall, the big changes are to the chipset’s PCIe 3.0 and 4.0 configurations compared with its big brother. For B760 it’s expected to offer the same differences between B660 and Z690; it will offer additional PCIe 4.0 lanes but the same number of PCIe 3.0 lanes.

The above raises the question of why anyone would choose the B760 over the less expensive B660. People in this price range typically don’t need anything beyond basic functionality, which B660 already provides. Intel should be giving upgraders an incentive to upgrade to its newest chipset. Supposedly, B760 will offer one additional USB-C connection over B660 and not much else.

The chipset will reportedly be announced on Dec. 20 and go on sale in early January.

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