Intel Alder Lake B660 gaming motherboards may not support PCIe Gen5

Intel’s Alder Lake processors are the only consumer-grade CPUs that support the new PCIe Gen 5 specification, at least until AMD’s Zen 4 chips arrive in 2022. However, it seems that motherboards that use it more budget-oriented B660 chipsets, can hamper the capabilities of the 12th generation Core Processor and only support up to PCIe Gen 4.

Videocardz has received a picture from a source claiming that Asus sent a Z690 motherboard to them in an incorrectly marked box, revealing that the company’s upcoming Prime B660 Plus card will only support up to PCIe Gen4. This decision from Asus is somewhat confusing as PCIe Gen5 lanes are not related to chipsets and instead are part of a processor’s specifications, but this is probably related to cost saving efforts.

While the lack of PCIe Gen5 on the B660 motherboards makes them less future-proof, as components like the best SSDs for games and RTX 4000 graphics cards will eventually use the specification by default, it will take some time before they become standard or affordable. As such, it may make sense in the short term to forgo PCIe Gen5 for anyone trying to build a gaming PC on a smaller budget.

Fortunately, while Intel’s Alder Lake chips are among the best gaming CPUs you can buy right now, they’s extremely competitive in terms of price and performance compared to AMD’s current Ryzen 5000 processors. In addition to top-level performance, there are other goodies that come with running an LGA 1700 socket, such as a new ‘PCIe Slot Q-release’ feature that should help anyone with a chonky GPU.

However, it may be best to wait a while for all of Alder Lake’s major bumps and bugs to be fixed, as early adopters are currently struggling to play some of the latest PC games. That is, of course, if you can find one, as the ongoing chip shortage continues to create supply problems.

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