The Intel B660 series chipset is technically the cost-effective alternative for those who want to experience the Intel 12th gen core processors without having to pay an extra buck on features they don’t really need on the higher end Z690 chipset motherboards. We can see the board manufacturers packing a handful of useful features on their B660 chipset motherboards and trying to make it as appealing as possible to the end-users with fancy looks and RGB lighting for the aesthetics – though, there are users who are not really into those.
So this time, we’ll be taking a quick look at a B660 chipset motherboard that is packed with those useful features but at the same time, look good and clean without those RGB lighting, the ProArt B660-CREATOR D4.
|CPU support||Intel LGA 1700|
|Chipset||Intel B660 Chipset|
|Expansion slots||Intel 12th gen processor|
Intel B660 chipset
**M.2_2 shares bandwidth with PCIe x1 and WiFi key M.2_2 will run at PCI 3.0 x2 mode if a device is sdetected at PCIe x1 or WiFi key E slot.
|Back I/O Ports|
|Audio||Realtek 7.1 Surround Sound High Definition Audio CODEC|
*Due to limitations in HDA bandwidth, 32-bit/192 kHz is not supported for 7.1 Surround Sound audio
|Internal Connectors||Fan and Cooling related|
|Special Feature||ASUS 5X PROTECTION III|
ASUS Thermal Solution
|Form factor||ATX Form Factor (305mm x 244mm)|
The ProArt B660-CREATOR D4 ships in a minimalist packaging that somewhat reminds me of the color scheme on the ASUS Z97 Pro I have back then. The accessories that come with it are 1 x DisplayPort cable, 2 x SATA 6Gb/s cables, 3 x M.2 Rubber Packages, 1 x Q-connector, 1 x Support DVD, 1 x ACC Express Activation Key Card, and 1 x User guide.
Unlike most of the B660 chipset motherboards that are designed to cater to mainstream users, the ProArt B660-CREATOR D4 according to ASUS, is specifically designed for creators.
Aside from the clean minimalistic ‘creator’ look, ASUS has equipped the ProArt B660-CREATOR D4 with 2 x Ethernet ports for connectivity redundancy or connection to a NAS if needed, a handful of USB ports ( 4x USB2, 4 x USB3.2 gen1, 1 x USB 3.2 gen2 Type-C), 3 x M.2 slots with M.2 Q-Latch ease of installation and your high-speed storage needs, and of course, the PCIe 5.0 x16 slot for the upcoming supported devices.
Although it’s not made for enthusiasts, it’s good to see that ASUS still includes the debug LED on the ProArt B660-CREATOR D4 for easy troubleshooting. This is the kind of feature I’d like to see getting implemented on more mid-tier and entry-tier motherboards because this should be one of the essential features a motherboard really needs, not RGB lighting and RGB headers.
As for the DIMM slots, the ProArt B660-CREATOR D4 will support only DDR4 memory modules but you’re given the options in bios to overclock them if needed. CPU overclocking is limited just like most of the B660 chipset motherboards, so the 12+1 phase power design is more than enough for most use cases. Something to take note of this is that your choice for the CPU is either going for a K SKU if you want to go high on the memory frequency or a non-K SKU CPU if you plan to just stick with DDR4-3200.
Moving on to the power design, the ProArt B660-CREATOR D4 features a 12+1 phase power design. Under the heatsink, you’ll find an array of Vshay’s SiC654 with a rated power of 50A each and a Digi+ ASAP2100 (rebranded Richtek RT3628AE) PWM controller. You’ll also find another pair for the VCCAUX, which uses an OnSemi 81270C controller. All in all, it’s pretty sufficient for most use cases since you can’t overclock your CPU on a B660 chipset motherboard.
Since the ProArt B660-CREATOR D4 is a board that is designed for the creators, we will not be focusing too much on the system tweaking with this board. Even though the board can support up to DDR4-5333 according to the technical specs, it’s not really something that most creators will be doing with their memory modules.
DDR4-3200, DDR4-3600, or even DDR4-4000 is a reasonable speed to go for but that will depend on the CPU you’ll be using. As mentioned earlier, if you’re going for a non-k SKU CPU, DDR4-3200 is the safest option you can go for to maintain at Gear 1 mode.
We don’t have a lot of high-capacity memory modules with us now to see how well the ProArt B660-CREATOR D4 can handle 4 sticks of 32GB memory modules but it can easily handle 2 sticks of 32GB ddr4 memory modules (total up to 64GB) without any issue. And we managed to slightly tighten the original timings of DDR4-3200 CL22 to DDR4-3200 CL18 without any trouble.
We also did some system stress tests to check the temperatures on the motherboard chipset and VRM with Realbench and AIDA64 system stability test, and the result is pretty reasonable I’d say. Both the chipset and VRM temperature only peaked at around 60ºC throughout the tests we’ve done, so it’s safe to say that it’ll be able to handle most use cases without any issue.
Overall, the ProArt B660-CREATOR D4 is a fine board that works just as intended. It is packed with a lot of useful features which I think are not only useful for creators but also for non-creator users who just happen to need all these features for their daily routine.
The only downside is pretty much the same as what I have faced on most of the B660 motherboards, which is the dilemma of which CPU to go for due to the limitations on the memory frequency. Though that’s not really something to worry about if you just plan to get a pair of high-capacity memory modules, plug it in and call it a day.
Price-wise, the ProArt B660-CREATOR D4 is retailed at RM 1179, which I think is probably one of the affordable B660 chipset motherboards that is packed with this much of features. Even though the price is still actually on the higher side, the bundled 3 months worth of Adobe Creative Cloud subscription (roughly RM 250 per month) is something that is worth looking into if you’re a creator who works around the Adobe creative software suite.
- Clean minimalistic design
- Reasonable temperature
- PCIe 5.0 x16 slot
- Pre-installed Q-Latch for M.2 SSD
- Lots of USB ports and two Ethernet ports
- Bundled with 3 months’ worth of Adobe Creative Cloud subscription
- Price is still a little on the higher side
- No RGB lightings
- Doesn’t support CPU overclocking