Biostar B660M Silver Motherboard Review: Competent and Affordable (2023)

Tom's Hardware Verdict

At $159.99, the Biostar B660M Silver is a well-appointed Micro ATX motherboard on a budget. It has four SATA ports, two M.2 sockets and a premium last-gen audio codec. But Wi-Fi, RGBs and a 20 Gbps USB port are omitted, and there’s stiff competition.

Pros

  • +

    Two PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 sockets

  • +

    Last-gen premium audio codec

Cons

  • -

    No 20 Gbps USB port

  • -

    Wi-Fi ports on rear IO are misleading

  • -

    No RGBs (a pro for some)

Features and Specifications

  • Page 1: Features and Specifications
  • Page 2: Firmware, Software and Test System
  • Page 3: Benchmarks and Final Analysis

Biostar’s B660M Silver is a Micro ATX motherboard that hailing from the budget end of the Alder Lake spectrum. Priced around $160 in the US, it offers just about everything you need to get the most out of your system–so long as you don’t want to overclock your CPU. The B660M Silver brings a black and silver aesthetic (no RGBs), two PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 sockets, four SATA ports, capable power delivery, and a 2.5 GbE port. Overall, it’s a well-rounded option in this space, but lacks included Wi-Fi.

Performance on the B660M Silver was comparable to other like boards across our testing suite. It struggled a bit in a couple of the heavily multi-threaded tests, but that’s a common theme among most B660 boards. Biostar’s board excelled in the Procyon Office suite, with results near the top across all those tests. If you’re a gamer, there’s nothing to fear, as the performance there was average, too. Power consumption was also average overall, though load power consumption was higher than many others.

Before we get into all the details and see if this board earns a spot on our best motherboards list, below is a list of specifications from the Biostar website.

Specifications: Biostar B660M Silver

SocketLGA1700
ChipsetB660
Form FactorMicro-ATX
Voltage Regulator13 Phase (12x 70A DrMOS MOSFETs for Vcore)
Video Ports(1) HDMI (v2.0)
(1) DisplayPort (v1.4) Input
(1) DVI-D
USB Ports(1) USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (10 Gbps)
(5) USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps)
(2) USB 2.0 (480 Mbps)
Network Jacks(1) 2.5 GbE
Audio Jacks(3) Analog
Legacy Ports/JacksPS/2, DVI-D
Other Ports/Jack
PCIe x16(1) v5.0 (x16)
(1) v3.0 (x4)
PCIe x8
PCIe x4
PCIe x1(1) v3.0 (x1)
CrossFire/SLI?
DIMM Slots(4) DDR4 5000+(OC), 128GB Capacity
M.2 Sockets(1) PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps) / PCIe (up to 110mm)
(1) PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps) / PCIe + SATA (up to 110mm)
U.2 Ports
SATA Ports(4) SATA3 6 Gbps (Supports RAID 0/1/5/10)
USB Headers(1) USB v3.2 Gen 2x2, Type-C (20 Gbps, 60W)
(1) USB v3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
(2) USB v2.0 (480 Mbps)
Fan/Pump Headers(5) 4-Pin (CPU, CPU OPT, System fans)
RGB Headers(3) aRGB (3-pin)
(1) AURA RGB (4-pin)
Diagnostics PanelEZ Debug LED
Internal Button/Switch
SATA Controllers
Ethernet Controller(s)Realtek RTL8125BG (2.5 Gbps)
Wi-Fi / Bluetooth
USB Controllers
HD Audio CodecRealtek ALC1220
DDL/DTS Connect✗ / X
Warranty3 Years

Inside the Box of the Biostar B660M Silver

Biostar, like all other board partners, includes some accessories to get you started. The B660M Silver’s accessory stack is sparse, but includes enough to get you started. Below is a complete list of the included accessories.

  • (4) SATA cables
  • I/O Shield
  • Support DVD
  • Quick guide

Design of the B660M Silver

The B660M Silver is a general purpose board that, according to Biostar, focuses on reliability. The black PCB gives way to light gray design elements stenciled on the board around the PCIe and socket areas. Cooling the power delivery, chipset, and one M.2 socket are silver heatsinks with a brushed aluminum finish. These aren't the biggest heatsinks we’ve seen, but they do the job. If you’re looking for integrated RGB LEDs, look elsewhere as the Silver doesn’t have any. But don’t fret if you want lights, because the board has a full complement of ARGB and RGB headers to add on your own.

Biostar B660M Silver Motherboard Review: Competent and Affordable (3)

On the top half of the board, we get a better look at the VRM heatsink that reaches out over the rear IO bits. It’s not the largest or heaviest VRM heatsink, but it keeps these MOSFETs running with spec. Across the top of this heatsink is the Silver branding in black, Biostar is stenciled on the chipset heatsink. Just above the VRM heatsink is the single 8-pin EPS connector (required) to power the processor.

Moving past the socket and small top VRM heatsink, we run into the first (of five) 4-pin fan/pump headers. Biostar doesn’t list the output of these headers, so I would expect 1A/12W output for each, if only for safety reasons. To adjust the fans, use the Aorura software and AI Fan program.

Continuing right, we run into four unreinforced DRAM slots that only lock on the top side. Biostar lists support for up to 128GB of RAM and speeds up to DDR4-5000+(OC). We didn’t run into any issues with our two test kits with speeds up to DDR4-4000. As usual, your mileage may vary in reaching these (and faster) speeds as it depends on the memory kit and the processor’s integrated memory controller (IMC) to get you there.

In the upper right corner, you’ll find all three RGB headers: two 3-pin ARGB headers and one 4-pin RGB header. Control over the attached lighting comes from the Aorura software and Vivid DJ applet. Down the right edge, we run into the 24-pin EPS for board power, a 19-pin USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gbps) header, and a USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) Type-C header.

Biostar B660M Silver Motherboard Review: Competent and Affordable (4)

Power delivery on the B660M Silver consists of 12 phases for Vcore (13 total). Power comes from the 8-pin EPS connector and onto the Renesas RAA229130 controller. Power then moves to 12 70A OnSemi 5062 DrMOS MOSFETs. The 840A available isn’t the most we’ve seen, but it is plenty to handle our Intel Core i9-12900K at default speeds without getting in the way.

Biostar B660M Silver Motherboard Review: Competent and Affordable (5)

On the bottom half of the board, we spy a fully exposed audio section on the left side. To the left of the audio separation line, we run into a Realtek ALC1220 codec and four dedicated audio caps. Compared to most of its peers (except the B660M Mortar), this is a superior audio solution on paper, but tough to differentiate audibly.

In the middle of the board are three M.2 sockets and three PCIe slots. Starting with the slots, the B660M Silver sports two full-length slots (one reinforced) and a single x1 slot. The top slot (primary) connects through the CPU and runs at PCIe 5.0 x16. The bottom slot connects through the chipset, running at PCIe 3.0 x4. Multi-GPU support isn’t mentioned, though the board has the bandwidth to support it. The middle x1 slot also connects through the chipset and supports up to PCIe 3.0 x1 speeds.

Regarding M.2 sockets, there are two Key-M slots for storage and one Key-E socket for Wi-Fi (CNVi module not included). The top socket connects through the CPU for PCIe 4.0x4 (64 Gbps) bandwidth and handles up to 80mm modules. The bottom socket supports up to 110mm modules and connects through the chipset for PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps) bandwidth.

Across the bottom are several headers, including USB ports and RGB, and more. Below is a complete list, from left to right:

  • Front panel audio
  • (3) 4-pin fan headers
  • (2) USB 2.0
  • 9-pin Thunderbolt header
  • Debug LEDs
  • COM port
  • Front panel
  • 4-pin RGB header

Biostar B660M Silver Motherboard Review: Competent and Affordable (6)

The B660M silver includes a simple rear IO plate you need to install. It has a black background with silver labels and “Silver” branding in the upper-left corner. As far as ports go, from left to right, we run into video outputs – HDMI, DisplayPort, and DVI-D. Above that are Wi-Fi antenna connections which, I find misleading since this model doesn’t come with Wi-Fi. There are eight USB ports: two USB 2.0 (480 MBps) and six USB 3.2 Gen2 (10 Gbps) ports, one of which is Type-C. Next up is the 2.5 GbE port and a 3-plug analog input-only audio stack.

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Biostar B660M Silver Motherboard Review: Competent and Affordable (7)

Joe Shields

Motherboard Reviewer

Joe Shields is a Freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He reviews motherboards.

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    FAQs

    Are Biostar motherboards any good? ›

    If you're building an extremely low-budget PC with a Ryzen 3 or Athlon CPU, it's ok, but otherwise no. The Biostar B450MH is a very weak motherboard with poor features and low-end components. If you're going to be using anything better than a Ryzen 3, you should try to get a motherboard with a VRM heatsink.

    Who makes Biostar motherboard? ›

    1 as the top motherboard brand for iCafe in China. Biostar is an independent company listed on the main floor of Taiwan Stock Market, stock ID number TWSE: 2399.
    ...
    Biostar Microtech International Corp.
    Native name映泰股份有限公司
    TypePublic
    Traded asTWSE: 2399
    IndustryComputer hardware Electronics
    Founded1986
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    • ASUS ProArt Z490-CREATOR 10G Motherboard. ₹35,007. ₹40,100.
    • MSI PRO B660M-A DDR4 Motherboard. ₹14,999. ₹23,850.
    • MSI MEG Z590 GODLIKE Motherboard. Black. ₹1,01,791. ₹1,22,630. 16% off.
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    1Asus AMD X570 ATX Gaming Motherboard34,675
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    Where are Biostar motherboards made? ›

    In order to expand its capacity to meet customer demand globally, BIOSTAR was the first to establish a manufacturing facility in China in 1990.

    Can a cheap motherboard affect performance? ›

    If you're using a low to mid-tier CPU, then a cheap motherboard won't noticeably affect your PC's performance. However, if you're using a top-of-the-line CPU, chances are your low-end motherboard won't be able to provide enough power and will pose as a bottleneck for your entire system.

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    AMD Ryzen 7 5700G

    AMD's APUs are the best processors to drop into your rig if you're not going to use a discrete graphics card, but still want a modicum of gaming performance out of your system. And the AMD Ryzen 7 5700G is the best of the Zen 3 chips to deliver that.

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    For gaming, 8GB is considered the baseline for AAA titles. However, RAM demands are increasing. Red Dead Redemption 2, for example, recommends 12GB of RAM for optimal performance, while Half-Life: Alyx requires 12GB as a minimum.

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    More pricey motherboards will feature more phases of power delivery for this purpose, ad better cooling for the VRMs on the board which regulate the voltage to the CPU. As such, pricier motherboards are better for those seeking out the best performance possible from their components.

    How do I know if my motherboard has Biostar? ›

    When the system was booting, the BIOS Version will be shown on the top of the screen, located at the Upper Left hand corner. For Instance, your will see something like below, VKB0618B VKB - The model of the motherboard 0618 - The date of the BIOS. B - Stand for Biostar.

    How do I update my Biostar motherboard BIOS? ›

    Restart your computer. Enter the CMOS setup by pressing <DELETE> at the POST or Biostar splash screen. Make sure the disk is in your floppy drive, choose "Upgrade BIOS" from the CMOS Setup main menu. The Flasher utility will automatically detect and highlight the BIOS file (in this example, VIT0312B.

    How do I start my Biostar motherboard? ›

    While the system boots up and the full screen logo shows up, press <DEL> key to enter BIOS setup.

    Does the brand of motherboard matter? ›

    No. The quality and feature set of the motherboard matter, but the brand alone doesn't determine how good a motherboard is. Some low-end motherboard chipsets don't support memory above a particular speed with certain CPUs - e.g. an i5 10400 in an H410 or B460 motherboard is limited to DDR4 2666MHz.

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    Which brand is good for motherboard? ›

    Gigabyte Z490 AORUS Elite is a great Intel option, while AMD fans might opt for X570 AORUS Elite. MSI is another brand established over thirty years ago. It is a well-known manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards.

    How do I know if my motherboard has Biostar? ›

    When the system was booting, the BIOS Version will be shown on the top of the screen, located at the Upper Left hand corner. For Instance, your will see something like below, VKB0618B VKB - The model of the motherboard 0618 - The date of the BIOS. B - Stand for Biostar.

    How do I update my Biostar motherboard BIOS? ›

    Restart your computer. Enter the CMOS setup by pressing <DELETE> at the POST or Biostar splash screen. Make sure the disk is in your floppy drive, choose "Upgrade BIOS" from the CMOS Setup main menu. The Flasher utility will automatically detect and highlight the BIOS file (in this example, VIT0312B.

    How do I start my Biostar motherboard? ›

    While the system boots up and the full screen logo shows up, press <DEL> key to enter BIOS setup.

    Which motherboard is best for 8GB RAM? ›

    8 Gb Motherboards
    • Bestseller. ZEBRONICS ZEB-H61 Motherboard. Black. 3.9. (478) ₹3,010. ₹4,999. ...
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    Which RAM is best for gaming? ›

    For gaming, 8GB is considered the baseline for AAA titles. However, RAM demands are increasing. Red Dead Redemption 2, for example, recommends 12GB of RAM for optimal performance, while Half-Life: Alyx requires 12GB as a minimum.

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