If you’re a creative professional building your own Alder Lake PC and don’t want to break the bank for it, the Asus ProArt B660-Creator D4 is here to meet that need. It offers a sleek look (no RGB!) and the connectivity you’d expect from a budget creator board. You get three M.2 sockets, Thunderbolt header support, dual Ethernet ports, and even a USB-C DisplayPort for monitor connectivity. Overall, this is one of the cheapest ATX ‘pro’ series boards available.
Other boards around the same price work similarly, but are more focused on general use and gaming and lose some of the flexibility that the Pro boards offer (e.g. DisplayPort USB-C and Thunderbolt header support). Connectivity aside, the black-on-black board with gold accents/branding doesn’t stand out like many of these game boards (there are no RGB LEDs). first place.
ProArt’s performance was average across the board, running some advanced multi-threaded benchmarks a bit slower than most other DDR4-based motherboards. The Procyon Office benchmark was a bright spot, with solid gaming performance. A decent performer, but with default settings the processor will throttle in high multithreading situations due to high temperatures. You may need to prevent throttling.
Below, we’ll dig into all the details to see if this budget creator board earns a spot on our best motherboards list. are shown below.
Specifications: Asus ProArt B660-Creator D4
|voltage regulator||13 phases (12x 50A MOSFET for Vcore)|
|video port||(1) HDMI (v2.1)|
|(1) DisplayPort (v1.4) input|
|(1) USB Type-C (DisplayPort output)|
|USB port||(1) USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (10Gbps)|
|(4) USB 3.2 Gen1 (5Gbps)|
|(4) USB2.0 (480Mbps)|
|network jack||(1) 2.5GbE|
|audio jack||(5) Analog + SPDIF|
|PCIe x16||(1) v5.0 (x16)|
|(1) v3.0 (x4)|
|PCIe x 1||(1) v3.0 (x1)|
|DIMM slots||(4) DDR4 5333+(OC), 128GB capacity|
|M.2 socket||(1) PCIe 4.0 x4 (64Gbps) / PCIe (up to 110mm)|
|(1) PCIe 3.0 x4 (32Gbps) / PCIe + SATA (up to 80mm)|
|(1) PCIe 4.0 x4 (64Gbps) / PCIe (up to 110mm)|
|SATA port||(4) SATA3 6Gbps (supports RAID 0/1/5/10)|
|USB header||(1) USB v3.2 Gen 2×2, Type-C (20Gbps, 60W)|
|(1) USB v3.2 Gen 1 (5Gbps)|
|(2) USB v2.0 (480Mbps)|
|fan/pump header||(7) 4-pin (CPU, CPU OPT, AIO Pump, Chassis Fan)|
|RGB header||(3) aRGB (3 pin)|
|(1) AURA RGB (4 pin)|
|diagnostic panel||EZ debug LED|
|ethernet controller||Realtek RTL8125BG (2.5Gbps)|
|Intel I219-V (GbE)|
|HD audio codec||Realtek ALC897|
Contents of Asus ProArt B660-Creator D4 box
Inside the box, Asus has included some accessories with the board. The contents are standard for a budget board and come with the basics to get you started, including a driver disk, SATA cable and M.2 screws. Below is the full list of included extras.
- DisplayPort cable
- (2) SATA cable
- (3) M.2 rubber package
- (1) M.2 screw package
- Support DVD
- User guide
- Express activation keycard
Design of B660-Creator D4
Designed for creative professionals, Asus says the ProArt series focuses on reliability and flexibility compared to most other boards. On some boards he sees an RGB light show, but with the ProArt series he focuses on what creatives need in their workflow. The all-black board bears his ProArt name cleverly placed on his large VRM heatsink and the plastic shroud that covers it. The chipset heatsink is a large square with added ProArt branding. The slots and sockets are also black, outside the primary PCIe slots, and surrounded by EMI protection (silver). The board doesn’t draw attention on its own, but if you want to add RGB, it certainly can.
From the left side of the board, we can see a translucent smoked plastic shroud that partially covers the IO bits and VRM heatsinks on the back. Both his VRM heatsinks contain ample mass and surface area for effective cooling. Just above the left VRM bank are the 4-pin and 8-pin EPS connectors for powering the processor.
Along the middle top edge are three (out of seven) 4-pin fan headers (CPU_FAN/OPT, AIO_PUMP). All fan headers are Q fans controlled via BIOS or Asus software. The CPU header automatically detects whether the connected device is her PWM control or DC control. The rest require manual adjustment. All headers output up to 1A/12W. This is good for fans and most AIOs, but may not be enough for high power pumps in custom water cooling loops. But again, that’s not the kind of rig this board was designed for.
The right side of the LGA1700 socket has four unreinforced DRAM slots that lock at the top. Asus lists support for DDR5-5333+(OC) and 128GB capacity. I had no problems with any of the kits I tested.
There are two (out of four) RGB headers in the right corner. This location has a 4-pin RGB header, a 3-pin ARGB header, and two more ARGB headers at the bottom. Going down the far right, we first encounter Q-LEDs that check the major components (CPU, DRAM, VGA, and boot device) during the POST process. Then a 24-pin ATX for board power and a 6-pin PCIe connector for supported PD 3.0/QC 4.0+ fast charging technology (up to 60W). Lastly is the USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (20 Gbps) Type-C header on the front panel.
The B660-Creator’s power delivery consists of 12 power stages for Vcore. Power is routed from the EPS connector to a DIGI+ VRM chip (ASP2100) 10-channel controller to twelve 50A Vishay Sic654 MOSFETs in a “teamed” configuration. 600A isn’t a lot available in processors, but it handled the power-hungry i9-12900K at default speed.
The bottom half of the board has the audio section starting from the left side, separated from the rest of the board by a visible line that extends to the IO area on the back. Hidden under the shroud is a Realtek ALC897 codec and some dedicated audio capacitors. It’s not the latest or greatest, but it should be good enough for marketing creatives (and most users in general).
In the middle of the board are 4 M.2 sockets (3 Key-M, 1 Key-E for Wi-Fi adapters) and 3 PCIe slots. Starting with the storage, the top M.2 socket, M2_1, supports PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps) drives up to 110mm and feeds bandwidth from the processor. The middle socket without heatsink, M2_3, has the same specs/support as M2_1, but its lanes are from the chipset. The bottom socket M2_3 runs at PCIe 3.0 x4 (32 Gbps) speeds and also supports larger 110mm modules. Key-E socket supports CNVi-based Wi-Fi module (not included).
The primary video card inserts into the top reinforced full-length PCIe 5.0 slot. The second full-length slot runs at PCIe 3.0 x4 speeds and the closed-ended PCIe x1 slot runs at 3.0 x1, both feeding lanes from the chipset. There is some lane sharing as PCIe x1 shares bandwidth with M2_2. PCIe x1 is disabled when M2_2 is running in PCIe x4 mode. Just beyond the chipset heatsink on the edge of the board is a 19-pin USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps) front panel connector and his four SATA ports. SATA port supports RAID0/1/5/10 mode.
At the bottom are some headers including a USB port and RGB and even a 13 pin thunderbolt header for add-in cards. Below is the complete list from left to right.
- front panel audio
- COM port
- 13-pin TB AIC header
- COM/debug headers
- (2) chassis fan headers
- (2) 3-pin ARGB headers
- 2 pin temperature sensor header
- (2) USB2.0
- Clear CMOS header
- 4 pin chassis fan header
- front panel
The rear IO plate of B660-Creator is pre-installed for easy installation. The IO plate has a black background and gold port labels that match the ProArt theme and are easy to read. There are 9 USB ports here. One USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) Type-C port, four USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps) ports, and four USB 2.0 (480 Mbps) ports. This should be sufficient for most users.Video output consists of HDMI v2.1 a, DisplayPort (v1.4) input A USB-C port that supports DisplayPort output. There are two Ethernet ports (2.5 GbE Realtek and 1 GbE Intel) and the audio stack consists of 5 analog plugs and an SPDIF audio stack. It’s all pretty standard except for the DisplayPort/USB-C display option.
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