An overclockable B760 board! But there’s a catch… Read our MSI MAG B760M Mortar Max WiFi Review.
“If you’re going to take advantage of its base clock OC ability, the results are simply awesome.”
Do you remember the days when you could take a budget processor and overclock it to get flagship-level performance? It didn’t require a $ motherboard, 360mm AIO or a CPU with an unlocked multiplier. You could do it by increasing the base clock. In some cases, a 100 percent overclock was possible. The Core 2 Duo E6300 springs to mind.
Budget overclocking has mostly fallen by the wayside in favour of dynamic Turbo modes and variable power delivery. When 12th Gen CPUs launched, there was a lot of chatter among enthusiast circles as news spread of the possibility to overclock locked 12th Gen CPUs via base clock. The really exciting part was that a handful of B660 boards had the ability too. Cheap as chips overclocking was back! Sadly, Intel wasn’t feeling too altruistic and it closed this loophole, but only for 13 th Gen CPUs.
So, despite the loss of 13th Gen bclk OC, the MSI MAG B760M Mortar Max WiFi retains the ability to overclock a 12th Gen locked CPU. A feature we took advantage of to see how far we could push an i5 12400 CPU, achieving 5.2GHz on all cores, much higher than its default peak Turbo clock of 4.4GHz.
The B760M Mortar Max WiFi isn’t a one trick pony though. At over AU$ it’s one of the most expensive B760 boards, and luckily its feature set goes a long way to justifying its relatively steep price.
The Mortar Max features an attractive brushed metal on black design, free of RGB adornments. It supports up to 192GB of non-binary DDR5 memory at speeds of up to 7000MHz.
You’d expect a board designed for overclocking to have a high quality VRM. A 12+1+1 phase design with 75a stages is enough to power a 13900KS let alone a less demanding 12th Gen model. The heatsinks are excellent and keep the VRM under 50 degrees.
■ LGA1700 Socket; 2x M.2; 6x SATA; Up to 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2×2, 4x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 2x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 8x USB 2.0; Intel Wi-Fi 6E; Realtek 2.5G LAN; Realtek ALC897 7.1 Channel HD Audio; Micro ATX Form Factor.
Two M.2 slots support PCIe 4.0 drives. You get six SATA ports too, even some much more expensive Z790 boards only include four in this day and age.
The I/O of the board is good. There are four USB 2.0 ports and three 10GB/s Gen 2 ports. These are joined by a 20GB/s USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 port. These are rare on B760 boards and it’s one of those features that elevate a good B760 board.
Intel Wi-Fi 6E and Realtek 2.5G LAN controllers take care of networking duties, while Realtek ALC897 provides audio. HDMI 2.1 and DP 1.4a ports add a bit of flexibility for use with onboard graphics.
As you’d expect from a mature platform, the board performs almost identically to other B760 boards. But if you’re going to take advantage of its base clock OC ability, the results are simply awesome. An overclocked 12400 is able to match an 8-core i9 11900K at multithreading, while easily dispatching it under single threaded loads. If only Intel allowed it on 13 th Gen processors! We all know why it doesn’t. It’d take away sales of more expensive processors.
The B760M Mortar Max is an excellent all round motherboard with a quality feature set. Sadly, not too many people will take advantage of its key feature but even if you don’t, you’ll be getting a board that gives some more expensive Z790 boards a run for their money.
The MSI B760M Mortar Max WiFi is a classy and feature rich board with a killer OC feature that we may not see the likes of again.