MSI B150M Mortar Review – Packaging and Bundle
MSI B150M Mortar Review – The B150M Mortar Motherboard
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MSI B150M Mortar Review – Software and BIOS
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The B150M has a fully featured BIOS, pretty much identical to the higher end models in the MSI range. We can tweak all key aspects of our system, set fan profiles and update the BIOS from USB if needed.
MSI B150M Mortar Review – Performance
i7-6700K, Z170, 2x8GB DDR4-2666 (Corsair)
i7-4790K, Z97, 2x8GB DDR3-2666 (Corsair)
FX-9590, 990FX, 4x8Gb DDR3-2133 (Corsair)
GTX 980 Ti OC
Corsair H100 Series Cooler
Corsair AX1500i PSU
Samsung 850 Pro SSD (SATA Testing)
And Samsung T1 SSD (USB Testing)
MSI B150M Mortar Review – Conclusion
So we guess one of the key questions about the B150M is, what don’t you get when compared to a Z170 board? Really there are not that many changes. DDR4 is limited to 2133Mhz. There is no RAID option on this board and we have limited PCIe lanes, so those who want to use two graphics cards will not get the same boost as a board with a second slot running at, for example, 8x.
So… if you are a single GPU user with no need for RAID then this could be a purchase that allows you to save a bit of cash. Memory speed isnt a huge issue as the lower MHZ will allow you to use better timings and the spare PCIe slots could be used for an add-in sound card at a later date if the onboard audio, which is decent, is not as good as you need.
As far as build quality goes, no complaints there. The board looks great and features aspects which we would not have expected given the lower cost target market, such as LED illumination and the various protection aspects which we noted earlier. Software support is good, very much the same as the higher end MSI boards and the same can be said of the BIOS. Quite simply, on those two fronts it is very hard to tell the B150 from the Z170.
That brings us to performance where the B150 offers competitive figures when looking at the Z170 results. The Z170 boards tend to edge ahead in most areas though not to any noticeable extent in real world use… other than two areas. Multi-GPU performance and memory bandwidth. Though the B150M still outperforms the AMD equivalent on memory and USB.
With the B150M Mortar selling for £55 or $70 it offers a value packed solution for those building a Skylake system on a budget. It should also grow with the user, for example allowing them to buy an i3 CPU now and move to an i7 without issue when budget permits.