After the last reviews of motherboards belonging to a higher price-range, we decided to acquaint you with a more affordable product manufactured by MSI. The motherboard is based on an Intel B150 chipset which does not have overclocking capabilities and comes with only one GPU slot. Considering this, MSI B150M GAMING PRO targets gamers who are on a budget and are not after “draining” the maximum out of their RAM or CPU but still insist on having a product with good appearance and functionality, typical of higher-end motherboards.
MSI have thought about buyers who want to get more for their money and for this reason they have added a gaming mouse Interceptor DS B1 Gaming in the package. This review aims to discuss the product’s build quality, capabilities, as well as the included software, which usually comes with the more expensive models of this company.
If you are interested in MSI B150M GAMING PRO, you could check its price and availability here: http://amzn.to/2kpBFWx
Specs sheet of MSI B150M GAMING PRO
|CPU support||6th Gen Intel Core™ i3/i5/i7 processors, and Intel Pentium and Celeron processors for Socket LGA1151|
|Chipset||Intel Intel B150 Chipset|
|Memory||2 x DDR4 memory slots, support up to 32GB – Supports DDR4 2133 MHz|
|Slots||1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots
2 x PCIe 2.0 x1 slot
|Storage space||6 x SATA 6 Gb/s port|
|USB ports||8 x USB 3.1 Gen1 (SuperSpeed USB) ports (6 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USBconnector)
4 x USB 2.0 (High-speed USB) ports (4 ports available through the internal USB connectors)
|Connectivity||1 x Intel I219V Gigabit LAN controller|
|Back panel connectors||1 x PS/2 keyboard port
1 x PS/2 mouse port
6 x USB 3.1 Gen1 ports
1 x DVI-D port
1 x HDMI™ port
1x VGA port
1 x LAN (RJ45) port
3 x audio jacks
|Audio||Realtek® ALC887 Codec – 7.1-Channel High Definition Audio|
|Form factor||mATX Form Factor; 24.3cm x 20.6cm|
|Features||Dominate enemy with the hard bundle Interceptor DS B1 GAMING Mouse
DDR4 Boost: Give your DDR4 memory a performance boost
GAMING DNA: Awesome look & feel with stylish red led
GAMING LAN powered by Intel® : The best online gaming experience with lowest latency
LAN Protect: 15KV Anti-surge protection
Audio Boost: Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality
Military Class 4: Top Quality & Stability
Guard-Pro: Improved Protection and Power Efficiency
EZ Debug LED: Easiest way to troubleshoot
Overvoltage Protection:Prevent Unforeseen Damage
GAMING Hotkey: Launch your favorite games with a single button
Click BIOS: Secure and Reliable UEFI BIOS solution
What’s in the box?
You will notice that the dominant colors on the box are red and black which we are accustomed to seeing in the gaming motherboards of MSI. On the front, against the background of a sports car you will find the brand, model, and series inscriptions. Also, the Intel stickers point out the type of chipset used and supported processors.
What’s more, there is a transparent window which gives out a pleasant surprise – the included gaming mouse. As far as the back is concerned, it carries an image of the motherboard, another image of the I/O panel as well as a list of key specifications and technologies offered by MSI B150M GAMING PRO.
When you open the box, you will first see the motherboard itself and, as it was mentioned above, the pleasant surprise – MSI Interceptor DS B1 GAMING Mouse – a wonderful gaming mouse with sensitivity of 1600 DPI, LED backlight and weights placed in a container that can be adjusted for the sake of a more comfortable gameplay.
Additionally, the box’s bottom holds a plate for the I/O panel, two SATA cables, a DVD with drivers and software for this motherboard. Also, you will be presented with a user’s manual and a booklet with some product information, as well as a voucher to register on MSI’s website (we would like to remind you that registering this product will grant you a virtual key for the game Total War: WARHAMMER, which is part of the promotional offers involved with MSI GAMING motherboards).
Design and features
We are pretty impressed by the matte black color of this motherboard which contrasts with white decorative circuits, against which the red memory and graphics card slots stand out even more, and the same can be said about the only radiator carrying a logo signifying the brand’s gaming series and carrying for the chipset’s cooling. Adding to all this the implementation of high-quality Military Class 4 components makes for the aggressive gaming design of MSI B150M GAMING PRO.
The upper central part of the circuit board carries the CPU’s socket. On the left upper side we can notice gray drossels whose cores have been manufactured in a particular way allowing them to work at lower temperatures and with higher capacity. This leads to better energy efficiency and better stability in operation.
On the right of the socket we can notice some decorative white circuits reaching the memory slots. It is there that we find the white inscription “DDR4 BOOST” – a technology which MSI employs to optimize memory optimization. The motherboard features two slots of this kind and supports a maximum RAM capacity of 32GB DDR4 2133 MHz. As a part of the Intel B150 chipset family, the memory will not work at higher frequencies even if you’re using the XMP (xtreme memory profile) settings – you should go for DDR4 2133 MHz sticks with the fastest possible times for executions of operations for the purpose of best performance.
MSI B150M GAMING PRO is powered by one 4-pin connector for the CPU which is to be found in the upper left corner of the circuit board, and a 24-pin ATX connector positioned at the end of the motherboard, on the right of the memory slots. Next to this connector you can find three LED lights which serve as means of diagnostics of the CPU, GPU or RAM. MSI have called this technology EZ Debug LED.
We would now like to touch upon the red GPU slot which has been reinforced with 35% through tight soldering, according to the manufacturer, and this allows the use of more massive and powerful GPUs without worrying about twisting or breaking the slot. Additionally, the motherboard has another two PCIe 3.0 x1 slots, two connectors for USB 2.0 (four USB 2.0 ports) and a USB 3.1 Gen1 connector (two USB 3.1 Gen1 ports). Also, there are six SATA III 6Gbps connectors for storage devices, the first two of which are placed sideways. We like this decision because it contributes to an aesthetically better arrangement of the SATA cables inside the case.
As far as network functions are concerned, there is an Intel I219-V gigabit chip that has 15kV protection against shortages in case of thunders or electric shocks. There are white decorative circuits also in the lower left part of the board. This is the area MSI has dedicated to audio, and in its creation the manufacturer has made use of the Audio Boost technology. It is specially isolated from the remaining part of the motherboard so as to avoid any audio distortions. It is also there that you will find a 7.1 channel chip by Realtek – ALC887 and high-quality audio capacitors Chemi-CON. We would also like to note that the CPU fan connector as well as the other two system fans connectors are 4-pin. This allows for the use of the so called PWM fans whose speed can be automatically adjusted by the motherboard. Considering all this, we must also mention the red LED lights in the four corners of the motherboard’s back.
The back panel holds two PS/2 and six USB 3.1 Gen1 ports colored in blue. As for the video outputs, there are three options – one analogue VGA one and two digital DVI-D and HDMI outputs. In addition to all this, there is a LAN port and three standard audio jacks.
MSI Click BIOS
In creating Click BIOS, MSI have decreased the use of graphics and colors as much as possible, and have given priority to black and white nuances. It is namely this simplistic environment that allows easier and precise operation with the mouse in the menu. We think that this compensates the lack of colorful animation which is to be observed in the other motherboards with contemporary UEFI BIOS that we have tested. In addition, we are also presented with the standard seven sections: System Status, Advanced, Overclocking, M-Flash, Boot и Save & Exit.
MSI Command Center
A really useful piece of software allowing both overclocking of RAM and CPU, and hardware monitoring of voltage and temperatures.
In our case the motherboard does not support overclocking and that is why we can make only make use of the feature which controls fan speed. There are two other options as well – to enter values as to at what temperatures and what rpms should the fans spin or to manually enter constant rpms.
MSI GAMING LAN Manager
MSI GAMING LAN Manage is an app that automatically prioritizes game packages in multiplayer or online mode. It also allows the user to perform manual adjustments.
MSI Fast Boot
MSI Fast Boot is an instrument allowing activation through Windows of the function Fast Boot in BIOS. This function reduces the time within which your computer boots up and loads the OS. You also have a button which allows you to restart your computer in order to enter BIOS.
MSI Live Update 6
As the name suggests, this is an app that helps you update to the latest versions of programs and drivers for your MSI products.
For the purpose of this review we used a configuration with the following specifications:
|CPU||Intel Core i5-6600 (4-core, 3.30 – 3.90 GHz, 6MB cache)|
|Motherboard||MSI B150M GAMING PRO|
|RAM||Crucial Ballistix 16GB (2x 8192MB) – DDR4, 2666Mhz|
|GPU||MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X (6GB GDDR5)|
|Case||be quiet! Silent Base 800|
|Power Supply Unit||be quiet! Power Zone 650W|
|Operating System||Windows 10 64-bit|
RAM and CPU tests
Cinebench R11 and R15
The two benchmark tests are almost identical – they render and image and thus determine your processor’s performance – Intel Core i5-6600.
Super pi mod 1.9
This test allows us to easily and quickly check the speed of our CPU, memory and the overall stability of our system.
Here we measure the speed and bandwidth of our RAM and CPU cache memory.
Unigine: Heaven & Valey
Two of the most frequently used benchmarks which test the graphics card’s stability putting it through various “levels” – we recommend this application in case you are overclocking a GPU.
One of the heaviest software packages you could use and check a graphics card’s capabilities while enjoying a nice graphic demonstration.
Because of the peculiarity of the chipset used in the realization of this product we do not have any overclocking capabilities. On the other hand, MSI B150M GAMING PRO is at least a very well balanced motherboard, offering good design and Military Class 4 components at a reasonable price. Users are also presented with the DDR4 Boost and Audio Boost technologies, characteristic of higher-end MSI motherboards.
The manufacturer’s software called MSI Command Center allows you to perform hardware monitoring and adjustments, which in our case boil down to fan speed control and memory timings. We would also like to note the presence of EZ Debug LED lights – a great assistant especially if you enjoy experimenting with your motherboard and components.
Also, the red diodes in the four corners on the motherboard’s back complement the pleasant design. We would once again like to mention the awesome gaming mouse included in the package. Thus, considering all that we said in this review, we can easily say that not only gamers who are on a tight budget but also those who are after a good-looking and quality motherboard, albeit without overclocking and Crossfire/SLI capabilities, can really think about a potential purchase of MSI B150M GAMING PRO.
If you are interested in MSI B150M GAMING PRO, you could check its price and availability here: http://amzn.to/2kpBFWx
- Military Class 4 components
- EZ Debug LED
- Red LED lights
- A mouse as a gift
- Affordable price
- No option for Crossfire/SLI
- No overclocking capabilities