The fact that many different motherboards are manufactured by manufacturers is sometimes amazing. It’s a joke, but on a seemingly unpretentious chipset like the Intel B150, MSI released 23 (twenty-three!) Motherboard models, six of which belong to the Arsenal Gaming series with warlike names that do not require translation: Mortar, Bazooka and Grenade. Despite such formidable names, all these are budget-level motherboards available to most users. With one of these boards – with the model MSI B150M Mortar Arctic – we’ll get acquainted in today’s article.
⇡ # Technical characteristics and costs
MSI B150M Mortar Arctic
|Supported processors||The processors Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron
in the performance of LGA1151 (the sixth generation of microarchitecture Core)
|The memory subsystem||4 × DIMM DDR4 unbuffered (non-ECC) memory of up to 64 GB;
two-channel memory operation mode;
support for modules with a frequency of 2133 MHz;
support for XMP (Extreme Memory Profile).
|Connectors for expansion cards||2 slots PCI Express x16 3.0 / 2.0, operating mode x16, x16 / x4;
1 PCI Express 3.0 slot x1;
1 M.2 connector (Key E)
|Scalability of the video subsystem||AMD 2-way CrossFireX Technology|
|Drive Interfaces||Chipset Intel B150:
|Network controller Realtek Gigabit LAN RTL8111H (10/100/1000 Mbit / s)|
|Audio Subsystem||7.1-channel HD audio codec Realtek ALC892;
sound condensers Chemi-Con;
a sound card isolated from the PCB;
front dedicated audio output for headphones connection
|The interface of the USB||Intel B150 Chipset:
|Connectors and buttons on the rear panel||PS / 2-port mouse;
PS / 2-port keyboard;
two USB 2.0 ports;
three USB 3.1 Gen1 ports;
USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C port;
network LAN port (RJ45) ;
six sound connectors
|Internal connectors on the motherboard||24-pin ATX main power connector;
8-pin ATX 12V power connector;
6 connectors SATA 6 Gb / s;
USB 3.1 Gen1 connector (additional 2 USB 3.1 Gen1 ports are supported);
USB 2.0 connector (additional 2 USB 2.0 ports are supported);
4-pin CPU fan connector;
3 4-pin system fan connectors;
Clear CMOS jumper;
front panel audio connector;
2 connectors of audio connectors on the front panel;
module connector TPM;
connector of the body opening sensor;
serial port connector;
|BIOS||64 Mbit AMI UEFI BIOS with multilanguage interface and graphical environment;
compatibility with ACPI 5.0;
support for PnP 1.0a;
support for SM BIOS 2.8
|Controller of the I / O||Nuvoton NCT6793D-M|
|Company functions, technologies and features||CLICK BIOS 5:
|The form factor, dimensions (mm)||mATX, 244 × 244|
|The warranty of the manufacturer of the manufacturer years||3|
|The minimum retail value *, rubles||6,150|
* According to the data of “Yandex.Market” on 15/10/2016.
Packaging and equipment
MSI B150M Mortar Arctic is supplied in a compact carton of protective coloring with a mortar shell and model name on the front.
The back of the box provides a detailed description of all key components of the board, its brief specifications, a list of outputs and supported technologies.
On the sticker, except for the serial number, everything is the same, only very briefly.
The bundle corresponds to the price level of the board – in the box with it you can find two SATA-cables with latches, a blank cover on the back panel, a brief and full instructions, and a CD with drivers and utilities.
The payment is made in China and is guaranteed by a three-year warranty . Our instance refers to version 1.0. In foreign online stores MSI B150M Mortar Arctic costs only 87 US dollars, and in Russia the fee is available for about 6.2 thousand rubles.
Features of the design
The new MSI B150M Mortar Arctic looks very original thanks to the white coloration of the textolite and contrasting with it dark connectors and elements.
The casing above the output panel and the radiators on the power elements and the chipset, painted in the camouflage color of the “winter cut”, continue the military theme, which is incorporated in the name of the board and its series.
The dimensions of the novelty are 244 × 244 mm, that is, the card belongs to the micro ATX form factor.
Before proceeding to a detailed study of the components of the MSI B150M Mortar Arctic, here is their outline and table from the operating instructions .
The back panel of the motherboard contains only the most basic connectors and outputs, so there were many empty places on it.
Here you can see (from left to right):
- PS / 2 mouse port;
- PS / 2-port of the keyboard;
- DVI-D port;
- two USB 2.0 ports;
- HDMI port;
- three USB 3.1 Gen1 ports;
- USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C port;
- LAN port (RJ-45);
- six sound connectors.
The power supply heaters of the processor power supply are screwed, but the small radiator of the chipset is fixed with plastic “carnations”, therefore it is slightly more difficult to remove. Without the “camouflage” MSI B150M Mortar Arctic is as follows.
The LGA1151 constructor socket is the most common here, without gold sputtering or additional contacts, as in the top boards on the Intel Z170 chipset.
In the list of supported processors all Intel Core i3 / i5 / i7 and Pentium with Skylake core appear . And they are supported by the board, starting with the very first BIOS version.
Judging by the location and number of elements, the processor power system is organized according to the “4 + 2” scheme.
At the same time, despite the board’s budget, the components of the power circuits comply with the Military Class 4 standard and include Dark Choke coils with increased efficiency and stability, as well as Solid CAP brand capacitors with low equivalent series resistance (ESR) and a ten-year service life .
The controller RT3606BC manufactured by Richtek is responsible for power management of the processor.
To provide power to the MSI B150M Mortar Arctic, standard connectors with 24 and 8 contacts are grounded on the board, oriented with latches outwards for more convenient disconnection of cables from them.
A light-emitting diode indicator is connected to the 24-pin connector, the red color of which signals the current protection.
Chipset Intel B150 is equipped with a small radiator and contacts it through hot melt, which, however, in our case is quite dry.
Four DDR4 memory modules support DDR4 Boost technology, consisting in an increased number of tracks and their increased immunity from interference for stable memory operation.
The total volume of four memory modules on the MSI B150M Mortar Arctic can reach 64 GB, and a list of specific supported modules is available on the support page . Despite the fact that the support of XMP-profiles is claimed, the frequency of operation of RAM on this motherboard is only one – 2133 MHz.
Memory supply is organized according to a two-phase scheme.
Two fan connectors and an EZ Debug LED are visible in the same area.
There are only three PCI Express connectors on the MSI B150M Mortar Arctic, only one of them is a full-fledged PCI Express 3.0 x16 with metallized Steel Armor shell and an increased number of soldering points on the PCB.
Another PCI Express can work in the x4 mode, so formally the board allows to implement the AMD 2-way CrossFireX tandems. Formally – because hardly anyone will decide to build a multiprocessor graphics link on this board, and even with such limitations. The third PCI Express connector is PCI-E x1, intended for expansion cards.
Switching mode of PCI Express is answered by a pair of switches ASM1480 .
Next to the outputs of the motherboard is a chip PTN3360D manufactured by NXP Semiconductors.
This is a video converter for HDMI video output.
MSI B150M Mortar Arctic is equipped with six SATA III connectors with a throughput of up to 6 Gb / s.
There are no SATA-Express and U.2-ports on the motherboard for obvious reasons, but there is one high-speed Turbo M.2 (Key M) with a bandwidth of up to 32 Gb / s (Gen3 x4).
Supports drives with a length of 4.2; 6.0 cm and 8.0 cm. If you use M.2 in SATA mode, the lower PCI Express slot will only work in x2 mode, and if the drive in this slot will work in PCIe mode, the lower PCI Express will be disabled.
In addition, the MSI B150M Mortar Arctic has a vertical M.2 connector (Key E).
It can install, for example, Wi-Fi modules or other expansion cards.
USB-ports on the motherboard are realized only by the capabilities of the Intel B150 chipset. In all, ten, five of them (three outside and two inside) are designated as USB 3.1, but refer to Gen1, which means they do not differ in speed from usual USB 3.0 (up to 5 Gb / s). Four ports of the older standard USB 2.0 are evenly distributed on the back of the board and internal connectors. The tenth port on the rear panel has a Type-C connector, but it’s also USB 3.1 Gen1, so you can not count on the special achievements in terms of data transfer speed with fast drives. As an amplifier for USB-signal is used the chip ASMedia ASM1464 soldered on the back of the textolite.
We add that the front ports USB 3.1 Gen 1 on the MSI B150M Mortar Arctic are protected by a complex of integrated circuits that prevent short circuits and electrostatic discharges, sometimes arising when USB devices are connected or disconnected.
Behind the brand name Audio Boost is a relatively simple HD audio codec Realtek ALC892 .
Nevertheless, high-quality Chemi-Con capacitors were used in its sound accompaniment, and the zone of the sound path is isolated from the rest of the PCB by a strip without conductive layers.
The controller Nuvoton NCT6793D-M is responsible for monitoring functions, fan speed control and COM port, and for providing operation of the PS / 2 connectors.
The four-pin fan connectors on the board are four-and can all be controlled via both the BIOS and Total Fan Control in the MSI Command Center application. Three connectors are located next to the processor socket, and one is located on the bottom edge of the board. There you can also find a connector for an external LED strip (JLED1), a COM port connector, internal audio connectors and USB.
The BIOS chip on the board is one, 64-bit.
The cooling system MSI B150M Mortar Arctic uses camouflaged aluminum radiators without heat pipes, contacting the elements through thermal pads, and the chipset radiator – using hotmelt. Radiators are compact, so they do not interfere with the installation of overall cooling systems, if required.
Finally, the back of the board received a white backlight, which successfully combined with a light textolite.
If you notice an error – select it with the mouse and press CTRL + ENTER.