• SPECIFICATIONS
  • Slot: Intel LGA 1151
  • CPU: Intel B150
  • RAM Slots: 4
  • RAM Type: DDR3
  • Ports: USB 3.0 x4, USB 3.1 x2 (Type-A x1, Type-C x1), HDMI x1, VGA x1
  • Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Cons:
  • No NVIDIA SLI support
  • Benchmark Results
  • PCMark 8 (Home): 3,669 points
  • PCMark 8 (Creative): 3,823 points
  • PCMark 8 (Work): 3,568 points

For Simple Needs

Looking to upgrade to Intel’s new Skylake platform, but don’t want to spend unnecessary money on expensive new hardware? ASUS continues to launch motherboards for every enthusiast segment, and with the B15 Pro Gaming D3, it comes with a surprising new feature that not many manufacturers have exploited yet.

The first thing you’re likely to notice about the B150 Pro Gaming D3 is that the memory support for it is listed as DDR3 instead of DDR4. Fret not as the new Skylake processors do support backward compatibility with the old RAM format, although this falls on the manufacturers to implement. This also means that DDR4 cannot be used on the motherboards as they are physically incompatible.

As far as the rest of the motherboard goes, the B150 D3 features six SATA III ports, and one M.2 SATA port. It also has two PCIE 3.0 slots that can accommodate for AMD’s CrossFireX multi-GPU configuration, although strangely enough not for NVIDIA’s SLI.

At the back, the I/O configuration of the motherboard is also a bit scant, as it only has four USB 3.0 ports, one each of Type-A and Type-C USB 3.1 ports, as well as a VGA and HDMI port, as well as an Intel Gigabit LAN port. Whilst it’s great that it has support for USB 3.1, you won’t be plugging in too many devices to your PC if you’re using this motherboard.

The B150 D3 motherboard performs as well as can be expected, although this being a B-series motherboard, and overclocking via adjusting the multiplier is not an option. That being said, its BIOS software is straight-forward and easy to use, and any low-level adjustments that you need to do can be done there.

That being said, it does come with its own set of bells and whistles, including electrostatic discharge guards (ESD Guard), where each port is protected against static electricity that could damage the components on the motherboard, as well as SupremeFX, which is ASUS’ audio technology that delivers high-fidelity audio, perfect for music-listening and gaming, especially with FPS titles like Counter Strike, Call of Duty and Battlefield.

CHIP CONCLUDE: If all you’re looking for in a motherboard are the basic necessities to build an inexpensive gaming PC, the ASUS B150 Pro Gaming D3 is worth a consideration. Its support for DDR3 RAM means that you don’t have to shell out for expensive memory, allowing you to save a bit of cash for that Crossfire GPU build.

(previously published in issue October 2015)

ASUS B150 Pro Gaming D3