• Slots: LGA1151
  • CPU: Intel B150 Chipset
  • RAM Slots: 4
  • RAM Type: DDR4
  • Ports: 2x USB2.0, 4x USB3.0 Gen1, 1x DVI, 1x PS/2, 6x Audio Jack, 1x LAN Port
  • Pros:
  • Debug LED
  • Cons:
  • No HDMI port
  • Benchmark Results
  • PCMark 8 (Home): 3,983 points
  • PCMark 8 (Creative): 3,851 points
  • PCMark 8 (Work): 3,545 points

Straight Out Of A Fantasy

As smaller sized PCs gain more traction in the market, manufacturers will keep pumping out motherboards that fit the demand for smaller cases. Even with the lack of space, manufacturers are now capable of packing smaller motherboards with tonnes of features. The MSI B150M Night Elf is made for gamers by packing the most advanced gaming features into its small size.

When it comes to ports, the MSI B150M Night Elf comes aplenty with all the ports you will ever need. Featuring four USB 3.1 Gen1 and 2 USB2.0 ports on the rear I/O you should have enough ports for all your accessories and peripherals. But if that isn’t enough, another 4 more USB2.0 ports available through the internal USB connector while another 2 USB 3.1 Gen1 ports available through the same method. While for storage connectors there six SATA 6Gb/s ports available on the motherboard.

Sporting 4 DIMM modules, the motherboard can handle RAM frequencies up to 2133MHz and is capable of dual-channel. Not to mention that it is CrossfireX ready so if you’re looking for a motherboard that can support two AMD cards this is an option you can consider. Speaking of graphic cards the motherboard features VGA Armor which we found to be great because it kept us worry-free about sticking a large and heavy graphic card into a smaller motherboard. The MSI GAMING APP that comes with the board is a nice addition and made our overclocking process much easier.

As far as temperature goes, the heatsinks built onto the motherboard has been doing a good job keeping the motherboard cool during gaming. Not to mention, one of your favourite features on MSI boards are their EZ Debug LED which made our troubleshooting easier, for example when we inserted a RAM that was faulty unintentionally and the motherboard just wouldn’t boot. After finally realising we had the EZ Debug LED on the motherboard we saw the DRAM LED lit up and we finally found the problem was the RAM.

Along with the UEFI BIOS that had its graphics reduced for better performance, changing BIOS settings was made easy and quick. All these options and features has added to our experience and made putting the test bench together that much easier.

CHIP CONCLUDE: If you are looking for something smaller than an ATX but want more features than a m-ITX, this motherboard is a great choice with balance of both size and expandability.

(previously published in issue November 2015)

MSI B150M Night Elf