• Slots: LGA1151
  • CPU: Intel B150
  • RAM Slots: 4
  • RAM Type: DDR4
  • Ports: 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x DVI-D, 2x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.1 Type-C, 3x USB 3.1, 2x PS/2, 1x LAN, 6x Audio jacks
  • Pros:
  • Colour scheme
  • Overall performance
  • Cons:
  • None
  • Benchmark Results
  • PCMark 8 (Home): 4,033 points
  • PCMark 8 (Creative): 4,362 points
  • PCMark 8 (Work): 3,963 points

Aspire To Do Better With The S13

The small form factor computer build is beginning to gain traction among gamers, especially since it’s possible to have a powerful gaming rig inside a small casing these days. The M-ATX size motherboard gives you a good balance between size and features, a nice middle ground if you need the extra DIMM slots or PCI-e slots.

The MSI B150M MORTAR ARCTIC when it first came out of the box definitely caught our eye, with its camouflage styled theme which resembles a Special Forces soldier in an arctic base. The MORTAR ARCTIC is actually a part of the Arsenal GAMING Series of motherboards from MSI, and comes with LEDs on the back of the motherboard that gave the motherboard a nice glow when seen through a windowed casing. For more lighting customisation, the motherboard features a dedicated header for 4-pin LED strips which supports 5050-single colour LED strips with a maximum power rating of 3A(12V).

A sight we are always happy to see is MSI’s Steel Armor on the PCI-e slots, but it would’ve been nice to at least implement it on the second PCI-e x16 slot as well. Also a feature we love to see on motherboards are debug LEDs, and MSI’s EZ DEBUG LED can be found on it which always helps us to identify a problem if the test bench had troubles booting up. Forgetting we had a defective stick of RAM we used it on the board, and the DRAM LED lit up to remind us that there’s something wrong with the RAM.

When it comes to connectivity the motherboard doesn’t disappoint and covers a wide range of inputs and outputs. There’s HDMI and DVI-D for the modern video devices out there, and quite a few USB ports for all your other devices. Among the USB ports there’s also a USB 3.1 Type-C port, although not widely use as of yet, the market is starting to see more devices adopting its technology and it might be an important feature in the future. Finally there’s Audio Boost, MSI’s answer to gamers asking for more when it comes to sound immersion. An isolated audio PCB and audio grade capacitors helps reduce interference and delivers better sound quality overall.

CHIP CONCLUDE: Looking to make your small form factor PC an epic build? Well the MSI B150M MORTAR ARCTIC might not be the most epic of motherboards, but it definitely has all the makings to make an epic build.

(previously published in issue October 2016)