19 Sep, 2018   Rakesh Sharma    Reviews . MSI B360M MORTAR Motherboard Review

MSI has great product line for Intel’s 8th generation processor of the Z370 chipset based Gaming Motherboard series for gamers and enthusiast with best performance and great gaming experience. But today we are reviewing an ideal solution for a value micro-ATX system from MSI, the MSI B360M MORTAR motherboard based on B360 Chipset from Intel’s 300 series of mainstream desktop platform. Being a B360 chipset the motherboard don’t support CPU or memory overclocking, even with an unlocked-K processor. This means that this board is perfect for use with locked Core i5 processors such as the 8400 offering great performance on budget.

Now let’s see what this MSI B360 chipset gaming board have for us.

Features

  • Supports 8th Gen Intel® Core™ / Pentium® Gold /Celeron® processors for LGA 1151 socket
  • Supports DDR4 Memory, up to 2666 MHz
  • Twin Turbo M.2: With 2 x M.2 slots. Running at PCI-E Gen3 x4 maximizes performance for NVMe based SSDs
  • Intel Turbo USB 3.1 Gen2: Powered by Intel, ensure an uninterrupted connection with more stability and fastest USB speeds.
  • Extended Heatsink Design: MSI extended PWM and enhanced circuit design ensures even high-end processors to run in full speed.
  • Core Boost: With premium layout optimized power design to support more cores and provide better performance.
  • DDR4 Boost: Advanced technology to deliver pure data signals for the best gaming performance and stability.
  • GAMING LAN: Experience smooth online gaming experience by reducing CPU overhead and offer long-term network usage.
  • Audio Boost: Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality for the most immersive audio experience
  • MULTI-GPU: With STEEL ARMOR PCI-E slot. Supports 2-Way AMD Crossfire™
  • EZ Debug LED: Easiest way to troubleshoot.

Specifications

Package

Looking at the front of the box, we see MSI logo with motherboard model no. At the rear of the box, we find that MSI goes into great detail on the specifications of the motherboard.

Inside the box

Beside motherboard, box includes an IO shield, a user manual booklet, a DVD driver disc, quick installation guide, a product registration card and two SATA cables (one straight and one angled).

Looks

Board is a solid build in the great looking black PCB with diagonal gray-striped running across with slight tint of red.

Layout

Detailed layout of board.

1. Intel LGA 1151 socket, supporting 8th generation CPU.

2. 4 DIMM Dual channel DDR4 memory slots supporting max. 64GB at 2666MHz

3. ATX Power connector (24-pin EATXPWR)

4. ATX CPU Power Connector (8-pin ATX12V).

5. Back Panel Connectors

6. 7. 15. 1 x CPU Fan and 3 x System Fan Connectors with EZ Debug LED

8. Front USB 3.1 and 3.0 Port.

9.4 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors

10. 11. Front panel connector

12. USB 2.0 Connectors

13. TPM connector

14. Thunderbolt connector

15. RGB LED connector

16. Front panel Audio connector.

17. 2 x M.2 connector

18. Expansion Slots.

2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (support x16/x4 mode), 2 x PCIe 3.0 x1 slots

Removing Heat-sinks

MSI used dense aluminum heatsink in this board. Heatsinks base is having thermal pad installed.

Component Layout

Let’s now see what all components MSI have planned for this board.

1. 2. CPU voltage regulator circuit has a pair of Sinopower SM4336and4503NHas the high and low side MOSFETs controlled by Richtek RT3607BC Dual channel PWM Controller.

3. 2-Phase digital memory power supply section

4. Intel Gigabit Ethernet Controller I219v.

5. Intel B360 Chipset

6. NUVOTON NCT6797D – Super I/O Chipset

7. MSI uses Windbond 2SQ128FVSQ a capacity of 128 Mb for storing UEFI BIOS.

8. asmedia ASM1480 PCI-e switch chip.

9. MSI Audio Boost Audio technology is powered by Realtek ALC892 chip which is a high-performance multi-channel High Definition Audio Codec that delivers an good audio listening experience with up to 95dB SNR.

A semi-transparent line on motherboard separates the whole audio section from the rest of the board in order to minimize interference. In addition MSI also used Chemi-Con audio capacitors.

RightMark Audio Analyzer (RMAA) suite is used for testing MSI High Definition audio against Asus Xonar U7 Sound card. You can see clearly the difference between Noise level, dynamic rang and Total harmonic distortion percentage produced by MSI High Definition audio.

RMAA Asus Xonar U7

RMAA Audio Boost Audio

Testing

CPUIntel Core i5 8600K
Board MSI B360M-MORTAR
RAM2 X 8GB Corsair Dominator DDR4 2800Mhz
SSDSamsung 830 SSD
CoolerCooler Master MASTERAIR MA610P
GFXAORUS RX 570
PSUCooler Master V1200
DisplayAcer S220HQL
OS Windows 10

BIOS

Bundled Softwares

Benchmarks

Power Consumption

Wattage reading as per displayed by APC Pro 1000VA (Model no. BR1000G-IN) UPS.

Pros

  • Great Looks
  • RGB LED suport
  • Good audio
  • Intel LAN
  • M.2 Support

Cons

  • UEFI seem a little cluttered. Almost every setting is displayed in central small area. Like one windowed interface.

Conclusion

The MSI B360M MORTAR is a good small form factor gaming board for a budget build. MSI B360M MORTAR still offers some pretty darn competitive performance against the more premium and high-end Z370 chipset. For those looking for something more affordable for their more affordable Intel 8th generation CPUs, MSI B360M MORTAR is a perfect match.

Manufacturers Info

Site Link

Thanks.

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