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MSI B150M Mortar Review

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MSI B150M Mortar Closer Look:

Every motherboard manufacturer has its own set of software tools that best work with its hardware; MSI is no different in that respect. What MSI included with the B150M Mortar are some of the familiar applications as well as staples that get updates to improve the functionality.

To start, MSI has their own skinned version of CPU-Z available that shows a wealth of information under each tab. Fast Boot is used to bypass many of the POST items, dramatically reducing boot times. Live Update 6 is used to update drivers and software from MSI's own servers to keep your system up to date. You can schedule checks or update manually depending in how you configure the settings.

 

 

Gaming App is a low overhead tool used to quickly set up and validate an overclock. There are three select modes: Silent, OC, and Gaming, each with a specific clock speed profile setup. In the past, this was a simple interface with not a whole lot going on, but MSI has ramped it up a bit with the addition of an all new feature set. Eye Rest is used to help eliminate eye strain, and Mouse Master is used to set up profiles for your mouse and Steel Series hardware. OSD lets you choose the items you want to track while in-game from FPS to CPU and DRAM speeds. Gaming Hotkey is used to set up keys on your keyboard for specific game movements.

 

 

 

 

 

MSI's Gaming LAN Manger is a traffic management tool that is used to configure the best packet traffic management options for your own usage scenario. You can use and manage basic profiles based on a gaming, media streaming, and file sharing parameters, or choose a fully custom scenario that best meets your needs. Under Performance you can identify the top five applications or check network usage by all programs. Network Test tests your connection speed while Advanced settings lets you get a bit granular on your settings.

 

 

 

 

Command Center is MSI's tuning and monitoring program. This application has come a long way and features a red and black interface to go along with the theme. There are four functional areas with a few sub menus that include CPU, DRAM, RAMDisk, and Game Boost. The CPU section allows the user to modify the clock speed and multiplier, increasing the speed of the processor. Voltage adjustments are available for all the pertinent voltages under the advanced menu at the bottom of the page. While not specifically spelled out with its own tab, the fan control feature set can be set to run in Smart mode or in a manually configured mode with a new auto tuning feature. DRAM functionality is much more limited with only the DRAM voltage being configurable.

 

 

 

 

RAMDisk was a feature that was introduced a while back on the X-Power line, but MSI moved it to the Gaming series and now is a standalone application on the B150M Mortar. What the RAMDisk feature does is allow the end user to utilize a portion of their system memory as a small to modest sized, fast storage drive to reduce the time it takes to open commonly used files. You can use whatever discretionary amount of system memory available to you.

 

 

MSI delivers a fully updated, easy-to-use set of tools that add value and bring added functionality to the equation. A fully functioning overclocking and monitoring tool is a must in today's competitive sales environment and is included with the Arsenal Series B150M Mortar, even though it is not fully active due to chipset limitations. Where the added value for Command Center comes in is as a monitoring tool.




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