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MSI B150M Mortar Review

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MSI B150M Mortar Testing:

AIDA64 Extreme Edition 3.0 is a software utility designed to be used for hardware diagnosis and benchmarking. I will be using the Cache and Memory benchmark tool to measure memory performance.




CrystalDiskMark 3.0: CrystalDiskMark is a hard drive benchmark designed to measure the read and write speeds of drives by using 4K blocks, 512K blocks, and sequential data. For the test, we chose the 1000MB option.




ATTO 2.47: will be used to measure USB 3.0 performance using an SSD attached to an external USB 3.0 drive dock.



LAN performance will be tested via a utility to gauge the performance of the onboard network solutions. The motherboard being tested will be connected via a Gigabit switch to another system with an integrated Gigabit network solution on board.

iPerf is a small lightweight utility run from the command prompt and can be used to measure both TCP and UDP performance on a network. iPerf is cross-platform software and open source. The test is configured to run for 20 seconds with a window size of 256 KB and four simultaneous streams that should be able to saturate the TCP link on a good NIC.



RightMark Audio Analyzer 6.25 is used to test the sound solution on board each motherboard. Nothing beats a good set of ears and headphones, but this is a graphic representation of the capabilities of the installed hardware. Sampling mode is 24-bit 44kHz.

MSI Z170A Gaming M7

Gigabyte Z170X-UD5

MSI B150M Mortar
Frequency Response dB
+0.94,-1.37 +0.55,-1.58 +0.68,+0.06 +0.19,-0.17
Noise Level dBA
-140.1 -96.5 -91.5 -83.2
Dynamic Range dBA
126.4 96.4 91.4 83.1
Total Harmonic distortion %
0.0025 0.082 0.0039 0.191
Intermodulation distortion +noise
4.071 0.971 0.0096 0.382
Stereo Crosstalk,db
-137.9 -93.9 -88.1 -80.8
Intermodulation distortion + noise (Swept Freq) %
0.0056 0.239 0.0085 0.384
Frequency Response (Swept Sine), db
+1.7,-7.8 +0.4,-1.7 +0.3,-0.1 +0.16,-0.17










Looking at the memory testing results, the B150M Mortar is delivering memory results much lower than the comparison boards. That's a real issue until you realize that the maximum memory speed for the chipset and board is 2133MHz. At that point, you can maximize the memory performance by using DDR4 DIMMs with that speed rating and tighter primary and secondary timings. SATA drive performance tests quite well in the B150M Mortar and it does take the top marks in a couple of CrystalDiskmark tests. USB 3.0/2.1 performance is on par with MSI's Z170 Gaming M7 motherboard, showing that MSI has a handle on how it implements the hardware. LAN performance is on par with many of the Z170 boards I have tested. MSI does include its own Gaming LAN manager software to address packet priority so you can limit impacts to your online game play.

Based on a Realtek ALC892 codec, it may look like MSI dropped the audio quality down to keep the cost on the B150M Mortar in check. However, unless you are an audiophile, you most likely will not notice the difference between the ALC892 and ALC1150. But MSI has some tricks that get the sound quality better by using separate audio layers, a break in the PCB that separates the digital and analog circuitry, and Nichicon audio capacitors. In the RMAA testing, the audio solution rated "Good". Sound is so subjective and it's tough to put a result to it, but the sound from the board was good enough that it would meet my needs for general listening and watching some Blu-ray content.

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