MSI B150M Mortar Arctic Micro ATX Motherboard Review

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I didn't on this one, but on the next / last H110 I'm testing, I'm looking into the possible effect of the M.2 drive on PCMark8 Creative results. No result spoilers, but that's only because so far, the latest board has been crashing on that test.

One correction though; as the Verdict indicates, I don't think I handed the Mortar Arctic an award due to the value component, but there's an "Approved" symbol on the board. Yes, it's nice, but unless you're specifically going for this look, there are better choices.


Aug 11, 2011
"The only thing I typically change here is to turn off the abominable NumLock. If that dates me to the original IBM PC keyboard, so be it."
You, sir, are a scholar and a gentleman! Please allow me to buy a fellow NumLuck-turner-off-er a coffee when I see you! :)

"I love NumLock -ed"
Go stand in the corner and rethink your life choices.

"Although I like the frozen white appearance of the Mortar Arctic, I’m not sure I’d pay extra for it (a non-Arctic version is also available)."
In my country the best price difference was about $15, I bought the normal B150M Mortar. And they're different, BTW. The normal Mortar suits my current and predicted use cases better than the eye-wateringly beautiful Arctic version with more PCIe slots and the ability to Crossfire should I require it in future. The normal Mortar doesn't have a rear USB3 Type-C connector though.

"I would expect mainstream buyers to be more likely to spend $20 on a cooler than $50-$60, especially if overclocking is not an option."
I paired my motherboard with an i7-6700 (non-K) and a $22 Gammaxx 400 cooler. I set my fan curve to zero until it gets to 50 deg C (although the Gammaxx 400's fan never actually stops turning. The fan only becomes audible if I hammer the CPU with something a 7-Zip benchmark, not during normal gaming and not even during normal compression and decompression using 7-Zip.

Coming from an entry-level socket 775 motherboard, the normal Mortar motherboard's BIOS was extremely easy to use - although I felt like I was "cheating" and quite a bit less geeky because it was so easy to use. :)

I would recommend the normal Mortar over this one if the user's use cases don't include a really beautiful motherboard and they are price sensitive like I was.


Former Staff
OK, OK, I've thought about it a bit and...there are four arrow keys on my keyboard next to the number pad, so I don't need the number pad for its arrow keys. I use it to key in numbers. So I win :D
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