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MSI Shows Off Eco-Friendly Motherboards

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 7 comments

MSI showed off three very low-power motherboards at Computex 2014.

Editor's Note: While Computex took place last week and all of the news announcements are behind us, we're still sorting through hundreds of in-person meetings and demonstrations, picking out just a few more of the most interesting items we saw up close.

MSI had many motherboards on display at Computex 2014, though hardly any of them were actually new that week. There were a couple new ones, however, as part of the new Eco lineup of products the company hopes to introduce.

The motherboards are built to be eco-friendly variants of some existing motherboards, and come with the H81, B85, and H97 chipsets. They will be known as the H81M ECO, the B85M ECO, and the H97M ECO; all of them are Micro-ATX boards.

The boards will have more efficient hardware, which should reduce the overall power consumption. The savings don't stop there though, as there is also a software side to eco scheme. MSI has made it very easy for administrators to switch off unnecessary components, such as the audio, certain USB ports, and more. This can be flashed to the UEFI as well.

In order to demonstrate how efficient the boards are, the company hooked one of them up to a watt meter; it consumed less power than an efficient light bulb when running idle. We would've preferred to see the consumption against a non-ECO variant of the same board, though we were impressed with the sub 15-watt power consumption.

No word on availability, although MSI did indicate that it might take a while. The company still has some manufacturing kinks to work out, such as the fact that soldering on white PCBs can turn them yellow.

Follow Niels Broekhuijsen @NBroekhuijsen. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

Add your comment Display all 7 comments.
  • 5 Hide
    CaedenV , June 11, 2014 1:15 PM
    ... that white motherboard looks fantastic! can we get a high end offering like that?
  • 3 Hide
    BranFlake5 , June 11, 2014 4:03 PM
    ... that white motherboard looks fantastic! can we get a high end offering like that?

    Asus has you covered.
  • 3 Hide
    josejones , June 11, 2014 4:09 PM
    Why can't gaming motherboards also be "Eco-Friendly" and "very low-power" when one is not gaming?

    I'd love to be able to: "switch off unnecessary components, such as the audio, certain USB ports, and more" to save system resources etc. That would simply be a "SMART" mother board.
  • 0 Hide
    danwat1234 , June 11, 2014 4:27 PM
    @josejones yeah it seems all motherboards can be eco-friendly. The Intel bus chips has a lot of power management features and so I guess with eco motherboards they put in more efficient voltage regulators. The USB, sound is all on one chip and I guess they all have the ability to shut off portions of it's silicon to save power.

    I'd like more details on how this is more eco than other motherboards in terms of hardware!
  • 1 Hide
    falchard , June 11, 2014 6:05 PM
    I trust MSI to also allow me to turn off those "ECO" features and push so much power through the motherboard it catches fire.
  • 0 Hide
    Jeffrey H , June 12, 2014 8:25 PM
    Yet it is too bad AMD still has yet to get a board like this, and I am staying with AMD due to not being a fan of LGA Sockets, no offense Intel Fans.
  • 2 Hide
    punahou1 , June 13, 2014 10:57 AM
    This is "marketing gone crazy". These boards, along with all other boards, are not at all Eco-friendly. There are many toxic non Eco-friendly chemicals required in the manufacturing of all boards. I would like to know if there is a significant reduction in toxic chemicals in the manufacturing process.... I dare say that something like that would be much better for the environment.
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