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MSI Mounts USB Type-C On Its New B150 Artillery

MSI announced new revisions of its B150M Mortar and B150M Bazooka motherboards, which will be sold as the “B150M Morar Arctic” and “B150  Bazooka Plus,” respectively. These boards feature a number of changes that MSI claimed “improves” them, such as USB Type-C, but overall they are really more of a sidestep to their predecessors.

B150M Mortar Arctic

Compared to the B150M Mortar, the most obvious change in the Arctic version is that it uses a white PCB and slightly altered heatsinks. The board also has a USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gbps) Type-C port, which the B150 Mortar lacked.

If you have been hoping to see more white-PCB motherboards show up on the market, you are probably excited to see this one, but you may not want to go out and buy one just yet. Looking closer at the board, you can see that MSI removed a few capacitors near the power delivery system, the audio codec and other places around the board. That may seem unimportant, but this reduction in the number of capacitors may negatively impact the power system and reduce the audio clarity. MSI employs its Gaming Audio software on the B150 Mortar Arctic, which might help make up for the reduction of capacitor slightly.

Compared to the B150M Mortar, the B150M Mortar Arctic also loses the VGA port, a PCI-E x1 slot, two SATA-III (6 Gbps) ports and a SATA controller, as well.

Realistically, these changes may not matter for many users, as it is common to have extra PCI-E ports and onboard VGA ports, and audio codecs often go unused in favor of alternative solutions such as HDMI. Still, users should be aware of these changes before choosing between the two boards.

B150M Bazooka Plus

The Bazooka Plus fares better than the B150M Mortar Arctic, as it carries a greater number of improvements over its predecessor. This board gets a steel-reinforced PCI-E x16 slot, a new M.2 slot, a USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C port, and a heatsink for its power delivery system.

Compared to the B150 Bazooka, the only thing that the B150 Bazooka Plus loses are two SATA-III (6 Gbps) ports and the controller connected to them. This is a minor loss, as there are still six SATA-III ports from the chipset, but users that require additional SATA ports may want to avoid this one.

There is currently no word on pricing or availability for either board. As these are revisions of existing boards, they will likely be priced similarly to the current boards, but we can’t be sure. The B150M Mortar currently sells for $89.99 on Newegg, and the B150M Bazooka goes for $64.99.

MSI B150M Mortar And Bazooka Motherboards
MotherboardB150M MortarB150M Mortar ArcticB150M BazookaB150M Bazooka Plus
Rear I/O USB4 x USB 3.02 x USB 2.0USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gbps) Type-C3 x USB 3.02 x USB 2.04 x USB 3.02 x USB 2.0USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gbps) Type-C3 x USB 3.02 x USB 2.0
PCI-E Slots2 x PCi-E x162 x PCI-E x12 x PCI-E x16PCI-E X1PCi-E x162 x PCI-E x1PCi-E x162 x PCI-E x1
Steel Reinforced PCI-E x16Yes (Primary Slot Only)Yes (Primary Slot Only)NoYes (Primary Slot Only)
RAM Slots4 x DDR4 2133 MHz4 x DDR44 x DDR4 2133 MHz4 x DDR4
SATA-III Ports8686
M.2 Key MYesYesNoYes
PCB ColorBlackWhiteBlackBlack

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  • whiteodian
    Is B150 viable to use in a gaming PC. I'm not planning on doing anything crazy. Just a decent GPU, CPU, and few hard drives. I won't be doing any overclocking. I want to make sure there aren't any major handicaps vs the Z170 for my purposes.
    Reply
  • Onus
    I would think so. I've done a lot of H170 boards, and hope to take a look at a few of these too.
    Reply
  • velocityg4
    18174295 said:
    Is B150 viable to use in a gaming PC. I'm not planning on doing anything crazy. Just a decent GPU, CPU, and few hard drives. I won't be doing any overclocking. I want to make sure there aren't any major handicaps vs the Z170 for my purposes.

    If you aren't overclocking or doing SLI B150 is fine. For most gamers these boards provide more connections and expand-ability than they will ever use. Really, USB C is nothing more than a gimmick for the average gamer. How many are going to be connecting an external SSD or RAID array? There isn't much else which will saturate USB 3.0 at the gamer or prosumer level necessitating 3.1.

    For most there is just going to be a video card, monitor, keyboard, mouse, internal hard drive, optical drive (they will never use), RAM, Speakers/headset, USB backup drive and Ethernet/WiFi connected. Some will opt for a 2.5 SSD fewer will go M.2 or drop the hard drive altogether. Some may buy other controllers.

    Having tons of devices connected internally and externally is a lost art. I remember my computers in the late 80s and early 90s. Loaded with expansion cards and external devices.

    Overall this would be a good board for most gamers. My only real grievance is no TOSLINK. I prefer using a fiber optic connection to my surround sound. I don't really see the point in six analog audio connectors. Either use a two channel analog connection or use a proper digital connection if you want surround sound. A bunch of analog connections for surround sound is a waste. The source material is digital so you can either go with a pure digital connection or have a loss in quality as it is converted from digital to analog to digital. Of course there always is at least one analog conversion as speakers are not digital.
    Reply
  • IInuyasha74
    18174295 said:
    Is B150 viable to use in a gaming PC. I'm not planning on doing anything crazy. Just a decent GPU, CPU, and few hard drives. I won't be doing any overclocking. I want to make sure there aren't any major handicaps vs the Z170 for my purposes.

    Yup, if you aren't doing SLI or overclocking, then B150 is fine.
    Reply
  • whiteodian
    Thanks for all the good replies. I was actually thinking about going with the Gigabyte G.1 Sniper B7. I've always liked the green color they use and it looks like a solid board. Probably this a i5 or maybe i7, but hey might as well stick with i5 and keep the cost down since i7 doesn't provide much benefit in gaming. I think what my main concern is that if I use the M.2 and maybe one of the other PCIe slots for say an audio card, will that deduct from the x16 speed of my graphics card.
    Reply
  • IInuyasha74
    18174931 said:
    Thanks for all the good replies. I was actually thinking about going with the Gigabyte G.1 Sniper B7. I've always liked the green color they use and it looks like a solid board. Probably this a i5 or maybe i7, but hey might as well stick with i5 and keep the cost down since i7 doesn't provide much benefit in gaming.

    That is one of the nicest B150 motherboards I have seen. The only issue, is that at its price you start venturing into Z170 price range. I know you said you aren't interested in overclocking, but you might want to just think over it and be sure you won't want to in the future, and if you think you will want to go for Z170 instead. Nothing wrong with B150, just you want to be sure about what you will do with the system.
    Reply