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|
|Motherboard||B150M Mortar||B150M Mortar Arctic||B150M Bazooka||B150M Bazooka Plus|
|Rear I/O USB||4 x USB 3.02 x USB 2.0||USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gbps) Type-C3 x USB 3.02 x USB 2.0||4 x USB 3.02 x USB 2.0||USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gbps) Type-C3 x USB 3.02 x USB 2.0|
|PCI-E Slots||2 x PCi-E x162 x PCI-E x1||2 x PCI-E x16PCI-E X1||PCi-E x162 x PCI-E x1||PCi-E x162 x PCI-E x1|
|Steel Reinforced PCI-E x16||Yes (Primary Slot Only)||Yes (Primary Slot Only)||No||Yes (Primary Slot Only)|
|RAM Slots||4 x DDR4 2133 MHz||4 x DDR4||4 x DDR4 2133 MHz||4 x DDR4|
|M.2 Key M||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|