MSI Shows Off Eco-Friendly Motherboards

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+.

Niels Broekhuijsen

Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.

  • CaedenV
    ... that white motherboard looks fantastic! can we get a high end offering like that?
  • BranFlake5
    ... that white motherboard looks fantastic! can we get a high end offering like that?
    Asus has you covered.
  • josejones
    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.
  • danwat1234
    @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!
  • falchard
    I trust MSI to also allow me to turn off those "ECO" features and push so much power through the motherboard it catches fire.
  • Jeffrey H
    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.
  • punahou1
    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.