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Mar 31, 2014

MSI B85I and B85M Gaming, Mini-ITX/Micro-ATX Military Class 4 Motherboards

Micro-Star International's Gaming line of hardware has just welcomed a new pair of motherboards, one of which isn't exactly as large as one would expect, but should enable some decent PC specs regardless.

Even now, gaming hardware and computers come in large, solid, sophisticated packages, but there has been a steady rise in the number of small products as well. Most notably, mini PCs have begun to provide specs on par with those of the high-end desktops of half a decade ago. And since DirectX 11 support is pretty much always included in the spec sheet, that basically means that it's possible to play even the latest game on a mini personal computer now. It all boils down to the power supply unit, the cooling, how big the case is (on the inside, since video cards can be pretty big) and, lastly, how good the motherboard happens to be. Micro-Star International has just released a pair of the better new models, which can power a good LAN party system.

The B85I micro-ATX is one. Such motherboards don't really stand out anymore, with their two memory slots, one/two PCI Express x16 slots and standard I/O support and storage interfaces. There is a mini-ITX B85 motherboard as well though, also bearing the Gaming logo. MSI's new creations have Military Class 4 components though: Hi-C CAPs, Solid CAPs, Dark CAPs, SFC and Dark Chokes. They allow the platforms to stay stable even at high load, and to survive for a long time. EMI protection and ESD protection is present as well. Another asset is the USB Audio Power technology, which prevents sound quality from suffering (on external DACs and such) when the other USB ports are populated as well (with chargers, flash drives, peripherals, etc.).

The USB Audio Power design powers each port individually, instead of splitting energy between all of them, hence the clearer sound and less noise. A third asset is the onboard software: OC Genie 4 (for overclocking of the CPU, memory and video), Click BIOS 4 and the Command Center (combines monitoring, tuning and hardware control in a single interface). Finally, the MSI B85 microATX and Mini-ITX Gaming motherboards both benefit from Killer LAN, special networking tech that prioritizes games over torrent programs and everything else web-connected when you're playing something online. Especially when said title comes with in-game chat of some sort (for MMOs or co-op play).

MSI B85I Gaming
Image credits to MSI


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