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MSI B85M ECO Board – Review

4
Posted November 19, 2014 by Sandy Bruce in CPU & Motherboards

Overview

Hardware:
 
Manufacturer:
 
Release Date: Now
 
Price at time of Review: $72.99 Newegg
 

WHAT WE LIKED:

Eco friendly, Green Theme, Business Features, Affordable, range of power options
 

WHAT WE DISLIKED:

Green Theme, Limited Memory Speed
 
BOTTOM LINE:
Even though this board was not designed for gaming, we proved it can offer an affordable option to those looking to make the leap into PC gaming. With a few tweaks on parts a gaming system using the B85M ECO as the foundation can be assembled for $500 or less.
by Sandy Bruce
Full Article
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Installation

 

We decided to have display the B85M ECO in a chassis to match the bright green color of the board. The Bitfenix Prodigy M Color edition was perfect for this task with its vibrant green outer shell.

IMG_1454

 

The ECO can be installed without a discrete GPU to keep power consumption down to minimum, but in this case a solid GPU was needed. After all of the parts were installed changing a few options in the MSI UEFI bios was a breeze. However I found out that you can not install the Intel SBA features with using at least an i3 CPU. We installed a low power, low cost G3220 dual core to maintain a lower power draw when the GPU is not in use. Lesson learned, so I will be upgrading this CPU soon.

 

IMG_1471

 

Using a DeepCool Maelstom 120 liquid cooler with Spectre Pro fans we were able to keep temps low and have a fairly quite system. To stay true to decreased power usage the LEDs can be turned off and fan speeds can be monitored and even turned off using the front touchscreen fan controller.

IMG_1533

 

The B85M has a ECO button but sadly it is only located on the board. This prevents the easy switching of power profiles with the ECO button. MSI should add an interface cable and button that can be mounted in one of the PCI expansion slots on the back of the case. This would allow the admin to press the button without opening the chassis if that system does not need the PCIe slots or discrete GPU at that time. This is a novel idea but keep in mind MSi also allows the ECO features to be altered in the BIOS and using the ECO Control software. In a business setting you would not want access to either option by the end user.

IMG_1519

 Specs:

Bitfenix Prodigy M Colors

MSI B85M ECO

Intel G3220 CPU

8GB Of Avexir Blitz 1.1 @1600mhz

1TB 2.5″ Seagate Hybrid SHDD

Fractal Design Newton R2 650W PSU

Sapphire Dual-X R9-280

DeepCool Maelstrom 120 CLC

Bitfenix Spectre Pro 120&140mm Green led fans

Bitfenix Recon

 

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4 Comments


  1.  
    AndrewChang

    So sweet, Really impressive bithday gift made by you and your daughter. I would think about doing a power saving machine for my additional system use. Add B85M ECO into my gear list…




    •  
      Sandy Bruce

      thanks Andrew! Was one of the most rewarding builds I have done in a while. She loves it and uses it daily since she got it. The ECO turned out to be a pretty good board.




  2.  
    arden

    “Some of you may wonder why we didn’t display all of the benchmarks we normally do for board testing, that answer is simple.”

    What I want to know, is why you didn’t post any of the benchmark actually demonstrating the power consumption savings you ascribe to this board!




    •  
      arden

      Sorry, my tone was a bit over the top. But my question is sincere: I would like to know how much, if any, power you’ve actually saved by selecting this board over others. Obviously we can’t simply take manufacturers’ word for… anything. (Which is why sites like this even exist.)





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