MSI B85M ECO Board – Review
OverviewHardware: CPU & Motherboards
WHAT WE LIKED:Eco friendly, Green Theme, Business Features, Affordable, range of power options
WHAT WE DISLIKED:Green Theme, Limited Memory Speed
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.
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.
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.
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.
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