Thursday, January 4th 2018

MSI Announces B350I Pro AC Motherboard

MSI, one of the world leading motherboard developers, is pleased to introduce the new Mini-ITX B350I PRO AC motherboard, ready for AMD SocketAM4 and the latest RYZEN processors. Building a small form factor PC, whether it's for professional, multimedia or gaming use, has never been more interesting on the AM4 platform with this comprehensive, feature packed solution.

A strong 9-phase PWM design (6+2+1), unseen on any AM4 Mini-ITX motherboard, the use of Military Class components and inclusion of DDR4 Boost, ensures a perfectly stable system under any condition with top performance. It also features DisplayPort, a HDMI output and 2x pin headers for RGB strips.The new B350I PRO AC even comes with Mystic Light, allowing anyone to change the system LED colors while applying lighting effects.
Moreover, the built-in Intel Wireless AC delivers super stable signals and maximizes internet data transfer speeds for a flawless networking experience. For storage, Turbo M.2 is present as well as Lightning USB 3.1 Gen2 to enhance file transfer efficiency. Isolated components and Steel Armor make sure signals remain optimal and protects against EMI to ensure the best performance for graphics cards.Choose the B350I PRO AC to level up your small form factor PC and enjoy an excellent experience.

For more information, visit the product page.
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8 Comments on MSI Announces B350I Pro AC Motherboard

#1
Flanker
Finally!! Been waiting for new boards with entry-level or mid-range Intel chipsets for the new CPU's.
ready for AMD SocketAM4 and the latest RYZEN processors
Oh... I forgot about naming bs...:banghead:
Posted on Reply
#2
Valantar
"Flanker said:
Finally!! Been waiting for new boards with entry-level or mid-range Intel chipsets for the new CPU's.

Oh... I forgot about naming bs...:banghead:
Intel's B360 chipset isn't launched yet. Still a few months out, from what the rumors say.


As for this board, it looks quite nice. Shame about only four SATA ports though - I'd like to upgrade my HTPC to Raven Ridge, but with only four SATA ports, that's a no-go.
Posted on Reply
#3
EntropyZ
Ths has better layout and VRM than the other 3 B350 ITX boards. The radiator on the VRM is still a block of metal instead of having functional fins, if they cared so much about looks they shouldn't have made the top of the traces on the board poop brown color, just saying.

They have perfectly good looking boards in the budget range now and then they do this again. I guess they thought if you have LED strips it doesn't matter.
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#4
silentbogo
And I'm stuck with my 3+2 PWM on B150I Pro AC.... :banghead:


"Valantar said:
Shame about only four SATA ports though - I'd like to upgrade my HTPC to Raven Ridge, but with only four SATA ports, that's a no-go.
There's also M.2 NVME slot on the back. Regarding SATA, you can't really do more on B350 without resorting to third-party SATA controllers.
According to spec it can do 4xSATA and 1xNVME in PCIe x2, or 2xSATA and 1xNVME w/ PCIe x4 link.
Posted on Reply
#5
IceShroom
Whats wrong with these motherboard manufacturars.
Why USB 3.1 ports are in Type-A. USB 3.1 ports slould be Type-C.
And only 3 Audio port and no SPDI/F.
And still no quality M-ATX Ryzen board.
Posted on Reply
#6
Valantar
"silentbogo said:
And I'm stuck with my 3+2 PWM on B150I Pro AC.... :banghead:



There's also M.2 NVME slot on the back. Regarding SATA, you can't really do more on B350 without resorting to third-party SATA controllers.
According to spec it can do 4xSATA and 1xNVME in PCIe x2, or 2xSATA and 1xNVME w/ PCIe x4 link.
I don't want/need NVMe for my HTPC - it's already a waste in my gaming desktop :p (Seriously, the only perceivable difference between my old 840 Pro and my new 960 Evo is 244GB of added space) What I need is SATA ports for the boot SSD, the current three 4TB HDDs, and expandability when I need more space for backups and the like.

There are plenty of general purpose PCIe lanes in the B350 chipset to add a two- or four-port SATA controller. And those controllers are cheap, small, and easily implemented. I get that I'm in a tiny niche audience here (mid-performance NAS/storage ITX HTPC with above-average integrated graphics for light gaming), but the fact that not a single board meets my needs is a bit depressing.
Posted on Reply
#7
silentbogo
"Valantar said:
There are plenty of general purpose PCIe lanes in the B350 chipset to add a two- or four-port SATA controller. And those controllers are cheap, small, and easily implemented. I get that I'm in a tiny niche audience here (mid-performance NAS/storage ITX HTPC with above-average integrated graphics for light gaming), but the fact that not a single board meets my needs is a bit depressing.
It's beyond niche. You don't put 4+ drives into HTPC.
Either go big and make no sacrifices, or go small and adjust for lacking features.
It's not an ATX board, which has all the space required for extra SATA controller and ports. Last time I've seen this in action, was on AsRock low-power SoC boards (Celeron J1800 etc.). They could only do that cause there is no chipset or PCIe x16 slot to think about, and the end-result was still not pretty: most that died before RMA were due to USB 3.0 hub or SATA controller failure.
Still have a stack of those in my workshop up to the ceiling.

Worst case scenario - stick a RAID controller into PCIe x16 slot, or buy one of those cheap and dangerous M.2 to x2 SATA adapters.


P.S. Last time I've seen more than 4 SATA ports on a mini-ITX board was on an aluminium-covered 10-pound madness called Zotac M880G-ITX
It's still somewhere in my workshop (dead clock generator). Definitely not something you wanna use for light gaming :laugh:

Or spend some cash on something like this monster:
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157786
...or this tiny monster:
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157752
Posted on Reply
#8
Valantar
"silentbogo said:
It's beyond niche. You don't put 4+ drives into HTPC.
Either go big and make no sacrifices, or go small and adjust for lacking features.
It's not an ATX board, which has all the space required for extra SATA controller and ports. Last time I've seen this in action, was on AsRock low-power SoC boards (Celeron J1800 etc.). They could only do that cause there is no chipset or PCIe x16 slot to think about, and the end-result was still not pretty: most that died before RMA were due to USB 3.0 hub or SATA controller failure.
Still have a stack of those in my workshop up to the ceiling.

Worst case scenario - stick a RAID controller into PCIe x16 slot, or buy one of those cheap and dangerous M.2 to x2 SATA adapters.


P.S. Last time I've seen more than 4 SATA ports on a mini-ITX board was on an aluminium-covered 10-pound madness called Zotac M880G-ITX
It's still somewhere in my workshop (dead clock generator). Definitely not something you wanna use for light gaming :laugh:

Or spend some cash on something like this monster:
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157786
...or this tiny monster:
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157752
Well, you obviously haven't been looking that hard. My current Asrock FM2A88X-ITX+ isn't that old (due for a replacement, but not ancient), has six SATA ports, an mSATA slot (occupied by the WiFi card, but there nonetheless) and eSATA. All usable at the same time, if desired. Its layout is less than ideal (the CPU 4-pin is next to the PCIe x16 slot, the 24-pin is and RAM on the top rather than right side of the board), but it works very well. It even has the SATA ports along a board edge, which is more than most AM4 ITX boards can say for themselves.

And your "go big and adjust for lacking features" is rather weak. There are still quite a few 4+ drive ITX cases out there (Fractal Node 304, Silverstone CS01-HS, Lian-Li PC-Q25 to mention a few well known ones), not to mention that four 3.5" HDDs + a boot drive is pretty much a minimum requirement for any storage build. Sure, the m.2 could be used for a boot drive, but requiring an (expensive) m.2 boot drive for a homebrew NAS or storage server is rather silly. Besides, why get a bigger case when my needs are very well filled by an ITX-sized case? If you can show me an mATX case with room for six drives and decent airflow that isn't significantly larger than my Node 304, I'd be impressed.

Still, you're somewhat right: I'm in a tiny, tiny market here. If I can be bothered, I'll be keeping the Asrock board and turning it into a dedicated NAS (FreeNAS? Not sure yet, and of course it all depends on hardware support) when it's time to upgrade the HTPC part of it. This is also part of why I can't add a SATA controller (besides the point that cheap ones are god-awful and not suited for running backups, and non-cheap ones are silly expensive) - I want to add a 5GBe or 10GBe card to the NAS down the line, as soon as cheap-ish switches start showing up. At that point it'll be serving as a storage server for a video editing rig, so the bandwidth will definitely be useful. Not to mention that this would make those extra SATA ports even more useful. Am I trying to wring as many uses as possible from my hardware, on a semi-limited budget? Absolutely. But PCs are versatile enough that this really shouldn't be a problem IMO.
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