MSI B360 GAMING ARCTIC Review 8

MSI B360 GAMING ARCTIC Review

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Introduction


By now, Coffee Lake has been available for many months, and the wonders of CPUs with more than four cores have been thoroughly detailed. Today, we will have another look into the world of Coffee Lake with another B360 motherboard. As a quick refresh, B360 is the sensible younger sibling to Intel's Z370. The B360 chipset does not support overclocking, either for the CPU or RAM, and offers only one M.2 slot. In exchange, B360 offers native USB 3.1 Gen 2 support and a reduced price tag.

Overclocking is a powerful tool that can allow a savvy consumer to squeeze potentially significant amounts of extra performance out of their hardware. With that said, modern processors offer stock boost clocks well north of 4 GHz, so the benefits of overclocking are marginal, and the added cost of unlocked "K" chips from Intel is dubious. In the same vein, consumers who have no realistic plans to overclock should not feel they need to pay out for a top-end mainstream motherboard in order to get the most out of their hardware. Intel and, more importantly to us today, MSI, agree.

One of the biggest hurdles manufactures face with chipsets like the B360 is drawing in consumers. Gamers especially are drawn to the hype and prestige of the mainstream chipsets even when it is not the best choice for them. The trick here is to provide a product that has the flash and presence while, most importantly, providing the experience of a flagship board. Nobody does this better than MSI, and even they might have outdone themselves this time around. The MSI B360 GAMING ARCTIC is a striking board that holds promise in its very name. MSI has a good track record for producing premium products at every price point, and I expect this B360 offering to be no different. So here is the question I've been driving towards: the B360 GAMING ARCTIC, just how "cool" is it?



Specifications

Specifications
CPU Support:8th Gen Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processors
Power Design: CPU Power: 7 phase
Memory Power: 1 phase
Chipset:Intel B360 Express
Integrated Graphics:Depends on installed CPU
Memory:4x DIMM, Support Dual Channel DDR4-2133/2400/2666 MHz
BIOS:AMI UEFI BIOS
Expansion Slots: 2x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (x16/x4)
4x PCIe 3.0 x1 slot
Storage: 5x SATA 6 Gb/s port
1x M.2 port (PCIe 3.0 x4 and SATA)
Networking:1x Intel I219-V Gigabit LAN controller
Rear Ports: 1x DVI-D
1x DisplayPort 1.2
1x LAN (RJ45) port
1x USB 3.1 (Gen2) port
1x USB 3.1 (Gen2, Type-C) port
2x USB 3.1 (Gen1) port
2x USB 2.0
6x Audio jack
1x PS/2 mouse/keyboard combo port
Audio:Realtek ALC892 Codec
Fan Headers:7x 4-pin
Form Factor:ATX Form Factor: 12 in x 9.6 in, 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm
Exclusive Features:
  • MYSTIC LIGHT
  • TURBO M.2
  • Intel Optane Memory Ready
  • Intel Turbo USB 3.1 GEN2
  • AUDIO BOOST
  • DDR4 Boost
  • GAMING LAN, powered by Intel®
  • STEEL ARMOR PCI-E slots.
  • VR Ready
  • GAMING Hotkey
  • X-Boost
  • Voice Boost
  • EZ Debug LED
  • Click BIOS 5
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