MSI B85M-P33: A Cheap Haswell Motherboard
Phoronix: MSI B85M-P33: A Cheap Haswell Motherboard
The MSI B85M-P33 is a micro-ATX motherboard that's friendly with latest-generation Intel Haswell processors while the cost of this motherboard will only set you back about $60 USD.
So how's the firmware? Does it have Secure Boot, does setting UEFI variables and changing boot order etc. work as expected?
I have a similar model, also from MSI, but for Ivy Bridge. The UEFI was quite problematic at the beginning (in Windows, at that), but it was fixed in later firmware upgrades and now works just fine in all regards.
It would be a great article to compare how well the EFI implementations of the major board brands (ASUS / MSI / Gigabyte / Asrock / Biostar / etc) work under Linux.
I know that Asrocks firmware wipes the efi table every firmware update, but has network updating. ASUS can only hold one entry in its EFI table persistently but doesn't wipe that between updates. Neither of them have a working EFI shell.
B85 chipsets are nice. But I have read that if you pick an Asrock of the same model, your chances are higher of getting VT-d working. I also read that Asus support for VT-d is pretty bad. It might be enabled, but have missing ACPI tables of some sorts.
This is all very confusing, because on the Intel chipset pages they only mention VT-d on Q85 and (I'm not sure anymore) 87 boards.
I have a z87i Asus board that does vt-d just fine on my i7 machine.
Originally Posted by Rexilion
B85 is really underrated: inexpensive, often very durable, with SATA6 and PCI3 ... even H chipsets don't necessarily get PCI3 or a 3 yr warranty, and for more money!
B85 doesn't support SSD caching, which could be dealbreakers for some people. I'm very happy though
I was actually going to get the Mini-ITX version of MSI's board, but at the last second I checked reviews for Linux compatablity. It looks like a brand like Gigabyte and some others do linux support much better; MSI seemed to be widely regarded as unhelpful if you had any non-Windows-8 issues. So for a bit more coin I went Gigabyte. As a beginner I wanted some confidence that the board would work. Now, if I'd read this review first, I might have had confidence and gone with an MSI!
It does not support *hardware assisted* SSD caching (forgot the Intel brand name). You can still stick in a cheap 32gig SSD and attach it to bcache in Linux.
Originally Posted by wboz
As for the supported OS, I'm starting to think that Asrock might be the best. Most references implied they get their BIOS/ACPI implementation 'right' for proper use with Linux.