With having my first Skylake motherboard fail on me recently, a sub-$60 Gigabyte H110 motherboard, for its replacement I decided to spend a few bucks more and ended up going for a nicer MSI Skylake motherboard. For those curious, here are a few words I wanted to share this weekend about my experience so far with the MSI B150M Mortar.
The MSI B150M Mortar LGA-1151 motherboard retails for $70~80 USD and as implied by the name uses Intel's B150 chipset. This motherboard has four DDR4-2133 DIMM slots, two PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, six Serial ATA 3.0 ports, one SATAe port, onboard HDMI/VGA/DVI-D video ports when using integrated graphics, one USB 3.1 Gen1 connector, and complies with micro-ATX specifications. MSI advertises the B150M Mortar as having the company's "special" features like Military Class 4 quality and stability, GAMING DNA lights, Guard-Pro, EZ Debug LED, overvoltage protection, and gaming certified.
I bought this motherboard for $76 USD on Amazon.com. What led me to this motherboard to replace the cheaper Gigabyte board that failed was MSI's quality, having contacts at MSI and the work they've been doing to better support Linux, and the board's feature set relative to the price. For the past two weeks I've been running this board fine under Linux without any issues.
Most of my testing of the MSI B150M Mortar under Linux has been using Intel's Clear Linux distribution as the board is installed in the system being used for the daily Clear Linux benchmarking on LinuxBenchmarking.com in conjunction with the Pentium G4400 Skylake processor. Pairing that LGA-1151 Pentium with this motherboard makes for an all-around low-cost system. The Wake-On-LAN support for this MSI board is also working out much better than with the board it replaced.
Overall I remain happy with the MSI B150M Mortar as a low-cost, Skylake motherboard. If anyone has any specific Linux related questions or other inquiries about this board, feel free to post away within the forums. Obviously with pounding this board on a daily basis for Linux benchmarking similar to the failed Gigabyte motherboard, I will obviously report back if this board shares a similar fate.