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MSI B150M Mortar: A Budget Skylake Motherboard For Linux Users

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  • MSI B150M Mortar: A Budget Skylake Motherboard For Linux Users

    Phoronix: MSI B150M Mortar: A Budget Skylake Motherboard For Linux Users

    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.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=23040

  • #2
    Is there flashrom support (less necessary since most UEFI boards have flashing in the firmware)? Also, is anyone working on coreboot support for it?

    My current ASRock 1151 board doesn't support Linux in that there is a horrific ACPI bug (in the UEFI firmware on the board) that eats 1 or more cores continually, and I really don't know how to contact them or relay the information, so replacing the board might be a better option for me.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Min1123 View Post
      Is there flashrom support (less necessary since most UEFI boards have flashing in the firmware)? Also, is anyone working on coreboot support for it?

      My current ASRock 1151 board doesn't support Linux in that there is a horrific ACPI bug (in the UEFI firmware on the board) that eats 1 or more cores continually, and I really don't know how to contact them or relay the information, so replacing the board might be a better option for me.
      I prefer just flashing from the UEFI firmware as it is. But MSI does have their Linux desktop utility for flashing ( http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=21000 ) and should eventually be supporting capsule updates anyways, so no idea about flashrom for it.

      Barely anyone is working on Coreboot support for other modern Intel/AMD mobos due to frequently cited issues.
      Michael Larabel
      http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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      • #4
        it's got four DIMM slots, do you have to fit RAM in pairs, or can you do it incrementally (albeit with probably degraded performance for only having one RAM channel)?

        can you fit four max speed DIMMS, or do you have to use slower DIMMs if all are populated?

        and I presume it won't take ECC?
        linux addict, got the scars, the grey beard and the t-shirt.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Michael View Post
          But MSI does have their Linux desktop utility for flashing ( http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=21000 ) and should eventually be supporting capsule updates anyways, so no idea about flashrom for it.
          As it mentions at the bottom of that article, they are interested in coreboot, so that's some hope.

          I recently got a refurb Toshiba "Swanky" x64 chromebook, and the use of coreboot seemed like a great thing. I ended up though just using a script ( https://johnlewis.ie/custom-chromebo.../rom-download/ ) to install something precompiled after numerous issues attempting to find the correct branch, the correct firmware blobs for the specific hardware, and not being able to get EDK2 (open-source UEFI) to compile appropriately. All of these things are far more finicky than they should be as far as which compilers, which toolchains, and a bunch of other things. So I have an awesome laptop with Debian running on it (Fedora 24 A1.7 crashed in the installer) but emulating BIOS on top of a coreboot firmware. I'd have rathered EFI, but failed to build either portion, and thinking about it, u-boot would have been tough (not many people do that on x64) but the free-ist option. Maybe we'll head there, or maybe we'll finally start replacing all this legacy x86/x64 stuff.

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          • #6
            DisplayPort is missing in the description - accidentally or is it really absent? I thought it got standard especially with the high resolutions today.
            Any experience concerning quality in this respect?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by JMB9 View Post
              DisplayPort is missing in the description - accidentally or is it really absent? I thought it got standard especially with the high resolutions today.
              Any experience concerning quality in this respect?
              https://us.msi.com/Motherboard/B150M...#hero-overview

              It doesn't have it. They are REALLY proud of having VGA connectors for business projectors.

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              • #8
                Too bad 99% of motherboards released thee days have to have "GAMING" in the name, with incredibly stupid names like "Morter" or "Fatal1ty" or "Republic of Gamers", "SaberTooth", blah blah.

                They also come dumb looking boxes with generic pictures of military gear, or monsters or something on them. I know its nit picky, but for me this doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the product. It's like they're marketing it toward 8 year old kids, or not-so-bright "bros" that sit around and play video games all day.

                I can MAYBE see giving gaming video cards these idiotic names - but motherboards? Come on... Is there even any consumer grade hardware for adults anymore?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by eggbert View Post
                  Too bad 99% of motherboards released thee days have to have "GAMING" in the name, with incredibly stupid names like "Morter" or "Fatal1ty" or "Republic of Gamers", "SaberTooth", blah blah.

                  They also come dumb looking boxes with generic pictures of military gear, or monsters or something on them. I know its nit picky, but for me this doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the product. It's like they're marketing it toward 8 year old kids, or not-so-bright "bros" that sit around and play video games all day.

                  I can MAYBE see giving gaming video cards these idiotic names - but motherboards? Come on... Is there even any consumer grade hardware for adults anymore?

                  I have a Gigabyte Z97M-DS3H that seems to be marketed for general purpose use, and durability. The graphics on the box consist entirely of the board model number and the words "Ultra Durable" on a simple shield-shaped logo. I can attest that this board has been living up to that claim, and seems to be highly compatible with nearly every alternative OS I've thrown at it. I realize it's not a Skylake board, but I'm just saying there are mainstream, non-gamer, workstation-class boards out there if you take a few minutes to look. Some example terms to help you search include "workstation", "server grade", "Xeon", "Haswell-E", etc. For a specific example, try this:

                  http://anandtech.com/show/9731/skylake-xeon-motherboard-gigabyte-c230-c236

                  And yes, I know this article touched on Michael's bad experience with the brand, but Gigabyte has been rock solid for me over the years.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by eggbert View Post
                    Is there even any consumer grade hardware for adults anymore?
                    CompuLab products!

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