If you are looking for a good budget gaming motherboard, maybe this motherbroad from Asrock could be your top choice.
The Skylake line of prcoessors from Intel may have been around for some time, but some users are not confident in moving to the latest generation of CPUs unless they can find a very reliable motherboard. But looks like Asrock has released a line of Skylake-support gaming motherboards to provide gamers a great option for their gaming upgrades. First of the list is the B150 Gaming K4, but can this mobo be a great option for your Skylake rig? Let’s find out.
Below are the specifications of the Asrock B150 Gaming K4
- ASRock Super Alloy
- Gaming Armor – Memory / VGA Card / Cooling / Internet / Audio
- Supports 6th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors (Socket 1151)
- Digi Power, 10 Power Phase design
- Supports Dual Channel DDR4 2133
- 2 PCIe 3.0 x16, 3 PCIe 3.0 x1
- AMD Quad CrossFireX™
- Graphics Output Options: DVI-D, HDMI
- 1 CH HD Audio (Realtek ALC1150 Audio Codec), Supports Purity Sound™ 3 & DTS Connect
- Killer™ E2400 Gigabit LAN
- 6 SATA3
- 6 USB 3.0 (2 Front, 4 Rear)
About Intel Skylake
The latest generation of CPUs from Intel offers a new microarchitecture that promises faster and better computing performance on 14nm process, this also spawns a whole new CPU sockets in the form of the LGA 1151. This also opens the support for the new DDR4 memories to provide higher memory and lower power consumption, though the older DDR3 memories are still supported by the new chipsets.
And with the new processors, this would also mean a new line of chipsets to support it. This resulted in the introduction of the different models such as the H110, H170 and Z170 that are branded as the consumer chipsets and the Q170, Q150 and B150 for the business type chipsets. What makes this review interesting is that the B150 is aimed towards business-related functions and target market, but it is also available for gaming. So let us see what the B150 can offer for gamers. Named after the famous eSports player Johnathan ‘Fatal1ty’ Wendel, Asrock wants to ensure to their consumers that that are getting a high quality gaming motherboard that can reach their expectations.
At a glance on the Fatal1ty B150 Gaming K4, you can tell the color scheme and design are definitely meant for hardcore gamers, with a red and black color scheme, it fits well to some of the new line up of gaming PC cases in the market for those who want to have a theme gaming rig as their upgrade. Hosting a full ATX build, the design will fit to any standard ATX casing and the I/O armor gimmick provides protection to some of the parts of the motherboard from static electricity, the Asrock logo as well as the Fatal1ty branding can be found plastered on the I/O armor and heatsink where it is visible to any windowed side panels of a PC rig. The PCB is said to be more resistant to short circuit thanks to its high density glass fabric PCBs, so its durability is expected to be high.
The B150 Gaming K4 has other nifty features that are catered towards gamers, one of them was the dedicated USB port for your gaming mouse called the Fatal1ty Mouse Port, as the dedicated port improves the polling rate of any connected mouse to 1000 Hz. This provides a smoother movement when using a mouse. The other feature is the Key Master, which adds two new functions that lets you shift the mouse speed for a more accurate control when aiming in your FPS games and the Macro key that allows you to save and customize macros in a single key press. Then it has the Killer LAN which improves the latency of your online games by prioritizing its bandwidth from your internet connection.
As for the connection ports, it offers 6 USB 3.0 ports with 2 at the front and 4 at the rear, 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 PS2 port, DVI-D and HDMI and 3.5mm audio ports and optical for your audio which can support 7.1 channel surround. For component ports, it has the standard pair of PCI3 3.0 x16 which lets you mount two Radeon graphic cards that allows you to utilize the CrossFireX capabilities, unfortunately it only supports AMD cards as there is no SLI support to run two Nvidia graphic cards.
And now for the performance, surprisingly despite being based on a Business typed chipset, the B150 can produce decent performance in terms of gaming. It managed to give a score of 9.10 on the CPU Test of Cinebench 11.5 and around 8490 with 3DMark 6. As for the temperature, it can stay at around 30 degrees Celsius when idle and can reach higher at 70 when running. For power consumption, the lowest would be at 50 watts and could reach as high as 120 watts. Unfortunately the major problem with the B150M is that it cannot be overclock to any possible way due to its limitation of its chipset, this would be a big concern for certain users who would be overclocking their rig to get more juice to the performance.
Although the Asrock Fatal1ty B150 Gaming K4 may have the build and chipset that was originally aimed for small business target market, it was optimized to provide decent performance for gaming. And with its price range that fits well for any mid-range performance rigs, and some nifty features that will provide some convenience to the gamers. However there are limitations to the motherboard as it does not allow any ways to overclock it or an SLI support for Nvidia cards. But for users who needs a good motherboard for a mid-range rig that fits their budget, the B150 Gaming K4 is a good choice.
- AMD Quad Crossfire feature
- Durable build
- Killer LAN
- Fatal1ty Mouse Port
- No Overclock support
- No SLI