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Gigabyte GA-B150-D3H-GSM Review: A Skylake Motherboard for Volume Builders: Page 3 of 4

System builders are often seen as computer enthusiasts looking for the most extreme of high-end computing. Important as this market is, it doesn’t represent the portion of builders who build PCs for general productivity – and that’s who Gigabyte’s GA-B150M-D3H-GSM Mini-ATX motherboard is for. By Matt Whitlock

Performance

We outfitted our B150M-D3H-GSM with an Intel Core i7 6700K, a 240GB Intel 730 SSD, 2 x 4GB sticks of Crucial DDR4 RAM, and Windows 10 x64 to get a sense on how this would fare as a typical productivity workstation. For our testing, we upgraded the BIOS to the latest stable version (F5 as of this writing). Most of the CPU settings were left set to their defaults, as most building with this board would do.

The B150M isn’t really designed with multi-GPU configurations in mind. In order to offer crossfire support (with the second card running at x4). Given our history of working with the B150M, it can’t split the CPU’s x16 PCI Express lanes across multiple sockets, so the 4x lanes on the second PCI-E slot must be coming from the B150M. That sucks up half the bandwidth of the B150M right there, so our recommendation is that if you want to run dual GPUs, go for a board with the Z170 to move from 8 to 20 of its own PCI-E lanes.

Audio

Onboard audio is provided by the older Realtek ALC892 sound card, which on its own puts it a good step down from boards using the 1150. That said, Gigabyte uses good quality capacitors and a traced route to keep noise down to a minimum on its way to the back panel connectors.

We’d spend more time on an enthusiast oriented board, but at least from a quantitative perspective I found noise levels to be well within acceptable levels when listening through headphones, and would certainly be fine for business settings where small speakers or headphones are used to listen to the normal bleeps and bloops of the OS, and perhaps voice calls via Skype or softphone.

Benchmarks

Running a stock system through its paces with little ability to goose the processor in the BIOS is an exercise in averageness. That said, anyone looking at this board will want at least a sense of what to expect from a productivity perspective, so let’s go through and take a look.

Benchmark Result
wPRIME 189.351
Cinebench R15 Single Thread 182
Cinebench R15 Multi Thread 876
WinRAR x64 Benchmark 10029
LuxMark 2216
PC mark 8 Conventional 4688
Aida 64 Read/Write/Copy 31266/31974/28460

About the Author

Matt Whitlock's picture

Matt Whitlock is online director and technical editor for ChannelProSMB.com.

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