Think small

Asus B150 Motherboard

Building a fast and respectable system doesn’t necessarily mean going big with your setup. Lest there be any doubt, Asus has three new small form factor motherboard options for system builders looking to go small.

All three are based on Intel’s B150 chipset for Skylake. The first of the three is the B150I Pro Gaming/WiFi/Aura. It’s a mini-ATX mobo that boasts a pair of DIMM slots supporting up to 32GB of DDR4-2133 RAM, a single PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot, four SATA 6Gbps ports, a single M.2 Socket 3 with M key, 802.11ac 2×2 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi, GbE LAN, four USB 3.0 ports, a single USB 3.0 Type-C port, four USB 2.0 ports, and HDMI and DVI-D graphics connectors.

The “Auru” in the model name denotes a new LED-illumination technology exclusive to select Asus motherboards. Through accompanying software, you can control a series of RGB lights with various effects, like breathing and color-strobing, to name just two. Going beyond simple bling, you can configure the lights to change their shade based on CPU temperatures—if everything starts glowing red, you might want to check your cooling scheme.

Second up is the B150I Pro Gaming/Aura. It’s also a mini-ITX motherboard that’s configured similarly to the one above, but without baked in Wi-Fi.

Finally, there’s the B150M Pro Gaming. This one’s a micro ATX motherboard, so it’s a bit bigger than the other two and uses that additional real estate to offer a few additional ports and slots. Specifically, it adds two PCI Express 3.0 x1 slots to the mix, has six SATA 6Gbps ports instead of two, has four DIMM slots supporting up to 64GB of DDR4-2133 RAM, and has a dozen USB ports split evenly between USB 3.0 (Type-A) and USB 3.0. Curiously, there’s no Type-C connectors on this one. It also lacks onboard Wi-Fi and the Aura LED lighting.

Asus didn’t say how much the boards cost or when they’ll be available.

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