IN­TEL B360 MOTHERBOARDS

WITH THE B360 CHIPSET IN­TEL AND ITS PART­NERS DE­LIVER A PLAT­FORM THAT’S HIGH ON PER­FOR­MANCE AND LOW ON COST. CHRIS SZEWCZYK POW­ERS UP

PC & Tech Authority - - CONTENTS -

Bud­get boards that of­fer al­most ev­ery­thing

When Cof­fee Lake pro­ces­sors launched back in Oc­to­ber, the line-up was pretty thin on op­tions with Z370 motherboards be­ing the only ones to choose from. That’s all changed now that In­tel has launched the bud­get ori­ented H370, H310 and B360 chipsets which fi­nally puts Cof­fee Lake into the realms of main­stream af­ford­abil­ity.

For so long, In­tel based sys­tems aimed at bud­get users have seen in­cre­men­tal im­prove­ments. As we move well into 2018, it’s clear that users ex­pect more from their com­put­ers. Gam­ing, Net­flix, stream­ing, smart­phone video con­ver­sions, video calls and so on. A dual core just doesn’t cut it any­more. A CPU like the Core i5-8400 with its 6 cores ca­pa­ble of 4GHz means that users can do more than ever, but un­til now, there haven’t been bud­get ori­ented chipsets to match.

THE BUD­GET OP­TION

En­ter B360. At the most ba­sic level it is sim­i­lar to Z370, with Cof­fee Lake CPU sup­port, four mem­ory slots, PCIe 3.0, SATA 6GB/s etc. but as you dive un­der the hood, there are ac­tu­ally quite a few dif­fer­ences. This doesn’t mean they aren’t ca­pa­ble of han­dling a pow­er­ful rig. It can cer­tainly do that, but there are some sig­nif­i­cant lim­i­ta­tions that sep­a­rate B360 from the more ex­pen­sive Z370 chipset.

Pri­mar­ily, B360 does not sup­port over­clock­ing of ei­ther the CPU or mem­ory. The lat­ter point means that B360 motherboards are lim­ited to DDR4-2666 only. In a nut­shell, if you want to over­clock, or run high speed mem­ory, skip B360. There are a few other lim­i­ta­tions with re­gards to the num­ber and type of USB ports, the num­ber of PCIe lanes and RAID, but for the most part these things don’t af­fect a user with a com­mon sys­tem con­fig­u­ra­tion.

NO COM­PRO­MISES

If you’re run­ning a sin­gle graph­ics card, 2x8GB of RAM, a fast NVMe SSD and some ad­di­tional SATA drives then B360 will func­tion ex­actly as it would as if you were us­ing Z370. Why pay ex­tra for stuff you don’t want or need? That’s the kind of op­tion B360 brings to the ta­ble. It’s not cheap or nasty, it just omits some fea­tures a big chunk of the mar­ket will never need or use.

With all this in mind, we’re pleased to have four B360 motherboards on hand for re­view over the fol­low­ing pages.

Read on!

“As we move well into 2018, it’s clear that users ex­pect more from their com­put­ers.”

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