The environment isn’t something that interests most people, but when it comes to the cost of electricity most of us are interested in saving a bit of money and if that helps the environment, then great! Enter MSI’s latest motherboard range which is to be dubbed the ECO series. As the name suggests it is about being “environmentally friendly” with the word ECO being derived from ecological. MSI’s new motherboard range features three basic chipsets: H97, B85 and H81. All three support socket LGA 1150 “Haswell” and “Haswell Refresh” based CPUs of all segments and TDPs, but obviously to go along with the “ECO” theme MSI recommends Intel’s S and T series power efficient Haswell processors.
The motherboards themselves appear nothing out of the ordinary and they have been given some rather dubious green packaging and styling to go along with the ECO theme. The main power saving aspects come from the reduced form factor, micro-ATX boards consume less than full ATX. MSI also claim to have a new ground-breaking PCB design where it can actually cut off power to components on the motherboard that are not being used, as opposed to just disabling them. To accompany the new MSI ECO series motherboards MSI has revamped its ECO Center Pro software which it claims when used will offer an additional 40% power consumption reduction on ECO series motherboards, non-ECO series MSI motherboards can still benefit up to a 29% reduction. It does this by disabling power to parts of the board not being used, this works in tandem with the new PCB design.
Back in March MSI detailed that their B85M ECO concept board consumed as little as 17.3W at idle, roughly 12W lower than rival motherboards.
The motherboards certainly sound smart and make sense. For anyone looking to run a 24/7 home server, have an always-on workstation, or for someone who just uses their PC a lot these boards could be an ideal solution to saving a bit of money. I’d like to find out more from MSI in terms of what they do to ensure the boards are “ECO” other than reduce their power consumption. I.e. do they use recycled materials, carbon-offsetting and so on.
What are your thoughts on these ECO series boards? A good idea or a gimmick?
Images courtesy of MSI