Intel's decision to remove Xeon support from the main 100 series chipset models (Z, H, B, Q) has led to two new chipsets, C232 and C236. When I examine the available C232 and C236 chipset motherboards that support Skylake E3-1200v5 Xeons, I see two general sets of products. Intel's steadfast dedication to focusing on gamers has led to motherboards with workstation chipsets mixed with gaming features. On the other side of the aisle are motherboards designed for workstations meant for business, these products carry a higher price tag and less flashy features.
Today I will examine one of GIGABYTE's new workstation motherboards. GIGABYTE is using a unique naming convention for C232 and C236 chipset motherboards. The C232 chipset boards are X150 series, and C236 are X170. The X150M-Plus WS is a basic micro-ATX C232 chipset motherboard. First impressions lead me to believe this model is for gamers who want a basic micro-ATX motherboard. It has LEDs on the underside of the audio section and its PCB, slots, and heat sink follow a desert camouflage color theme.
However, first impressions are not everything, and this review will look at the board from many angles. While enthusiasts are all about getting more for their money, simplicity is also highly desirable for novice buyers and business users, so I will be looking at this motherboard from multiple angles.
The X150M-Plus WS has a basic feature set, which leads me to believe it is designed for business systems where features are more limited for the sake of simplicity. The board does offer all the chipset features such as 6x USB 3.0 and 6x SATA6Gb/s, but also provides features that business users might utilize for backward compatibility.
Apart from the two USB 2.0 ports on the IO panel, there are two USB 2.0 headers on the board. Audio is limited to one output and two input jacks, there are two PS/2 ports for a keyboard and a mouse, and there are only two fan headers. There is also a full-sized TPM header and a serial port on the board.
The X150M-Plus WS is available from many large retailers for $159.99.
PRICING: You can find the GIGABYTE X150M-Plus WS (Intel C232) Motherboard for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
United States: The GIGABYTE X150M-Plus WS (Intel C232) Motherboard retails for $160 at Amazon.
United Kingdom: The GIGABYTE X150M-Plus WS (Intel C232) Motherboard retails for £96 at Amazon UK.
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