Here are key points about the GIGABYTE X150M-Pro ECC.
Features vs. Price: At under $150, the X150M-PRO ECC carries a healthy amount of features both on the rear IO and through internal headers. Without leaving a big gap in the IO where the video ports usually go, like some other C232 motherboards, GIGABYTE filled the IO panel up with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports. Since this motherboard is designed for workstation and business users, legacy support is important. An LPT port, two PCI slots, and COM are all included. GIGABYTE also supplies the maximum number of SATA ports along with internal USB ports that the chipset offers.
ECC Memory Support: You should keep to GIGABYTE's qualified vendor list of memory modules and make sure that your CPU supports ECC memory. That being said, I am glad that GIGABYTE chose to include ECC support along with four memory DIMMs. I was able to load up all four DIMMs with 32GB of Kingston ECC DDR4 memory, and I didn't encounter any issues.
Intel Workstation LAN: Instead of using the consumer version, Intel i219v PHY, GIGABYTE chose the i219LM PHY to compliment the Gbit MAC in the PCH. The Intel i219LM is the workstation version of the i219v, which should offer solid performance and high reliability.
32Gb/s M.2 Slot: Many C232 motherboards don't have M.2 slots, but the X150M-PRO ECC does come with one. While there is a wide variety of M.2 slots, the one GIGABYTE has implemented here supports the latest and fastest NVMe PCI-E 3.0 x4 drives. The fast M.2 slot makes the X150M-PRO ECC very attractive for workstation users who might want to use faster consumer M.2 drives.
Lackluster VRM: While the three-phase VRM is enough to support all the CPUs that the motherboard is capable of supporting, its high load performance isn't the best. While this won't cause any issues since it doesn't get overly hot, you will need to have adequate airflow over the VRM heat sink. Intel's reference cooler design should be enough to help cool the VRM if you run the machine 24/7.
GIGABYTE's X150M-Pro ECC is a decent C232 chipset motherboard loaded with many useful features. Motherboard layout, including internal header placement, is very good for a Micro-ATX system.
Installing a full sized GPU won't block access to any of the SATA ports, the USB 3.0 header is located in the best position for front panel USB 3.0, and the M.2 slot's location will ensure it won't overheat. The IO panel is loaded with USB ports, which are by far the most useful in business and workstation scenarios.
Many people complain about the lack of integrated graphics support, but that is not a motherboard specific issue. The C232 chipset doesn't support integrated graphics, and most E3-1200 v5 series Xeons don't have integrated GPUs. The main selling point of the X150M-PRO ECC over other motherboards is ECC memory support, and if you want a hassle-free experience, you need to follow GIGABYTE's recommended memory list or use the memory I used in this review.
Overall system and IO performance were solid. GIGABYTE also included four fan headers and dual BIOS technology, something other lower-tier motherboards might lack. If you are looking for a feature rich mATX workstation motherboard for an E3-1200 v5 series Xeon, the X150M-PRO ECC is worth a look.
|Quality including Design and Build||88%|
|Bundle and Packaging||85%|
|Value for Money||91%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||89%|
The Bottom Line: GIGABYTE's X150M-PRO ECC is loaded with all the native features from the PCH with the addition of legacy features through extra controllers, and a slew of unique GIGABYTE features.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and X150M-PRO ECC Overview]
- Page 3 [GIGABYTE X150M-Pro ECC Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [GIGABYTE X150M-PRO ECC Circuit Analysis Continued]
- Page 5 [BIOS and Software]
- Page 6 [Test System Setup and ECC Memory]
- Page 7 [CPU, Memory, and System Benchmarks]
- Page 8 [System IO Benchmarks]
- Page 9 [Thermal Imaging and Power Consumption]
- Page 10 [What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts]