Intel's B150 chipset is business-oriented, but it's still a viable solution for low-cost enthusiast builds. Here’s a list of available motherboards.
Typically, on each new platform, Intel releases a series of six chipsets to cover the market: Z(X)7, H(X)7, H(X)1, Q(X)7, Q(X)5 and B(X)5. In this model, the Z and H chipsets are targeted at consumers, while Q and B are targeted at business.
The B-series chipsets from Intel are intended to be the lowest-end business-oriented products, but they frequently find their way into consumer-built machines. This happens because of the relatively large feature gap between the two H chipsets. Although H170 offers a large number of PCI-E lanes, RAID support, and several other features, H110 has the least USB 3.0 support, SATA ports, and PCI-E lanes on the LGA 1151 platform.
Intel 100 Series Consumer Chipsets
|CPU PCI-E 3.0 Config Support||1 x 16 or 2 x 8 or 1 x 8 + 2 x 4||1 x 16||1 x 16|
|Independent Display Support||3||3||2|
|Memory Channels/ DIMMs per Channel||2/2||2/2||2/1|
|CPU Overclocking Support||Yes||No||No|
|Intel Smart Sound Technology||Yes||Yes||No|
|Intel Small Business Advantage 4.0||No||Yes||No|
|Intel Small Business Basics||No||Yes||Yes|
|Intel RAID Support 0/1/5/10||Yes||Yes||No|
|Intel Smart Response Technology||Yes||Yes||No|
|Max Intel RST for PCI-E||3||2||0|
|I/O Port Flexibility||Yes||Yes||No|
|Maximum HSIO Lanes||26||22||14|
|Chipset PCI-E Support||20 PCI-E 3.0 Lanes||16 PCI-E 3.0 Lanes||6 PCI-E 2.0 Lanes|
|USB Support (USB 3.0)||14 (10)||14 (8)||10 (4)|
|SATA 3.0 Ports||6||6||4|
In addition, the PCI-E connectivity in B150 is still based on the older PCI-E 2.0 standard, and the system can handle only two RAM modules, compared to four on all other chipsets in this generation.
The most alluring features that the H110 chipset offers is support for Skylake processors and a low price point. As a result, the H(X)1 chipsets are typically used only by people who simply need the system to work and can’t afford motherboards with more features.
This leaves system builders that don’t want to pay out for the more feature rich H170 chipset in a tough spot. For most, B150 is the solution to this problem, as it is a relatively inexpensive product that still supports PCI-E 3.0, and it has two additional SATA III and USB 3.0 ports compared to H110. As such, these boards serve a vital role in the market as low cost business and consumer solutions that still offer a reasonable list of features.
Currently, the Q170, Q150, and H110 chipsets are still missing in action, but we will return to add those motherboards to the list once they are available on the market.
Micheal Justin Allen Sexton is an Associate Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware. Follow him on Twitter.