Usually the top end chipsets with all the “bling” options take the headlines but today we want to look at the mainstream category, something that will do the job just fine if you don’t need supreme overclock and/or all the specs in the world.

So we have the MSI B75IA-E33 mITX motherboard.

Price when reviewed – £ 49.99 – Via

MSI B75IA-E33 LGA1155 Mini-ITX Motherboard (Socket LGA1155)

MSI – Micro-Star International


Is a Taiwanese electronics company, founded in 1986, based in New Taipei City.
It is one of the world’s largest information technology manufacturers for motherboards, video cards and also makes a range of other products including laptops, all-in-one computers, servers, industrial computers, household appliances, barebones systems, and multimedia devices.


Back to the board, Intel is positioning this chipset as small business solution but with the advantage over the H77/H61 that it has a PCI bus and also cheaper than a H77. Of course there are some disadvantages for the B75 like less SATA 6 ports and USB 2/3 and no RAID support. But it is also a good starting point for a home computer.



Manufacturer MSI
Model B75IA-E33
Chipset Intel B75 Express
The socket Socket LGA 1155
Supported Processors Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 2nh and 4rd Generation Intel Pentium / Celeron Socket LGA1155
Memory in use 1066/1333/1600/1800 * (OC) / 2000 * (OC) / 2200 * (OC) / 2400 * (OC) MHz * Support is available only in the presence of 22 nm Intel processor
Memory Support 2 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 16 GB of memory
Expansion Slots 1 x PCI Express 16 3.0 (x16)
Disk Subsystem Intel B75 Express Chipset supports: 3 x SATA 3 Gb / s1 x SATA 6 Gb / s
LAN 1 x Gigabit LAN controller Realtek 8111E (10/100/1000 Mbit / s)
The audio subsystem Codec Realtek ALC887 2/4 / 5.1 / 7.1-channel sound
Food 24-pin ATX power connector 4-pin ATX12V power connector
Cooling Aluminum radiator on PCH
External I / O ports – 1 x PS/2 keyboard/ mouse port
– 4 x USB 2.0 ports
– 2 x USB 3.0 ports
– 1 x RJ45 LAN Jack
– 1 x 3 in 1 audio jack
– 1 x Optical S/PDIF-out port
– 1 x VGA port* with max. resolution up to 2048×1536 @75Hz
– 1 x HDMI port* with max. resolution up to 1920×1200 @60Hz
– 1 x DVI-D port* with max. resolution up to 1920×1200 @60Hz
Internal I / O ports – ATX 24-Pin power connector
– 4-pin ATX 12V power connector
– CPU x 1 / System x 1 FAN connectors
– 1 x Clear CMOS jumper
– 4 x SATA connectors
– 2 x USB 2.0 connectors
– 1 x USB 3.0 connector
– 1 x TPM Module connector
– 1 x Front Panel Audio connector
– 1 x Front Panel connector
– 1 x Chassis Intrusion connector
Options – User’s Guide
– brochure describing the warranty
– CD with drivers and utilities,
– 2 x SATA cables
– I/O shield
Form factor, dimensions, mm mini-ITX
170 x 170


Packaging and accessories


Being an mITX board (17 cm by 17 cm) the box is also small, very small.
On the front there is the traditional MSI design and a lot of branding.


On the back more detailed and even about overclocking but to mention that is limited because of the chipset itself meaning no control on the CPU’s multiplier.


Just the basics regarding the accessories.
– I/O shield
– Documentation
– 1x SATA 3 (flat)
– 1x SATA 6 (90 degrees)
– CD with drivers and utilities


Then the board itself compared with a key-chain for size reference and another one vs other formats.



Board analysis


It is a standard layout for an mITX, with the socket orientated nearest the video slot – this means you have to be careful if you want an aftermarket cooler to replace the stock Intel.
Usually it’s not necessary but we like options so it depends on your needs, what case you use etc.


We see the battery glued to one of the ports.
Simple solution from a space optimization point of view but for longevity we’d prefer to see the battery in its own docking station.
Next we also see the heatsink for the Intel B75 PCH Chipset and the only UEFI Bios chip.


The I/O side. From the left we have:
– 1x D-Sub
– 1x DVI
– 1x Realtek RTL8111E GbE
– 2x Intel USB 2.0
– 1x S/PDIF Out
– 1x P/S2 For Mouse or Keyboard


Zooming in, we have the 4 SATA ports, the white one is SATA 6 and the rest SATA 3.
The blue one is for the USB 3.0 external ports.


The PCI-E video slot running at 3.0 16x only on 22nm Ivy bridge processors !


This is responsible for fan speeds, temperature monitoring and PS/2.


It uses a “3+1 phase power” design system for the ATX12V 4 pin connector.
Also we can see a lot of Chemi-Con Japanese Solid Capacitor. Very nice.


Then we have Dual N-Channel HEXFET Power MOSFET the 4937N and 4931N. Again high quality parts.


And finally the Realtek ALC887 High Definition Audio Codec supporting 7.1-Channel and a Realtek RTL8111E Gigabit Lan chip.


Hardware used for testing.


Processor: Intel i7 2700k Sandy Bridge 32nm, HT and Turbo Boost Enabled
Cpu cooler: Thermalright AXP-100R
Motherboard: MSI B75IA-E33 mITX
RAM: 2 x 4 GB Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracers 1600 MHz CL8
HDD : WD 640 GB AAKS 3.5″ 7200 RPM 16 MB buffer
SSD : Samsung 840 Evo 120 GB
External HDD : WD Passport 1 TB 2.5″ 5400 RPM 8 Mb buffer WD10TMVW @ USB 3.0
Video card: MSI GTX 760 OC 4 GB Twin Frozr
Case: NCase M1 mITX
PSU: Seasonic S12II 500W ATX

The CPU’s in, the memory modules, then the stock Intel cooler and our choice for an aftermarket cooler – The Thermalright AXP-100R reviewed also.
Then everything’s assembled.





We didn’t encounter any problems with an aftermarket cooler like the above which uses and adapter plate – no interference at all.




“Interview” with the BIOS


First the Click Bios II included software.






Then the MSI’s proprietary Control Center.



A lot of options for something this “low” entry segment.

And the BIOS itself.



Software used:

– Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
– MSI Afterburner 3.00.2384 – to record the FPS and video and cpu load/temperatures
– MSI Control Center 2.5.060 – to double check the CPU temperature and control of the CPU fan.


– 3D Mark – All tests @ stock settings
– Cinebench R15
– SiSoft Sandra Lite 2014 SP3
– Right Mark Audio Analyzer 6.4.0
– Crystal Disk Mark 3.0.2

Games: All at 1920×1080 resolution with maximum settings enabled

– Crysis 2 & 3
– Assassin’s Creed 4 Black Flag
– Diablo 3 RoS
– Sniper Elite 3








Simplified version of the “umbrella spaghetti junction” test.




SSD (SATA 6), HDD 3.5″ (SATA 3) and External HDD 2.5″ (USB 3.0) tests:


To mention that our HDDs are old and almost full, so the performance isn’t that great.
The external HDD when used in a USB 2.0 port, the speeds dropped to half, confirming good performance with the 3.0.

Audio tests:

16-bit, 44,1 kHz

Frequency response (40 Hz – 15 kHz), dB

+0.18, -0.20

Very good

The noise level in dB (A)



Dynamic range, dB (A)





Very good

THD + noise, dB (A)





Very good

Overall rating

Very good

Mode 24-bit, 192 kHz

Frequency response (40 Hz – 15 kHz), dB

+0.02, -0.07


The noise level in dB (A)



Dynamic range, dB (A)






THD + noise, dB (A)





Very good

Overall rating

Very good

The general scoring is “good” to “very good”.
The quality is more than enough for everyday multimedia and PC needs.

Epilog and conclusion


With something like this you can build in two main directions:

– those who like gaming in small form factor builds – like in our case, the Ncase M1 (no pun intended) which can support almost any videocard lenght equals the perfect (budget) weapon/platform for gaming. (as a matter of fact the MSI B75IA-E33 it is used in our main HTPC/SFF build)

– on the other hand, those who want the inexpensive approach like office configuration or entertainment system, can use the iGPU and leave the PCI-E slot for any other purpose like tv-tunner etc.

So we have a lot of advantages to this little motherboard:

+ excellent price/quality ratio
+ clean and easy UEFI BIOS
+ presence of USB 3.0 and SATA 6
+ quality parts and very good sound feature
+ the basic “all you need” in conectivity


– No Wifi module
– No RAID support
– No eSATA (all understandable given the price)
– No heatsink on the CPU Mosfets

This being said, we give it our:

Globetrotters Award – 4 out of 5


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