Top positive review
Good quality as always from Gigabyte
2 November 2017
This is for the B250N Phoenix model.
As usual Gigabyte products are top quality and this little motherboard is no exception. The box it is packed in is very sturdy and comes with the instruction manual and driver CDs, a SATA cable set, a desktop aerial with magnetic base, motherboard backplate and a couple of product stickers for your case.
The B250 version of Intel Kaby-Lake chipset is less powerful than the Z270 and in theory the H270 too, but in use it offers a feature-set that gives most of us what we need and possibly a little more. It's a part of the Gigabyte "Gaming" range and so features the novelty of multi-coloured LED lighting. Granted this doesn't affect performance but is a nice touch. Gaming means better audio than might otherwise be included. There's a decent ethernet chipset for fast networking. The USB 3.1 type C socket is a Gen 2 version rather than Gen 1 in the Z270/H270 variants, via an ASMedia chip. The board features three four-pin cooling-fan sockets, the other models only have two. RAM memory speed is limited to 2400mhz, the Z270 is the only one to go higher, so there's no point investing in anything faster. True, in theory there are a few other more esoteric limitations too, to do with power states and PCI speeds, but in general use I doubt many would notice. If you need to run flat-out all the time then there is always the Z270N Gaming 5 model with more advanced cooling at almost twice this model's price.
All in all I think this is a great value board with a touch of glamour about it too.
It seems the ITX format is now coming into its own, at the expense of M-ATX models, which are harder to find and from shrinking product ranges. Full-size ATX boards are for enthusiasts and professionals who need the expansion possibilities, but the cases tend to be massive. Mini-ITX is a very attractive format if you can get everything in and when using a board like this you need to plan your build more carefully.