Product on Review: MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk
Street Price: GBP $179.99 / USD $179 / AUS $309
Following on from the launch of 3rd-Gen Ryzen and the X570 chipset in July of last year, which saw the introduction of a chiplet design within the CPUs, 7nm architecture and the PCI-E 4.0 specification. Today we’re going to examine MSI’s take on the B550 chipset with the MAG B550 Tomahawk.
As a quick introduction to B550, it’s essentially a chipset aimed more towards the budget end of the market, for those who still wish to take advantage of new and exciting features but are willing to make some sacrifices to save a buck. One of the biggest compromises is the lack of support for Zen and Zen+ CPUs, with only Zen2 (and future CPUs) supported. In regards to system connectivity, the B550 offers up to eight SATA III connections, with support for RAID 0, 1 and 10. We also see PCI-E specifications upgraded from the previous-gen flagship, the X470 chipset, with four PCI-E 3.0 lanes and eight PCI-E 2.0 lanes, while the X470 offered only eight PCI-E 2.0 and the B450 and B350 chipsets had to make do with only six PCI-E 2.0 lanes. We also get up to two USB 3.2 Gen. 2 ports, six USB 3.1 ports, six USB 2.0 ports and native overclocking support right out of the box.
Aside from the B550 chipset, the Zen2 Ryzen CPUs give native support for PCI-E 4.0, to the upper-most M.2 and PCI-E x16 port for GPU and NVMe support.
The MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk finds itself in the middle to top of MSI’s B550 roster, sporting an extended PWM heatsink to support AMD’s range of high core count CPUs, alongside a 10+2+1 Dual Rail Power System, Gen. 4 NVMe support, 1G and 2.5G ethernet and a dedicated high-definition audio processor equipped with high-quality audio capacitors with support for 7.1 output.
Priced at £179.99 ($179 US, $309 Aus), the Tomahawk is close to some of the low-end X570 motherboards available on the market, so performance and features will need to be plentiful to compete. Let’s take a look.
MSI on the MAG B550 Tomahawk:
The MAG series was born through rigorous quality testing and designed to be a symbol of sturdiness and durability. Focused on providing the best user experience, the MAG series has a simple installation process coupled with a friendly user interface making it the best choice for entry level gamers.