A motherboard needs to be as versatile as possible to meet the needs of different computer users and users with different skill levels. That’s why MSI put so much thought into the design of their MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk gaming motherboard, which allows you to customize it for your particular needs and experience level, no matter what type of computer user you are or what types of games you like to play. The MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk gaming motherboard has a great price-to-performance ratio, too, making it an excellent choice if you’re looking to upgrade your current gaming computer or build one from scratch!
MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk
REASONS TO BUY
- Support 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen processors
- ✓2.5G LAN plus Gigabit LAN
- ✓Lightning Fast Game Experience
REASONS TO AVOID
|RAM||128 GB DDR4|
|Memory Speed||4866 MHz|
The MSI MAG B550 is an excellent gaming motherboard that works with all current AMD processors. It has an eye-catching design, a variety of features, and it comes at a great price. If you’re looking for a new gaming motherboard or an upgrade to your computer that’s already in use, we highly recommend checking out MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk. You won’t be disappointed! This motherboard also supports 7th generation A-series/Athlon processors. Just make sure to update your BIOS before installing any new hardware so you can take advantage of its full potential.
And don’t forget about RAM compatibility: although MSI says these motherboards support DDR4 RAM up to 3200MHz, they will only reach those speeds if they are paired with a Ryzen CPU. The highest speed RAM that works well with Ryzen CPUs is DDR4 3000MHz memory modules (see below). In other words, you should have no problem running faster memory modules on these motherboards than what they advertise as their max-supported speed.
MSI MAG B550 Key Features
6 USB 3.1 Gen 1 (2 Front, 4 Rear) & 6 USB 2.0 Ports;2x PCIe x16 slots and two M.2 support both SATA & PCI-E SSDs; Dual-Channel DDR4 Support: 4000+(OC)/3200(OC)/2933(OC)/2800(OC)/2400/2133 non-ECC, un-buffered memory; Gigabit LAN with cFosSpeed Internet Accelerator Software: Intelligent traffic prioritization and application-specific network throughput management allow you to select dedicated bandwidth for your needs. Advanced Stream DetectTM automatically classifies and prioritizes streaming content, giving you full control over your internet connection.
Lightning Fast Game experience: One of MSI’s best features is their gaming motherboards which allow gamers to enjoy a smooth gaming experience thanks to how fast their systems can be when they are paired with MSI graphics cards or any other supported components that utilize MSI’s Afterburner technology. The motherboard supports AMD Ryzen processors as well as 7th Gen A-series / Athlon Processors in AM4 packaging. The board also has an integrated Realtek Gigabit LAN controller along with Audio Boost technology for high-quality sound output and an isolated audio PCB design that eliminates interference from other components such as hard drives or optical drives which ensures clean audio signals at all times.
MSI is a well-known brand for gaming hardware and its Tomahawk series has received positive reviews from many people. I’m pleased to say that MSI’s latest offering, The MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk, is worthy of its predecessors. Everything from performance to design and sound quality is great; it does cost more than your average motherboard, but when you look at what it offers for that price, you’ll agree that it’s well worth it. Let me be clear: if you want to build an inexpensive PC but don’t mind not playing some modern games in 4Kor using tons of hardware-intensive applications, then you can use other options like ASUS or Gigabyte.
What’s in the Box?
- Supports AMD® RYZEN series processors and 7th Gen A-series / AthlonTM Processors for socket AM4 *Supports DDR4-3200+(OC) Memory
- M.2 SHIELD FROZR: Strengthened built-in M.2 thermal solution. Keeps M.2 safer and faster
- VR Ready: Best virtual reality game experience without latency, reduces motion sickness*
- Mystic Light Extension Pin Header:
- Personalize your gaming rig with RGB LED strips
- Lightning Fast Game experience: Turbo M.2, Steel Armor, Lightning USB 3.1 Gen2 Audio Boost with Nahimic 2+: Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality for a HI-FI experience in gaming* GAMING LAN with LAN Protect, powered by Intel® :
- The best online gaming experience with the lowest latency and bandwidth management
- Military Class 4, Guard-Pro: Latest evolution in high quality components for best protection and efficiency
Specifications & Features
MSI introduced its all-new MAG series and it has been designed for those who are seeking simplicity. With the MSI MAG series, you can easily find a gaming motherboard that satisfies all your needs. You’ll be able to simply connect your CPU and GPU, install and use it with ease. Every new MSI motherboard from MSI GAMING motherboards to X-series motherboards supports multi-GPU setups on both AMD CrossFireXTM and NVIDIA SLITM technologies. The ultimate Personalize your PC with adjustable color LEDs which give a dazzling lighting effect with virtually unlimited choices of illumination modes! Depending on what types of components you plan to use, choose between six different LEDs hidden behind three areas on each side of your PC so you can create a truly unique look that matches your personal style!
Design and Layout
The layout of MSI’s motherboard is very simple and clean. The model we tested came in white and black, but MSI also makes a variation with blue accents for those who are willing to pay a bit more. One of our favorite features about MSI’s model is that it comes with RGB lighting. This isn’t just some gimmicky feature you’d only find on one or two of your components either – it can be applied to almost every part of your system. You could even create different zones to control each part individually if you wanted to get really creative with it! Not only does it come with RGB lighting features, but there are plenty of plug-and-play features for those looking for something a little more advanced as well. There are three 4-pin fan headers, which should be enough for most users. However, if you plan on running multiple fans from one header (or perhaps have an unusually large case), you might want to consider getting an adapter cable that allows you to connect additional fans into a single header. It also has plenty of SATA ports for hard drives and SSDs (8x SATA 6Gb/s) so you won’t have any trouble adding additional storage devices to your PC. It has an M2 slot for M2 SSDs up to 110mm in length, so adding a small amount of extra storage space shouldn’t be too difficult at all.
Test Setup & Benchmarks
In order to test, we will need to test with comparable systems and benchmarks. This motherboard was tested on our $700 gaming PC build which includes an AMD Ryzen 7 1700X processor (more on how I picked that CPU below). Other than that, it’s running a Gigabyte RX 480 8GB graphics card and 16GB of RAM. While those aren’t necessarily MSI brand parts, they’ll allow us to evaluate how well MSI’s motherboard performs without skewing results because of a hardware-dependent setup. We’ll be using 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra as our benchmarking suite for both stock performance testing and overclocking.
Overall, MSI has come up with a great product that’s going to satisfy most gamers. It performs well while also having very nice aesthetics. The motherboard is easy to use and it comes with a lot of great features as well. Some may find that it doesn’t have enough cooling when overclocking, though. I recommend getting an aftermarket cooler if you’re going to be overclocking often. Overall, however, MSI has done a great job creating a motherboard that’s worthy of being included in our Best of 2018 lists! For all these reasons and more, MSI deserves our highest honor and awards it a 10/10 score for design and overall quality!