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I assume most of you already know, that AMD announced their Zen 3 aka Ryzen 5000 processors will be working on a B450 and X470 motherboards. And that’s really great news.
You do not have to buy an expensive x570 or upcoming b550 motherboard in order to have an awesome upgrade path. So in today’s video, I present to you one of the best value motherboard – MSI B450 Tomahawk MAX.
So a short recap of Ryzen 5000 series and motherboard support. Just a few weeks ago, AMD announced that the upcoming Zen3 will not support the older 300 and 400 chipsets series.
And so, many people already owning motherboards with these chipsets, will not be able to upgrade their CPU to a new lineup. But a few weeks later, AMD -announced Zen3 will be supported on b450 and x470 chipset motherboards. And that’s awesome news since you have the possibility to buy a cheaper motherboard and still have a good CPU upgrade path.
So, it brings us to one of the best price to performance rated motherboard – MSI b450 Tomahawk MAX. It has quite a nice industrial-style black and grey color scheme and since it’s an ATX board, you will have quite nice expandability options.
It has some lightning effects which can be controller with MSI software and it can be turned off in case you do not want it.
You can use it with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gen Ryzen processors. And as I mentioned previously, an upcoming Ryzen 5000 will be supported as well.
But in case you are looking for a smaller, mATX board, I would highly recommend checking MSI B450 Mortar MAX since it’s basically a Tomahawk board just in a smaller form factor.
Let’s have a look at the main features this motherboard provides:
- Nice VRMs and their cooling – this board has quite a nice VRM’s, as well as they, are cooled by quite a beefy heatsinks. Most probably you want to pair it with Ryzen 5 3600 or Ryzen 7 3700x CPUs. Also, this board will handle overclocking with ease.
You could even upgrade your CPU to a Ryzen 9 3900x. But you would want it to use at stock since in case of an overclock, you will need to ensure a superb airflow over those VRM heatsinks.
- Four RAM slots – while 16 GB of ram is really enough for gaming, you might need to opt-in for more RAM in the future. That’s why having 4 RAM slots are great. You will be able to add two more RAM sticks if needed.
And not only that, this motherboard has a really good memory overclocking and so it supports RAM speed over 4000 MHZ. But from a value perspective, you would want to buy a 3200 or 3600mhz RAM kit for 3rd gen Ryzen processors.
- 6 FAN headers – well, you heard me right. This board is packed with a ton of fan headers. So one goes for your CPU cooler, one for a water-pump and an additional four can be used for case fans.
And so, in case you do not run a water-pump, you will be able to use it for your fans as-well. This provides a really good case fan customization since you can connect each of them to a dedicated fan header and set a different fan curve.
- Two RGB headers – it’s nice especially if you are planning to use RGB fans as well as a LED strip. So you can actually connect them to separate RGB headers and control them independently.
- Flash BIOS Button – it’s a nice feature when you need to update your BIOS. For example, you buy a new Ryzen 5000 series CPU and this motherboard.
But in order for these new processors to work on the B450 motherboard, you will need to update a BIOS. And so, you can update it from a USB-stick.
- Nice backplate – while it’s not a super important thing to others this is more like a bonus, especially when you want your build to look nice and clean from all sides.
- Awesome price for what you get – so at a time of recording, this motherboard is around 115 US dollars. But having in mind it’s quite a popular motherboard, it’s not that easy to get one.
But it’s definitely worth waiting a week or two. Also, as I already mentioned, you can always look for smaller brother MSI B450 Mortar which comes at around $10 cheaper.
The only thing I miss is a second m.2 slot for storage expandability. But I can live with that.
Let’s check what’s happening at Rear I/O Panel:
- At first, we have a Flash BIOS Button
- Then a ps2 port
- Two 2nd gen USB Type-A ports
- DVI-D and HDMI 1.4 in case you decide to use a CPU with integrated graphics.
- Two 3rd Gen USB Type-A ports
- A gigabit LAN
- 3rd gen USB Type-A and Type-C ports
- As well as 7.1 channel audio
So it’s really nice board, capable of handling overclocking, and with a good CPU upgrade path. Sure, new B550 chipset motherboards will be released soon, so in case you are not in a rush, you might want to wait and check their reviews as well as pricing.
But one thing for sure B450 Tomahawk is a value king from the minute it was released.
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And see you soon.
Links to Amazon
MSI B450 Tomahawk MAX
MSI B450 GAMING PRO CARBON AC (best b450)
MSI B450M PRO-M2 MAX (budget)
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