MSI B450 Tomahawk Max - A Well Balanced Gaming Motherboard
The third generation of Ryzen AMD processors from AMD hit like a lightning bolt in the IT industry and proved that you do not have to throw huge amounts of money for very good performance. The same premise is applied by MSI, and today we will talk about the MSI B450 Tomahawk Max, a mid-range motherboard, which offers all the power you need at an affordable price.
The year 2019 is the year when a PC is not only good, but also beautiful. We are in the midst of the "crisis" of RGB lights. We find on the market cable extensiona of all colors and components that have, most of which, a more different look, either more aggressive or minimalist. When you build a PC, you must automatically take into account the way it looks, as it has to plese you for both gaming and work.
The MSI B450 Tomahawk Max is a motherboard that does not necessarily have a WOW look and it will not stand out as the piece of resistance of your build, preferring instead to remain the subtle element that only a careful eye will notice.
We have a black PCB, with different variations of gray and white. On its surface, more precisely in the area of the VRM and the southbridge, we have the radiators that ensure both a fine appearance, but also an efficient cooling. The radiators are painted in black and stylized with white, bearing on them the MSI logos of the model of the motherboard.
The MSI B450 Tomahawk Max comes with a 4 + 2 power phases and uses the highest quality components to deliver the most efficient power to the processor. This also means that you will be able to overclock the processor using this board without any difficulties. And as for the processor, the MSI site says that this board can support up to an AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, even though we wouldn't recommend anything under a healthy X570 for a monster like that.
We will not go through the obvious things and like having four RAM slots and a processor socket. We will mention instead something about the connectivity that the MSI B450 Tomahawk Max offers to the user, so you can connect up to six storage units through SATA III ports. Along with these we find an M.2 (M-Key) slot, and if all the HDDs / SSDs you have connected to the board re not enough, the six USBs ports, of which one is Type-C, are ready to be populated.
Also, the motherboard comes equipped with two PCI-Express ports, a 3.0 x16 that is metal reinforced to support the weight of modern video cards and a 2.0 x4 that even allows connecting a secondary board with AMD Crossfire 2-way support. For expansion boards (network, sound, etc.) the MSI B450 Tomahawk Max offers three PCI Express x1 ports that help expand the facility in the future.
The MSI B450 Tomahawk Max offers all kinds of technologies for gamers. Among them, it boasts a network card and a sound card that offers "in-game advantages", but to what extent they differ from any other integrated 7.1 audio card or another 1Gbps network card, we were not able to figure it out.
Along with sound and gaming network, the board also offers support for the MSI Mystic Light. This is a piece of software that allows you to control the RGB lighting of the motherboard and use more effects for it, and besides, a JRGB port allows you to connect LED strips or fans and then control them from the same appliction.
The MSI B450 Tomahawk Max is a standard motherboard, if we may call it that, which performs basic functions, offers some extra features like RGB lighting and software support for it, but it doesn't bring anything revolutionary to the market. A good solution for a budget PC with future upgrades, this board seems to be the best choice for its price category.
One small note: if you chose to buy the MSI B450 Tomahawk Max motherboard for your next build, don’t be mislead by the fact that on the box you will only see support for gen. 1 and gen. 2 Ryzen CPUs as it does support gen. 3 as well (requires bios update).
Update: There might be a confusion between the older version of the B450 Tomahawk MAX and the one in our review. The older version does support gen.3 AMD CPUs but needs a bios update, and the one in our review supports gen. 3 out of the box. When shopping do look for the MAX branding on the box (see below), the one without MAX written on the box is the older model.
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