[SOLVED] Keep MSI B450 Pro Carbon or change?

Arzhur

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Hi,

Yesterday I decided to order parts to upgrade my old desktop (the current parts are in my signature). I ordered a Ryzen 3600 (£189), MSI B450 Pro Carbon (£120) and 16GB G.Skill Trident Z RGB CL15 @ 3000 MHz (£84) from Amazon.co.uk (with free shipping to Ireland). I'll be replacing the old drives with a 2TB Crucial MX500 that I just got on Prime day. However, I'm wondering if I made the correct choice of motherboard, so I've come for some opinions. The CPU and motherboard aren't in stock yet and will only ship in a week or two, so I still have time to change my mind.

I've been reading about MSI boards and a lot of people seem to be having problems flashing the BIOS. Also, due to the size of MSI BIOSes, some features have been dropped. None of these look important to me, but later revisions of AGESA could get larger and therefore cause issues.

I had a look on Amazon and found the Gigabyte X470 Aorus Ultra Gaming for £130. At the cost of WIFI (a shame, but I use a powerline adapter anyways) and £10, I would upgrade to the X470 chipset and swap to a Gigabyte BIOS. I haven't found much information about this board with Ryzen 3000 though. The reviews for it on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk seem poorer (3.7/5 @ 198 reviews for US and 3.8/5 @ 56 reviews for UK), compared to the MIS ones (4.2/5 @ 492 reviews for US and 4.8/5 @ 30 reviews for UK).

How do both boards compare in overclocking capabilities? I won't be doing that much, so it mightn't matter, but I will try to make to most of my parts (CPU, RAM and GPU). The MSI is meant to be decent, for the price, but I not sure about the Gigabyte.

I have a desktop with a 2700 in my office, so the lack of USB BIOS flashing on the Gigabyte board isn't an issue for me. I was planning on using it to flash the MSI board anyways to avoid problems.

TLDR; Do you think that it's worth cancelling my MSI B450 Pro Carbon order to get a Gigabyte X470 Aorus Ultra Gaming (or something else)?
 

DMAN999

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If I was looking to buy a new motherboard now I would probably go for the Asus ROG Strix X470-F Gaming.
I currently have an Asus ROG Strix B450-F Gaming MB and I am very happy with it.
The X470-F has a better VRM and all the same features as my current board.
 

Arzhur

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If I was looking to buy a new motherboard now I would probably go for the Asus ROG Strix X470-F Gaming.
I currently have an Asus ROG Strix B450-F Gaming MB and I am very happy with it.
The X470-F has a better VRM and all the same features as my current board.
Thanks for your suggestion, but that ROG board is £180 in the UK. That's getting very close to the Gigabyte Aorus Elite X570 for £220, considering that Gigabyte will give a £30 Steam voucher (so £190 in total), if you review the board (MSI has a bigger giveaway for most X570s of a CoolerMaster ML240L, or better and $25 voucher, but I might not be eligible, because I live in Ireland).
 
The BIOS chips on the Gigabyte board are no bigger than the MSI board. In fact, I think most (all?) 300/400 series boards used the same size chips.

What exactly do you think the Aorus Ultra will do better than the Pro Carbon?
 
May 27, 2019
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I'm in exactly the same position as the original poster. All my parts are sat on the table unopened and I don't know whether to take the pro carbon back.

That said it's such a great board with all the features I want at such a great price. I really dunno what to do. I'm not bothered about fancy bios graphics and would never make use of pcie4 if I changed the board.

I dunno if I should risk flashing the bios and see if it works or swap it for a more expensive board with fewer features
 

Arzhur

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The BIOS chips on the Gigabyte board are no bigger than the MSI board. In fact, I think most (all?) 300/400 series boards used the same size chips.

What exactly do you think the Aorus Ultra will do better than the Pro Carbon?
From what I've read, the MSI BIOSes are more bloated, but this could be wrong. The reasoning was that MSI had to cut more from their BIOS, in comparison to Gigabyte . This would mean that, at present, Gigabyte has more leeway, as if they have to, they could do the same as MSI to save space, while MSI has already had to do this.

I just found a link to a doc that lists the specs of all AM4 boards, including the flash ROM size. It looks like all Asrock and Asus X470 motherboards have 256 Mbit (32MB) chips. That could make the Asrock X470 Master SLI (£113) and the Asus TUF X470 Plus Gaming (£140) interesting options. I've no idea what those boards actually are like. Does anybody here know how they perform?
 
I mean, even Gigabyte's top of the line X570 Auros Xtreme only uses 16MB chips, so I can't see it being a big deal. I guess it depends if you'd miss all the flashy graphics MSI had to remove from their UEFI interface.
 

Arzhur

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I mean, even Gigabyte's top of the line X570 Auros Xtreme only uses 16MB chips, so I can't see it being a big deal. I guess it depends if you'd miss all the flashy graphics MSI had to remove from their UEFI interface.
The GSE Lite BIOS seems to have the same functionality, so not really. I'll use it a few times for overclocking, but once that's done, I shouldn't have any use for the BIOS. For that short usage, I can certainly make do with the plainer BIOS.

The impression that I've gotten from MSI is that they are taking the simpler way of cutting more options, while waiting for their new MAX boards to come out. Then there is a chance that they will only support the MAX versions of their boards with new updates for Ryzen 3000, leaving people without MAX boards behind. I've had issues with them before with my old laptop (thank you Amazon for refunding me just before the 2 year warranty was over!), so my perception of them could be tainted though.

I don't know what other manufactures are doing. Will they also be updating their boards with larger chips? If that's the case, then they could also end up doing the same as my worst case fears for MSI.
 

Arzhur

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It turns out that I am eligible for the I Love Ryzen 3000 promotion that MSI is doing, if I order from the UK. That means that I could get a Cooler Master ML240L RGB cooler, as well as a $25 Steam voucher, if I order an MSI MPG X570 Gaming Edge WIFI for £210. I have no need for the cooler, so do you think that it would be worth selling it, or would this create a nightmare, if it ends up leaking?
 

Arzhur

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I decided to keep it. I'll just see how it goes.

I did see something interesting on the MSI website though. It says that the B450 Pro Carbon only supports up to a Ryzen 7. That means that I won't be able to upgrade to a Ryzen 9, but that seems a bit like overkill, so if ever I do get one, I'd say that GPUs would start needing PCI-E 4.0.
 

DMAN999

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I decided to keep it. I'll just see how it goes.

I did see something interesting on the MSI website though. It says that the B450 Pro Carbon only supports up to a Ryzen 7. That means that I won't be able to upgrade to a Ryzen 9, but that seems a bit like overkill, so if ever I do get one, I'd say that GPUs would start needing PCI-E 4.0.
Actually the latest BIOS notes state that it is compatible with the 3900x as well:
Version
7B85v17
Release Date
2019-07-10
File Size
10.11 MB
Description
  • Update AMD ComboPI1.0.0.3ab
  • Fix RAID issue.
  • Support Ryzen 3000 series CPU.
Ryzen 9 3900X/Ryzen 7 3800X/Ryzen 7 3700X/Ryzen 5 3600X/Ryzen 5 3600/Ryzen 5 3400G/Ryzen 3 3200G
- Change BIOS UI to click BIOS(GSE-Lite) mode.
https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/support/B450-GAMING-PRO-CARBON-AC
 
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Arzhur

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I forgot to close this thread, after everything arrived, but everything works well. I updated the BIOS of the motherboard with an old 2700 and had no problems at all. Thanks for the discussion.

Edit: The only slight problem that I had was that my Noctua NH-D15 cooler didn't have an AM4 bracket. I bought it in early 2018, so seeing that the AM4 socket had been out for a while, I assumed that it would have the correct bracket. It's fine now though, because Noctua sent me a free upgrade.
 
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