Question MSI B450 Tomahawk Max vs. B550-A Pro

Mr Drummer

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Hi, i would just like to know what you think of the MSI B550-A Pro and if it’s a better motherboard than the B450 Tomahawk Max. I’ve read up on the difference between the B450 and B550 platforms, so i know that, but i would just like to know if you think the new B550 is gonna be as good as the B450 Tomahawk Max in terms of thermals (VRM cooling) and overall stability. Both are budget boards and i know it can be a real hit and miss in this pricerange.
 

Mr Drummer

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This completely depends on the cpu you will be using. So what cpu will you be using?
I’m gonna use a 3700X for now but i’ve also got a 5600X on hold (whenever that’ll arrive), I want a board that works well with both. I know MSI updated the Tomahawk Max though to make it compatible with the latest Ryzen cpus. I also got a new case ordered with USB-C on the front panel but that’s not a feature i’m basing my decision on but rather which one of the two is most stable, has the best VRM cooling and so on.
 

BogdanH

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No need to go into "VRM quality" mantra: practically every $100+ board can run stable every 5000 series CPU at stock settings (and even at moderate overclocking). The rest is up to your cooling solution.
 
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Hi, i would just like to know what you think of the MSI B550-A Pro and if it’s a better motherboard than the B450 Tomahawk Max. I’ve read up on the difference between the B450 and B550 platforms, so i know that, but i would just like to know if you think the new B550 is gonna be as good as the B450 Tomahawk Max in terms of thermals (VRM cooling) and overall stability. Both are budget boards and i know it can be a real hit and miss in this pricerange.
That B550 A-Pro has a 10 phase VRM built on 60A DrMos power stages while the Tomahawk is 4 stages of discreet FET's, although though they are paralleled so two low- and two hi-side per phase. The B550 also has a large and well finned heatsink, maybe larger even than that on the Tomahawk.

To be sure, for a B450 the Tomahawk's reputation was well earned...but it's no match for the B550-A Pro. Still, if you have no intention of ever putting a 12 or 16 core beast of a CPU on it will it matter? Be sure to also look at other features to see what makes sense to how you want to use either one.

BTW, I'd call these mid-range boards not budget. Budget will be running even lower than $100.
 
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Mr Drummer

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That B550 A-Pro has a 10 phase VRM built on 60A DrMos power stages while the Tomahawk is 4 stages of discreet FET's, although though they are paralleled so two low- and two hi-side per phase. The B550 also has a large and well finned heatsink, maybe larger even than that on the Tomahawk.

To be sure, for a B450 the Tomahawk's reputation was well earned...but it's no match for the B550-A Pro. Still, if you have no intention of ever putting a 12 or 16 core beast of a CPU on it will it matter? Be sure to also look at other features to see what makes sense to how you want to use either one.

BTW, I'd call these mid-range boards not budget. Budget will be running even lower than $100.
I think i’ll go with the MSI B550-A Pro then. I understand it has a USB-C connector for the fronpanel and two M.2 slots, and since i’m buying a new PC case i might aswell pick one with that feature. The B550 board is not that much more expansive atm, atleast not here in Sweden. I thought all B550 boards came with Ryzen 5000-series support right out of the box though but i understand now that that’s not the case?
 
I think i’ll go with the MSI B550-A Pro then. I understand it has a USB-C connector for the fronpanel and two M.2 slots, and since i’m buying a new PC case i might aswell pick one with that feature. The B550 board is not that much more expansive atm, atleast not here in Sweden. I thought all B550 boards came with Ryzen 5000-series support right out of the box though but i understand now that that’s not the case?
Those manufactured after the Ryzen 5000 release might have a supporting BIOS but those made prior did not have one. So you might be careful, ask your seller if it's 'Ryzen 5000 ready'.

BUT even if it's not both the B450 Tomahawk and the B550-A Pro have 'flashback' features so you can update the BIOS even with an unsupported CPU in it.
 

Mr Drummer

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Those manufactured after the Ryzen 5000 release might have a supporting BIOS but those made prior did not have one. So you might be careful, ask your seller if it's 'Ryzen 5000 ready'.

BUT even if it's not both the B450 Tomahawk and the B550-A Pro have 'flashback' features so you can update the BIOS even with an unsupported CPU in it.
Yeah, i’ve got an 3700X at the moment though so i’ll be fine. The MSI B550-A Pro seems like a good board with all the features i need.
 

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