Review MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk Review: Dual Ethernet, Sub $200

Phaaze88

Titan
Ambassador
That's a big jump in price from what used to be reasonably priced on the older B series...
Overclocking is garbage on Ryzen 3000 too; there's a better performance tweak than that.

Ehh, might as well get an Asus TUF Gaming X570 Plus for around the same price... ¯\(ツ)
 
Jul 2, 2020
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The more expensive boards use the latest Realtek ALC1220 codec (or some variation of) while the Tomahawk uses a Realtek ALC1200, a slightly cut down version of the ALC1220.
I think thats wrong, have the Board running and it says Realtek ALC S1220A.
 

jrhansen

Reputable
May 30, 2016
18
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Many of the B550 boards have considerably more features than the older B450. It is more expensive than what people is used to, but the MSI Tomahawk is a great board with almost the same features as many X570 boards, and more than half of the available X570 boards is actually crappy designed. It seems most board makers have produced some nice B550 boards that is miles better than the X570 counterparts and many of the X570 is just too steep for what they delivers. If AMD had put a PCIe 4.0 uplink to the CPU in the B550 chip it would render 80% of the X570 boards pointless, overpriced and also bad designed for really many off'em. And there is some cheap B550 on the horizon for supposedly under 100 $ so there will be MB for those on a tight budget. But if you are on the really low budget, you could go with a B450 as they won't disapear right away, and those should be sufficient if it is for an ultra budget build anyway.
 
Oct 28, 2020
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I'm a little perplexed with the 3.5 star rating and this response isn't necessarily criticism of the author's review, but looking at the board of what really matters to the mainstream, which in my opinion doesn't yield a 3.5 star rating.

The only cons were an Audio Realtek codec at 1200, however unless you have very specific needs (most of us don't) there is very little difference in the chips other than 10db increase on the already incredibly efficient 110 db with the ALC1200. By the way, the ALC1200 is a new chip manufactured in 2018 vs. the older 1220. (I hardly this this worth dinging the board for even a half star). If you would like to see the difference please check out this article: ALC1200 vs 1220

Secondly - "lack of Wifi", really? If you are using this board and overclocking for gaming (most would), one wouldn't game using a Wifi connection, but rather use the only board in the round that has 2 ethernet ports sporting 2.5G bandwidth. Further, if it became necessary because of some odd situation where you couldn't be wired one could buy an external usb wifi adapter for: TP-Link USB WiFi Adapter for PC(TL-WN725N), N150 Wireless Network Adapter for Desktop - Nano Size WiFi Dongle Compatible with Windows 10/7/8/8.1/XP/ Mac OS 10.9-10.15 Linux Kernel 2.6.18-4.4.3 at Amazon for $7.99US dollars. Again, hardly worth a half a star ding.

Further, only 6 rear usb ports - I don't see the issue here as most enthusiasts utilize ports rear and in front which by the way has 7 ports for a total of 13. I suspect that number on the rear is due to the very useful dual ethernet ports supporting 2.5Gbs of bandwidth which the other motherboards as comparison don't offer. And with the above statement being repeated, this hardly qualifies for even a half star ding.

Lastly, the benchmarks were spot-on noting in several cases this board outperforming the other boards in the round up. The author spends very little time in this area. I giving the overall performance/price to, you guessed it, the MSI board. Most notably this board has almost all the" big boy" features the other two in the review have as well as features those boards don't sport at a current price of $179.00 US dollars vs. the Gigabyte B550 Aorus Master +35% more @ ($279.99) and the Asus ROG Strix B550-F Gaming Wifi +14% more @ ($209.99).

In conclusion - what is not to like about the board? Not much if anything. Frankly if you must ding the board from a 5 star rating for boring looks - I guess that is ok.

My conclusion:

Value: 5 Stars (I'm really stretching (Really could be a 4.5), however it is a better value than the competition in the review so it receives a 5 star rating.
Performance: 4.5 Stars (maybe a couple of features hard core overclockers don't have at their disposal - can you say $179.99?
Features: 5 Stars (built in wireless and a newer more efficient AC1200 (2018)that suffers -10 decibal difference from its older big brother at 1220 (2017) hardly fall into mainstream features that really matter to the masses.)

Verdict 4.8 stars.

Ryan
 

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