Question Should I buy the MSI B450 Tomahawk MAX II ?

Nov 30, 2020
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Hello Guys so I used to have an I7 7700K with my RTX 3070 but recently on the games like Division 2, Warzone I got bottleneck.
So I decided to buy an new motherboard that support Ryzen, so I'll gonna ordered B450 TOMAHAWK MAX II paired with an R5 5600X, I've read that that mobo support the new Ryzen gen with a bios update to do.
So my question is...

That i've saw on internet that mobo use to have two diffrent versions :

That one B450 TOMAHAWK MAX II are more cheaper
And the B450 TOMAHAWK MAX are more expensiv

So before buying anything, can you tell me what's the diffrent beetwen those two mobos ?

Thx.
 
Hello Guys so I used to have an I7 7700K with my RTX 3070 but recently on the games like Division 2, Warzone I got bottleneck.
So I decided to buy an new motherboard that support Ryzen, so I'll gonna ordered B450 TOMAHAWK MAX II paired with an R5 5600X, I've read that that mobo support the new Ryzen gen with a bios update to do.
So my question is...

That i've saw on internet that mobo use to have two diffrent versions :

That one B450 TOMAHAWK MAX II are more cheaper
And the B450 TOMAHAWK MAX are more expensiv

So before buying anything, can you tell me what's the diffrent beetwen those two mobos ?

Thx.
Tomahawk was one of (if not the) most popular B450 boards on the market...certainly MSI most popular. When Ryzen 5000 came out at first AMD wasn't going to support it on B450 and board partners pitched a fit because they were promised (says they) it would. This especially hurt MSI because they redesigned select B450 boards (that's the MAX line) to work with 3000 and be ready for 5000. AMD relented.

So, when 5000 landed out comes the MAX-II. My guess it was a way to assure buyers it has a BIOS ready for Ryzen 5000. But it also includes a re-jiggered "fully digital" VRM section improving it's efficiency and performance. It may have gone from discrete FET's to DrMOS power stages, dunno. Maybe someone has link on that.

The price difference can be explained by cheaper manufacturing if they are power stages now. The discrete FET VRM for Tomahawk MAX had 4 discrete FET's per phase and one driver times 4 phases plus the supporting components. That's over 20 parts that have to be mounted, and they are all expensive parts (comparatively). A DrMOS power stage has the driver and FET's and (most) supporting components all in one package so only 4 parts (one per phase) and support. That one package, while not cheap, is probably cheaper than all those FET's and driver for each phase. Especially considering MSI (like everyone else) has gone crazy over power stages on B550 boards and so have huge discount buys.

Feature-wise nothing's different between the two, so it shares the Tomahawk MAX's failings of no secondary M.2 (which would be gen2 anyway, and at a cost of the 2nd PCIe x16/4 slot when used) and no TOS-Link output for audio and no USB3.1 Ty-C for front panel nor rear.

The B450m Mortar MAX has all those, except USB Ty-C for front panel, and it's VRM is more than capable of handling a 5950X, as is the Tomahawk MAX and MAX II. But it is mATX.
 
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Nov 30, 2020
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Thanks for the answer, I understand now :D

So my final question is : before building it, If I buy the Tomahawk max ll, my R5 5600X gonna work for sure on it right ?
 

logainofhades

Titan
Moderator
Personally, I would recommend B550. Generally better built boards, also Gen 4 PCI-E for graphics, and M.2 NVME near the CPU. Also the chipset is 3.0, instead of 2.0 found on B450, for other PCI-E slots, and M.2 NVME slots.
 
Nov 30, 2020
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I can't for now, I got a budget to respect :(

That's why i was thinking to buy an B450 that's why I wanted to know if my R5 5600X gonna work on the Tomahawk b450 max.

Thx guys
 
Nov 30, 2020
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Around like 80$, I've saw that one too, but I can put 100$ max for a board.
I've saw that one as B550 : Gigabyte B550 Aorus Elive V2, what do you think abou it guys ?
 
Nov 30, 2020
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Alright, so i'll probably go for that B550 even if that mobo can only handle 3200Mhz as ram speed.
But with this one you can confirm me that my R5 5600X gonna run fin, this is compatible right ?
Every B550 handle all ryzen I'm a right ?

Thx again for your help dude, really.
 

logainofhades

Titan
Moderator
Alright, so i'll probably go for that B550 even if that mobo can only handle 3200Mhz as ram speed.
But with this one you can confirm me that my R5 5600X gonna run fin, this is compatible right ?
Every B550 handle all ryzen I'm a right ?

Thx again for your help dude, really.
That motherboard can handle over 3200. I am running Patriot Viper steel 16gb, with DDR4 3733 cl17, in mine. That board will handle any Ryzen 3000, except for the 3200g and 3400g, and all 5000 series chips. They lack support for older Zen and Zen+ based chips.
 
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Good to hear, I already have Corsair RGB at 3600mhz, so I want those to run on that mobo.
So all 5000 series like my 5600X gonna perfectly run on that B550 mobo, right, If i've right understanding ?
 
Thanks for the answer, I understand now :D

So my final question is : before building it, If I buy the Tomahawk max ll, my R5 5600X gonna work for sure on it right ?
Most likely.

But I agree, if cost isn't the issue why not just look at B550. They often have much better feature sets like USB Ty-C for front panel, high(er) speed ethernet, more USB ports in general, a secondary NVME M.2. And, of course, PCIe gen 4 for the GPU and primary NVME M.2.

The one thing you will share with the B450 MAX-II is uncertainty (however slight) that it will work out-of-the-box with a Ryzen 5000 CPU. But to help with that, if it shouldn't many B550 boards have what's called BIOS FlashBack buttons that flash BIOS even without a CPU installed; the B450 MAX-II does too.
 
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@drea.drechsler Yeah dude that's what i'll gonna do, gonna go for the Gigabyte B550 Aorus Elive V2

@logainofhades OK perfect, once i'll gonna have the mobo and cpu I'll gonna dowload the latest bios update for that one.
So one question again sorry I'm kinda newbie on building pc.

When i'll receive my mobo I'll put the cpu on it, and once everything are connected just start my computer and directly
put the usb with the bios update and everything gonna work ?
 
Thx for answer, so to QFlash I've to put a USB with the bios update then click on the Qflash button on the mobo right ?
Oh no...don't do that, and there's more to it. I also think it's called M-Flash on MSI boards.

Follow instructions precisely as laid out in the manual. Basically download the BIOS distribution and then extract the BIOS ROM file and put that on the USB stick drive. Then boot up the new system into BIOS and enter the M-FLASH utility with the stick drive in the USB port. It will restart into the M-Flash utility and you can find the ROM file on the USB and install it.

Once installed it will reboot again back into BIOS, just shut down at that point. Then do a CMOS reset...also in the manual. Then restart AGAIN, this time into the Windows installation USB and start installing. The latest BIOS should set up the system for UEFI, Safe Boot and fTPM enabled for full Win 11 compatibility so nothing to do.
 
Nov 30, 2020
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Oh no...don't do that, and there's more to it. I also think it's called M-Flash on MSI boards.

Follow instructions precisely as laid out in the manual. Basically download the BIOS distribution and then extract the BIOS ROM file and put that on the USB stick drive. Then boot up the new system into BIOS and enter the M-FLASH utility with the stick drive in the USB port. It will restart into the M-Flash utility and you can find the ROM file on the USB and install it.

Once installed it will reboot again back into BIOS, just shut down at that point. Then do a CMOS reset...also in the manual. Then restart AGAIN, this time into the Windows installation USB and start installing. The latest BIOS should set up the system for UEFI, Safe Boot and fTPM enabled for full Win 11 compatibility so nothing to do.

Hello dude, like I said ain't gonna go for an MSI board, I've ordered the B550 Aorus Elive V2 last night.
I've looking at some vids on youtube about Flash bios that specific mobo already, but thank's for the answer ;)
 
Hello dude, like I said ain't gonna go for an MSI board, I've ordered the B550 Aorus Elive V2 last night.
I've looking at some vids on youtube about Flash bios that specific mobo already, but thank's for the answer ;)
OK...but the basic point and process is still the same don't Q-Flash(using the button) if the BIOS will at least let you boot into settings and use the built-in flash utility.

And if you DO have to use the flash button there are several different steps you have to make. You have to extract the BIOS AND RENAME IT using a renaming tool that's usually included.

Read and follw instructions in the manual...I think there's an FAQ on the board's support page too. At least there is for my B550m TUF.
 
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Yeah, like the latest version of bios and rename it as Gygabite.bin that's right ?
So what you tell me is that first I put the cpu on the new mobo and check if this one recognize it before doin' flash with usb ?
 

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