[SOLVED] Tomahawk B450 or B550M Pro VDH?

Rutwick

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UPDATE: Got the Mortar Max B450M, its practically the same board as Tomahawk Max, but in a MATX form factor. @drea.drechsler helped me make the decision.

I am planning to get a new motherboard. I have a Ryzen 5 1600 processor. I have always been looking at getting a Tomahawk Max B450 board, but it turns out the B550M Pro VDH Wifi costs the same here in my country. Which one should I consider, given the following:
  1. I will be using the same CPU for a while, and upgrading to a newer one later (next year)
  2. Future upgradability, 4000 series maybe?
  3. VRM, cooling performance
Any advice is appreciated!
 
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... I thought the B450 Tomahawk was a good board but won't be compatible with Ryzen 5000. ...
AMD relented...they will make AGESA updates available for B450 motherboards and the B450 Tomahawk will almost certainly get one. The only 'bad' thing about that is it won't be until January of 2021.

But as they say, every dark cloud has it's silver lining: once it comes it will be after all the new-release drama and teeth grinding is over so you should get a BIOS that's stable for the new processor.

Steve at HWUnboxed has a good vid on B450 suitability. The upshot is: there's nothing wrong with one. He advises not to upgrade from a B450 just for Ryzen 5000 if you've a good one. Instead, be patient. But as far as a fresh purchase I'd go B550 if possible SO LONG as the VRM is at least as good as the B450 Tomahawks', which is about the top B450 board in that regard and better than most B550's. Pay attention to the VRM temp charts at the end of the video.

And as @RodroX points out: unfortunately your 1600 won't work in any B550 motherboard. So a B450 Tomahawk MAX would be a great choice with optimal upgrade potential to Ryzen 5000!
 
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... I thought the B450 Tomahawk was a good board but won't be compatible with Ryzen 5000. ...
AMD relented...they will make AGESA updates available for B450 motherboards and the B450 Tomahawk will almost certainly get one. The only 'bad' thing about that is it won't be until January of 2021.

But as they say, every dark cloud has it's silver lining: once it comes it will be after all the new-release drama and teeth grinding is over so you should get a BIOS that's stable for the new processor.

Steve at HWUnboxed has a good vid on B450 suitability. The upshot is: there's nothing wrong with one. He advises not to upgrade from a B450 just for Ryzen 5000 if you've a good one. Instead, be patient. But as far as a fresh purchase I'd go B550 if possible SO LONG as the VRM is at least as good as the B450 Tomahawks', which is about the top B450 board in that regard and better than most B550's. Pay attention to the VRM temp charts at the end of the video.

And as @RodroX points out: unfortunately your 1600 won't work in any B550 motherboard. So a B450 Tomahawk MAX would be a great choice with optimal upgrade potential to Ryzen 5000!
 
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Rutwick

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AMD relented...they will make AGESA updates available for B450 motherboards and the B450 Tomahawk will almost certainly get one. The only 'bad' thing about that is it won't be until January of 2021.

But as they say, every dark cloud has it's silver lining: once it comes it will be after all the new-release drama and teeth grinding is over so you should get a BIOS that's stable for the new processor.

Steve at HWUnboxed has a good vid on B450 suitability. The upshot is: there's nothing wrong with one. He advises not to upgrade from a B450 just for Ryzen 5000 if you've a good one. Instead, be patient. But as far as a fresh purchase I'd go B550 if possible SO LONG as the VRM is at least as good as the B450 Tomahawks', which is about the top B450 board in that regard and better than most B550's. Pay attention to the VRM temp charts at the end of the video.

And as @RodroX points out: unfortunately your 1600 won't work in any B550 motherboard. So a B450 Tomahawk MAX would be a great choice with optimal upgrade potential to Ryzen 5000!

Thanks man, this is the answer I was looking for. I don't necessarily mean that I'll buy a 5k as soon as it is out. I'd rather snag a 3950 when I get a sweet deal. But it's good to know that I have a board that will support a 5k series processor, so that in the future, if I get a deal, I can swap it in. Again like I said, I don't necessarily aim to do that. I plan to have a good machine, not a latest machine.

That being said, Tomahawk Max is a good choice after all. Also what about the Mortar Max, which is essentially the same board but in a Micro ATX form factor. Should I consider that just because it has 2 M.2 slots? Just curious.
 
.... Also what about the Mortar Max, which is essentially the same board but in a Micro ATX form factor. Should I consider that just because it has 2 M.2 slots? Just curious.
I happen to have a a B450m Mortar...not the MAX but it's the same excepting a smaller BIOS ROM capacity. It's also going to be a good board and suitable for handling a 3950 (probaly the only mATX B450 you can say that for). But only if not overclocking. Overclocking, at least in the conventional sense, isn't a good idea anyway for Ryzen 3000 since you usually lose performance for gaming while increasing heat output tremendously.

I like very much the second M.2 on mine...it may be only Gen2 but it's a full four-lanes so quite fast enough for my 1Tb data drive. It's rare that people have useage that saturates even Gen2 NVME bandwidth.

But considering a 16 core monster (3950) makes one ask why? That's really an entry level HEDT that truly needs high-thread count content creation or productivity apps to benefit from that kind of processing. If gaming is all you contemplate a 3600 is as much as is ever needed and even a 3800X only provides minimal gains at certain resolutions/games.
 

Rutwick

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I won't be overclocking, that is for sure! I quoted 3950x just to say that I'll get the highest supported CPU rather than getting a 5k. Yes yes, my primary aim is gaming, and I'm a programmer so I'll probably be running a Virtual machine.

What I want to know is that when it comes to upgradability (or the possibility of it) like you mentioned for Tomahawk Max, does the same statement apply for a Mortar Max?
 
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What I want to know is that when it comes to upgradability (or the possibility of it) like you mentioned for Tomahawk Max, does the same statement apply for a Mortar Max?
I have to think: almost without a doubt. It's one of MSI's MAX lineup, which was specifically released to enlarge the BIOS to leave the line suitable for easily accomodating another CPU after 'stretching' the non-max BIOS's to fit Ryzen 3000. When AMD originally announced non-support of Zen3 on 400 series chipsets MSI reportedly went ballistic because they'd been 'promised' it would work and positioned their products around it working.

So I have to think all MAX boards, at the minimum, will get BIOS's. My concern is my non-MAX board; will it get one? Only time will tell, I hope it will but then I'm not in a fit to move up from the 3700X I barely burden right now.
 
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Rutwick

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Hey thanks a lot mate, I just placed my order for a Mortar Max. Got it for around 128 USD, post some Amazon discount. I was quite confused between Tomahawk and this board, but I chose an extra M.2, since the VRM is literally the same on both the boards sans the additional heatsink that the Tomahawk has. I have an old school Cooler Master HAF 922 case, which is a monster when it comes to airflow, never had my CPU temps cross 60 in all these years. Your valuable inputs helped me a lot! I saw Buildzoid's video about its VRM performance, the video you shared and did some other reading before taking the call. The market is so crowded with so many boards, that it was difficult for me to decide. I have been researching for about 3 months now. And today when I finally saw the prices dip a little, I was further stumped by the Pro VDH 550 board.

I don't mind if I don't get the new CPU upgrade, as long as I am able to throw in a 3600 later and enjoy for at least the next 2 years. I appreciate your advice! :)
 
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