MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk Motherboard Review
Peter Donnell / 2 weeks ago
A Closer Look
The MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk Motherboard comes with a bold two-tone design, and it’s just a little bit too spaced out and busy for my taste. the heatsinks are a bit small and look somewhat floaty, and the white squares on the decal patch stand out too much. Too many lines and angles going their own way. Of course, style is subjective and it doesn’t suit my taste, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like what the board has to offer.
The board features a 10+2+1 Duet Rail Power System, which feeds 10 to the CPU with 60A stages, but then a 2 phase SOC configuration, and a phase for the load line calibration, PWM IC and OP. There are too good size heatsinks keeping it all in order. It’s not the most complex setup, but more than enough to get those boost clocks up for sure.
Further down the board, you’ll find a pair of M.2 mounts. Both feature a small heatsink and while I do think they look a bit small, they’ll certainly help and also protect the drives overall.
I like that they’ve armoured the top PCIe slot, it’s the one all of us are going to use and modern GPUs are pretty heavy. The top slot is the one that offers PCIe Gen 4 also. They’ve put a little bit of reinforcement on the lower slot though, so that’s nice. Obviously, they’re trying to keep costs down hence only the one slot though.
Audio comes courtesy of their Audio Boost processor using the ALC 1220 chipset, and there are five gold caps down here to help provide headphone amplification.
The rear I/O shield is actually really well equipped, offering up a good range of USB ports and even including a Type-C port. There’s not one but two LAN options, with 2.5G and 1G being served up. You’ll also get HDMI and DisplayPort options, and five audio jacks with SPDIF.