MSI MAG B550M Mortar Motherboard Review
Peter Donnell / 2 weeks ago
A Closer Look
I’ll be honest, I’m not 100% on board with the design here, it’s a little busy looking and there are lines and patterns going in too many directions and too many shades. However, beyond the printed graphics, I think the gun metal and black heatsinks look great, then just need to dial back all the fuss on the PCB. and those white squares. Of course, that’s all subjective, you may love it!
The motherboards features two VRM heatsinks, with a small one at the top covering what little hardware is there. However, there’s a larger one on the left where you’ll find the bulk of the hardware. It uses an 8+2+1 Duet Rail Power System, with Digital PWM. It’s not the most extreme setup ever, but for hitting those boost clocks regularly, it’ll more than the job done.
There’s a smaller heatsink on the chipset too, and unlike X570, these boards don’t need an active fan on them. There are two M.2 mounts on this board, with the top one featuring a heatsink and the bottom one left open. Keep in mind the top M.2 mount is Gen 4, the lower one is Gen 3.
The same goes for the PCIe slots actually, with the main armoured one at the top offering up PCIe Gen 4, but the lower ones fall back to Gen 3. If you want more PCIe 4 slots, then X570 is the way forward, but for most, I suspect this will do just fine.
The board has pretty fantastic connectivity too, with 4 x SATA ports, USB 3.0, 2.0, Type C, and all the usual headers. Obviously not as well equipped as an ATX board, but this is mATX and therefore smaller.
The board does feature isolated audio hardware too. You’ll find it uses the Realtek ALC1200 Codec, with a few gold audio capacitors offering some improved quality too.
Finally, we have the rear I/O. The shield is pre-installed, which is awesome as it means you won’t forget it when building your rig. There’s a good range of USB ports here, and typical of MSI they still include the PS2 connector also. There’s a Type C port, HDMI and DisplayPort on here, which is awesome. Finally, you have five audio jacks, and even an SPDIF out.