MSI B350 Tomahawk AM4 Motherboard Review
Published: 27th March 2017 | Source: MSI | Price: |
Motherboards are one of the overlooked elements when putting a system together. Perhaps it is because the difference between a motherboard that is at the bottom of the price-scale and one at the top will give far less performance benefit than that same amount of money spent elsewhere. With most people using their PC as a gaming machine then another hundred or two spent on your GPU will always give you infinitely more obvious performance than splashing the Benjamins on your motherboard.
It wasn't that long ago though that if you were forced to get a cheap motherboard because of your budgetary constraints that you ended up with something which, whilst it ticked the 'something you can plug your hardware into' box, that was about all there was to it. The MSI B350 Tomahawk re-writes this idea though, but looking fantastic, having all the important elements in place, and doing so at a barely believable price point.
As you would expect from a motherboard costing just over three figures, the MSI B350 Tomahawk is about giving you everything you need, even if it is in a basic form. Sure it is nice to have a box full of accessories and a motherboard that is capable of running quad GPUs with an LN2 cooled processor, but for most of us a single processor, a couple of sticks of RAM and a single GPU tends to be the setup that we're running with, and for that set up the Tomahawk gets it done in spades.
You're not even having to make concessions to the newest hardware technologies. We have support for DDR4 up to 3200 MHz, M.2 drives for all your huge bandwidth requirements, USB 3.1 in both Type A and Type C forms, as well as front panel USB 3.0, dedicated water pump headers and even a header for MSI's Mystic Light technology that gives you all the RGB support you can desire.
Are there any negatives? Well a few nit picks, but all of them have to be tempered by that low price. We still don't think there is any excuse for having vertical SATA ports, and they always make the system look cheap once it has been built. If you've got a lot of USB devices (who hasn't?) then there are some decisions to be made about which you want plugged in all the time and which are there on an 'as needed' basis. Lastly we love the Mystic Light, but the Tomahawk itself only has built in red LEDs, so you either need to turn off the ambient lighting or accept that red is the colour you're going to have to run with.
In all other regards though the Tomahawk is excellent. Great overclocking, great gaming performance, everything you could require and a very competitive price tag. For those reasons it wins our OC3D Gamers Choice Award as well as our Value For Money awards. It's a great entry to the Ryzen world.
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