MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk Review

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MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk Review

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The packaging for the MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk reflects the motherboard design itself, being straight-laced rather than gaudy. Often the packaging of a product belies what lies beneath, but the Tomahawk gives you a good idea of what to expect.

MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk Review  

Nobody could accuse MSI of supplying us with tons of cables we don't need. The Tomahawk comes with the bare minimum of accessories, sporting a manual, driver DVD, two SATA cables and a case badge.


MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk Review  

Looking at the design of the B550 Tomahawk you can see what we meant when we said how the PCB reflects the box. Beyond the two VRM heatsinks having a little bit of flair to them the rest of the board is a bit old school in its simplicity. We're not saying that is a bad thing or a good thing. We all have different requirements and we know that right now someone is reading this and delighted at the utilitarian nature of the ATX PCB.


MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk Review  

The uppermost side of the Tomahawk is visually the most impressive. The two heatsinks are very carefully designed with just enough touches to look like quality items, and indeed the weight of the heatsinks gives you a sense of how well they should work in practise. Looking a little closer you can count how many fan headers there are, and even spot the front panel USB 3.2. Just because it's not replete with a gaudy design doesn't mean it is lacking in features.


MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk Review  

The lower half is a little more plain, particularly in the gaps around the SATA ports. However, both M.2 slots have heatspreaders on them, and the primary PCI Express 4.0 slot has the steel bracing that has saved many a motherboard from a weighty or poorly installed GPU.


MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk Review  

Lastly, before we get into more detail on what the Tomahawk has on the PCB, the cross-section of the heatsinks shows how much metal has been utilised and how carefully it has been milled so as to provide the largest possible surface area to help dissipate the heat generated from overclocking a high-core-count CPU, such as we'll be doing in a moment.


MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk Review  

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