MSI’s £100 B350 Tomahawk is the first B350 motherboard to be put through our testing. Retaining the CPU overclocking support that makes the B350 chipset such an alluring option for AM4, MSI outfits its Tomahawk with the key features consumers are asking for, such as USB Type-C and M.2 PCIe NVMe support.
If you are in the market for a Ryzen 5 CPU and plan to overclock, the B350 chipset makes a great deal of sense. MSI knows this and therefore offers budget consumers its B350 Tomahawk which is equipped with a PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe-capable M.2 slot, USB Type-C (albeit at 5Gbps 3.0 speeds), and a superb fan configuration to cool one’s system.
Onboard LEDs are coloured in red but there is a 4-pin strip header to connect external LED strips. Power delivery is handled by four phases dedicated to the CPU and a well-fitted heatsink that takes care of cooling. Support for high-speed memory is an area where MSI offers its one-click A-XMP setting. Game Boost is another one-click setting that allows novice users to apply an overclocked preset at the click of a button.
It is worth highlighting that the B350 Tomahawk and B350 Tomahawk Arctic are both functionally identical except for their colour scheme and onboard LED colour. Read on to find out how the MSI B350 Tomahawk performs.
|MSI B350 Tomahawk|
|Form Factor||ATX, 30.4 x 24.3 cm|
|CPU Socket||AMD AM4, 4+2 phase VRM|
|Memory||DDR4 Dual channel, 4 DIMMs, up to 64GB, up to 3200MHz+ with OC (with a Ryzen CPU)|
||VGA, DVI-D, and HDMI ports for use with AM4 APUs|
|Expansion Slots||1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x16 for Ryzen, wired to the CPU), 1x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x4 mode, wired to the chipset), 2x PCIe 2.0 x1 (wired to the chipset), 2x PCI|
|Storage||4 x SATA 6Gbps (via B350 chipset)
1 x M.2 SATA (6Gbps) or NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4 (with Ryzen CPUs) or PCIe 3.0 x2 (with AM4 APUs)
|USB||6 x USB 2.0 (4 Internal, 2 Rear, via B350)
7x USB 3.0 (4 Internal via B350, 3 Rear, via CPU)
1x USB 3.0 Type-C (1 Rear, via CPU)
|Networking||1 x Realtek 8111H Gigabit LAN|
|Audio||Realtek ALC892-based 7.1 channel HD audio|
|Fan Headers||6, all support 3/4pin fans and DC/PWM mode|
|RGB Headers||1, 4-pin RGB|
|Rear I/O||1 x PS/2 mouse & keyboard combo port
2 x USB 2.0 ports
1 x VGA
1 x HDMI
1 x DVI-D
3x USB 3.0 Type-A port
1x USB 3.0 Type-C port
1 x LAN (RJ45) port
6x OFC audio jacks
||MSI Click BIOS 5 UEFI|