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MSI B450 Tomahawk Motherboard Review

ATTO Disk Benchmark

The ATTO disk benchmark is a Windows-based utility for testing storage performance of any storage drive or controller. We use the default benchmark setup.

M.2 PCIe Performance

For M.2 testing we use a Toshiba OCZ RD400 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD.

M.2 performance exploited the full capability of the drive. There was thermal throttling, as there’s no M.2 cooling solution, but that’s understandable given the price point.

USB Performance

We test USB 3.0 and 3.1 performance using a pair of Transcend SSD370S 512GB SSDs in RAID 0 connected to an RaidSonic Icy Box RD2253-U31 2-bay USB 3.1 enclosure powered by an ASMedia ASM1352R controller.

USB 3.0 and 3.1 performance were as expected on the MSI B450 Tomahawk. We tested both USB 3.0 routes, the rear ports via the AMD Ryzen CPU and the front ports via the AMD B450 chipset, and achieved the same results. There was only one USB 3.1 controller to test.

*For the ASRock X470 mini-ITX motherboard we had compatibility issues between its only USB 3.1 Type-A port (via the AMD X470 chipset controller) and the ASM1352R RAID box and thus we were unable to get results on our standard test equipment. It proved impossible to get to the bottom of this issue and we were not able to get a single successful benchmark run despite trying a second ASRock motherboard, a different ASRock ASM1352R based RAID board, a fresh install of Windows 10, numerous UEFI versions, different drivers and AMD firmwares and many different power and BIOS options.

We did manage to test with a single USB 3.1 (ASM1351) to SATA device with one Transcend SSD370S 512GB SSD and achieve speeds faster than USB 3.0 just to validate the port was functioning correctly.

SATA III 6Gbps Performance

For SATA 6Gbps testing we use an OCZ Trion 150 480GB SSD.

SATA performance was standard fare.

Audio

Rightmark Audio Analyser is a freeware benchmarking utility designed to objectively test the performance characteristics of audio solutions. We setup a line-in line-out loop and execute the record/playback test before generating the results report you see below. A sampling mode of 24-bit, 192 kHz is tested where available. If unavailable the closest alternative operating mode available is used and clearly marked.

Audio performance was lower than both X470 motherboards that have been tested thus far. However, this reflects the different audio codec used (ALC892 instead of ALC1220), rather than any chipset differences.

The audio performance on the MSI B450 Tomahawk will still be good enough for most people, it’s analogue audio only (up to 7.1 channel) paired with good quality audio capacitors but there are no fancy headphone amplifiers or advanced features.

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