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MSI B450 Tomahawk (AMD B450) Motherboard Review (Page 2)

By Steven Bassiri from Oct 3, 2018 @ 10:00 CDT
TweakTown Rating: 90%Manufacturer: MSI

Packaging and Overview

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The box and packaging are basic but get the job done.

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The accessory package includes two SATA6Gb/s, IO shield, M.2 screws, case badge, build guide, driver DVD, and manual.

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MSI put in a whopping six fan headers. All of the headers are hybrid PWM/DC mode headers. However, the two headers circled in red run in PWM by default while the ones circled in blue are in PWM mode by default. The motherboard's aesthetics are easy to handle, and the oversized VRM heat sink looks pretty good. The back of the motherboard is bare of a lot of hardware and there are indicators where to remove standoffs if your motherboard already has them installed.

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The rear IO panel features BIOS Flashback button, two USB 2.0 ports, PS/2 keyboard/mouse, DVI, HDMI, two USB 3.0 ports, USB 3.1 type-A, USB 3.1 type-C, Gbit LAN, and 7.1 channel gold plated audio jacks.

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The PCI-E slots operate as follows. The top slot is directly wired to the CPU at x16 PCI-E 3.0. The other x16 slot is electrically PCI-E 2.0 x4, and it shares two of its lanes with two of the x1 slots. The M.2 slot is directly routed to the CPU at x4 PCI-E 3.0, but if it's used the top two SATA6Gb/s ports will be disabled.

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Four of the SATA6Gb/s ports are angled at 90 degrees, while two others are angled straight up. A USB 3.0 internal header is located near two USB 2.0 internal headers.

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One RGB LED header is located at the bottom left corner of the motherboard near the COM header. The other is located at the top right corner, both offer eFuse based polarity protection.

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We find boot LEDs above the 24-pin power connector. The CPU VRM gets power from an 8-pin power header.

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The VRM heat sinks are screwed into the motherboard and seem to make good contact with the MOSFETs.

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