I present to your attention a review on the motherboard, the happy owner of which I have been for over a year.
After several years on Intel systems, I decided to move to AMD. For this I bought myself a Ryzen 5 2600 processor. And the question arose about the motherboard for it. I didn’t want to buy an expensive board, but at the same time, I wanted to take a decent option, with full functionality that I needed. The choice fell on this one. And why? I will tell you about this further, along the way describing the capabilities of this “board”.
I will start, as is customary in such reviews, with the appearance of the packaging and packaging. The box is made of good cardboard in black. The front side is made in a minimalistic design, the model name is in the center, and the bottom is an indication of which processor lines this board is compatible with. And an indication that it is a B450 chipset. Since this is the “MAX” version, it is already out of the box with a BIOS that supports the third generation of Ryzen processors (in addition to the first and the second). On the back side, there is a lot of information about the characteristics and capabilities of the board. And on the sides, from the useful information, we can only note the incompatibility with the Athlon A-series processors.
We open the box and it contains the motherboard, carefully packed in an anti static bag.
Under it, we are greeted by the rest of the complete set of this product. Namely, the disk, but it is still included in the kit, although it is better to download all useful drivers and programs from the manufacturer’s website, there they are regularly updated, respectively, there they are more relevant. Further, a very brief instruction, apparently the manufacturer believes that if you need detailed instructions, you will refer to the website for it. The package also includes two SATA cables, a back frame, a screw for fixing an M.2 drive, a very nice sticker and an advertising booklet. From myself, I can add that the equipment is very standard, but special thanks for the sticker.
Next, I propose to go to the description of the appearance, connectors, and, accordingly, the functionality. The motherboard is made, unexpectedly, on brown PCB. What is very unusual, as a rule, the more familiar black color of the PCB is used. It looks brown textolite, clearly worse than black. But if your case is closed, without a side window and backlights, then this should not worry you. And if with a window and backlight, then you have to put up with brown or buy another motherboard. Until we have gone far from the backlights, I will say that the board has a connector. For connecting 12 volt LED strips or other types of backlights. On the back there is a classic metal backplate. And nothing more interesting for us.
Let’s move on to the rear panel connectors. It contains four USB 2.0 connectors, four more USB 3.2 connectors, one PS/2, combined, you can connect either a keyboard or a mouse to it. The HDMI, DVI and VGA connectors are responsible for displaying the image from the integrated graphics core to the processor (if, of course, it is in the processor), a complete set, not on every board you can find this. Three sockets for output, input of audio signals. Well, and a standard LAN connector for a wired Internet connection. I will say that for this price segment, the back is very well crammed with connectors.
From the connectors on the back board, let’s move on to the optional interfaces. You can additionally connect two more USB 3.2 and four USB 2.0 to the motherboard. There is not a lot of pci express connectors, since the board is not full-sized, but micro ATX format. And the B450 chipset has its limitations. In general, we have one PCI-E x16 slot for a video card and two slots for the x1 version for additional devices. The board also has an M.2 connector that supports high-speed NVMe drives. There are four sata ports for data storage, two of which are turned to the side. There are as many as four slots for RAM. The manufacturer assures that they have high-quality isolated track layout, which should have a good effect on overclocking. Not the most pleasant moment may be that only two system fans and one processor fan can be connected to the board. A little,
What about the processor side? Everything here is quite budgetary. But I will emphasize the word enough . The power supply system consists of 4 + 2 power phases. Of which, four on the left feed the processor cores and they are covered with a heatsink, which, by the way, will not be superfluous during overclocking. The two phases at the top are devoid of a heatsink; they serve to power the controller and the graphics core, if there is one in the processor. From my own experience, if you do not overclock the built-in graphics, then these two phases will not warm up. A PWM controller is wired between the sets of phases, which is highlighted on the board with a gray circle and the inscription “CORE BOOST”. An eight-pin power connector is required from the power supply, but you can also power a four-pin one, everything is standard here.
Well, now let’s go directly to the functionality. When you first enter the BIOS, we are greeted by a simple or easy mode. Here we see brief information about the installed components in the system, processor, memory, storage media. There are tabs for a slightly more detailed view of this information. Plus, there is a setting for the fan speed and its dependence on temperatures. Help is also observed. Utility for updating bios, monitoring tab. Since we are in the simple menu, then this motherboard in the upper left corner has the option to enable automatic overclocking. It raises the processor frequency by 400 MHz, though at the same time overestimating the voltage. The so-called overclocking for the lazy. The knobs can do more at a lower voltage. As a result, the system got lower temperature and quieter. Next to this button, there is a button for selecting an XMP RAM profile. Unless, of course, the RAM has such or such profiles. To summarize, if you are not versed in fine-tuning the system, it is better not to go further than the simple mode. Well, for those who consider themselves experienced users and like to indulge in overclocking, you press the F7 key and get into the extended menu.
Advanced mode, this is where all the fun is. All fine-tuning is collected here. In this mode, everything is arranged in six tabs located on the sides, three pieces on each side. Settings tab, it contains settings that are not related to overclocking. Next is the OC tab, here is just everything related to overclocking. BIOS update tab. Next is the tab where you can save or load the overclocking profile, then monitoring and information.
Since this is a B450 chipset with full overclocking support for both the processor and memory, the OC tab will be of interest to everyone. All settings are collected here, no need to run anywhere, everything is here in front of you. Here you can set both the frequency and voltage and timings for memory, all in one place. And this, I tell you, is very convenient. I went in, put out what I needed, survived, went out. It’s simple. I will not talk about all the intricacies of overclocking, I will just say that MSI has already taken care of you. And they made presets with prescribed timings and voltages for different memory frequencies. That is, you choose the frequency at which you want your memory to work and choose one of the presses. If you do not try to take exorbitant values, then these presets can save you a lot of time when overclocking memory. Of course, you can not use them, but score everything manually. Or even more than that,
CPU overclocking, as already mentioned, occurs in the same menu. Here I will just say that to begin with, you need to select expert mode at the top so that all functions are available. In short, we set the multiplier, you can also edit the frequency of the reference bus, but I do not advise you to do this, you will only lose stability. The voltage can be set either through offset or simply by fixing it. It is possible to change the NB/SoC voltage, and do it in different modes.
As for the performance, the board works flawlessly. Really very solid board. In terms of temperatures, the chipset does not get very hot. The radiator on the power circuits, during overclocking and under stress tests, can go over 70 degrees, with my six core processor. In ordinary tasks and games, 60 degrees, at low speeds of case fans. Also, I did not test for a long time with the RYZEN 5 3600 processor. So, what is interesting, when overclocking with the same or higher voltage, the radiators of the power circuits warmed up less. Perhaps some features of the new architecture and power distribution. Another interesting feature is this motherboard. It has 4 LEDs on the right side above the 24-pin power plug. Which, alternately light up and go out when the computer boots. If there is a problem with any component of the system, due to which the system does not start, the diode responsible for this component will light up and will not go out. These diodes show the performance of four main components: processor – RAM – video card – loading BIOS, system. It is very convenient that if something happens, you do not need to decode the signals of the Morse code of the motherboard, but just look.
What processors can be installed in this board. I think any, up to 12 or 16 cores Ryzen 5000 series. Although, if you have the money for such expensive processors, you can also afford more expensive boards. In any case, I would strongly advise against overclocking more than six cores CPU, or a little bit eight cores CPU on it. This board is designed for budget and performance build. Obviously for the Ryzen 5 families. With them, on this board, you can do whatever you want. In the end, I will summarize the pros and cons. The disadvantages are brown, there are only three fan connectors, and that’s probably all. And now to the pluses. Four slots for RAM, many USB ports on the rear panel, a radiator on the power circuits, a very convenient and functional bios, simple overclocking of components and a sticker included.
The article is written on the basis of materials of this site.