Another Member Of MSI’s B550 Family
At just under $200 the MAG B550 Tomahawk sits in the middle of the pack as far as price goes, as MSI included a variety of features to the board. Due to the nature of this chipset that means you need to put some thought into what you are plugging in to the board. You will find a PCIe 4.0 16x slot, a full length PCIe 3.0 x4 slot as well as two PCIe 1x slots, and two M.2 slots but you need to keep in mind that you do not have enough PCIe lanes to feed them all.
If you use the upper x1 slot, the lower M.2 connection drops to PCIe Gen 3 x2 and the full-length PCIe 4x slot is rendered unusable, as it is if you leave that PCIe 1x slot empty but use the lower M.2 slot. The limited PCIe lanes are shared with all B550 boards, however in most models it is SATA ports which tend to be disabled when you approach the limit. This would make this board appropriate for usage where large amounts of SATA based storage are more important than multiple M.2 drives. Unfortunately it might not make the best media server, the HDMI port on the back is 1.4b, so no 4K @ 60Hz without a discrete GPU.
On the plus side you do get an abundance of high speed USB ports. The back panel features two USB 3.2 Gen 2 10Gbps ports, on Type-C and one Type-A as well as a pair of USB 3.2 Gen 1 5Gbps Type-A ports with the motherboard providing an additional three USB 3.2 Gen 1 5Gbps ports, an internal Type-C connection and a header to power a pair on your case. Get more details at Kitguru if you think of something you might use this board for.
MSI’s Tomahawk motherboard SKUs have earned themselves legendary status amongst budget enthusiasts thanks to an ideal blend of features, performance, and pricing. Can the new MSI B550 Tomahawk continue the trend?