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The b450 tomahawk max is an amazing motherboard with amazing overclocking potential, it is also compatible with ryzen 3000 out of the box. in this price category there is nothing that even comes close to competing with it
I bought this motherboard to build a Ryzen 7 3700X based PC.
While the new X570 motherboard range has been released specifically for these chips, it is a brand new range and requires active cooling (fans on the motherboard chipset). I was uncomfortable with the idea of being a guinea pig, so I went for the older B450 chipset instead.
This motherboard, being the "MAX" variant of the B450 Tomahawk is already set up for Ryzen 7 out of the box.
Everything worked first time, and my system has been running for 3 weeks with no issues. Overclocking also does not seem to be a problem - temperatures and performance have stayed well within acceptible ranges.
I have been dreading upgrading for quite some time. It's always a minefield. I've used Intel for as long as I can remember, but this time decided to go AMD thanks to Ryzen rave reviews.
After a considerable time umming and ahing over motherboards, I decided on the MSI Tomahawk MAX. It was what I wanted to pay, great feature set and none of the unwanted bells and whistles like RGB strip lighting, Wifi and stuff like that. I just didn't need it. I absolutely love the downplayed grey colouring. My case already has a lot of red in it, so the grey was a nice change and really worked well with my current component colouring.
Ryzen 3xxx series don't work on most B450 boards without a bios flash. No thank you! I can put together a computer, but I draw the line at getting involved in bios updates and complicated overclocking. The Tomahawk MAX has you covered as out of the box this B450 board will work fine. My Ryzen 7 3700X fired up without a hitch.
Installation was a doddle. Applied the CPU, heatsink and memory, and slid it straight into my NZXT H440 case. With my last ASUS motherboard I had a hell of job fitting that, and it was a smaller board. The MSI Tomahawk MAX just glided in like I'd lathered it up in butter first! (I hadn't).
I bought the Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.B cooler and my god was it easy to fit. The Intel bracket looked a nightmare, but the AMD fitting was simple, so fewer parts and it uses the Tomahawk MAX's manufacturer back plate, something else I didn't have to worry about. There was a nice amount of space between the CPU mount and the memory slots too, so no need to worry about RAM not fitting even with a behemoth like the Mugen 5.
Another great thing for me was fan headers. On my last (more expensive) ASUS board, it only gave me a couple of them, on the Tomahawk MAX I get 4 chassis fan headers! I was able to remove my fan splitter, use all the headers and save myself some space in the case.
I bought Crucial Ballistix RAM and the MSI Tomahawk detected the XMP 3200 profile right out the gate. So applying that in the EZ Mode was simple, and worked perfectly giving me the RAM's advertised speed with no errors at all.
The only other MSI product I've owned is my GTX 1080 Gaming X Plus, that's been fantastic as well and seems to be playing well with the Tomahawk MAX, so I'm really starting to now pay attention to the MSI quality and attention to detail.
A couple of points to note, the Tomahawk MAX comes with 6 x USB ports on the back, but one of them is USB-C (useless to me). If you want all 6 as regular USB, the MSI GAMING PLUS MAX maybe the better choice. I understand it is identical to the Tomahawk MAX, only with 6 regular USB. I went for the Tomahawk MAX over the Gaming Plus MAX though as it had more people raving about it. The other thing is if you intend to use an M2 drive (like I did), note that 2 of the 6 SATA connections are unavailable when you use an M2.
In summary, I am so glad I went with the Tomahawk MAX. I knew it was going to be great after reading all the stellar reviews online, but I have to say I was even more impressed and can't rate it enough for ease of installation, ease of setup and just great no frills quality design and build. Well done MSI!
Paired up with a ryzen 5 3600 and preforms amazingly, works straight out of the box with 3rd gen comparable to £200+ motherboards and saves a lot of effort and hassle with updating bios. Would definitely recommend.
I bought this Tomahawk motherboard on Black Friday 2019 for about £89.99 as part of a new PC build (1st time building it myself).
I put a lot of research into make sure I was confident of having the best parts and this motherboard was the clear choice for me out of all the other AMD compatible boards out there
For a "budget" board you get so much for your money here firstly it was so easy to install the parts and then putting it in the case. Good number of fan headers and sata connections as well.
Note that if you use an M.2 SSD that 2 SATA ports deactivate but they've kept it convenient in the fact that the sata ports are numbered 1-6 and the 2 highest ports 5 and 6 would be deactivated
The next best thing for me about this motherboard was the BIOS it was so easy to use, one click of a button in the bios activated the XMP profile to make full use of my 3200mhz RAM and changing the smart fan control settings to make the fans go quicker at higher temps was really easy to do also. Installing latest BIOS updates and windows 10 was also really east to do with this board.
On youtube Paul's Hardware recently built a new PC with this board and his step by step really convinced me that this motherboard was the easiest to work with and you should definitely check it out
The RGB light strip on this board is controlled by msi mystic light software but note that software doesn't control any RGB on the MSI RTX graphics cards instead needing other software so syncing is harder unless you go for a static colour scheme. This didnt bother me really I actually kept my cpu and gpu as their rainbow colours to differentiate from the rest of the RGB in my build
All in all it's a great board aesthetically pleasing and it has enough USB ports on the back to cover all my accessories but every slot is used so would have preferred maybe 1 or 2 more USB ports on the back but it's not a big deal. One other bonus is the future proof element I have a ryzen 7 2700 currently but the board is compatible with 3rd gen ryzen like the ryzen 5 3600 so if I need to upgrade in a couple years time then i can without needing to change too much
Full PC specification (plug and play 0 overclocking): Ryzen 7 2700 (non X variant) MSI Gaming X RTX 2060 Super 16gb Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 3200mhz RAM white MSI B450 TOMAHAWK MAX motherboard Sabrent 256GB NVMe M.2 SSD ADATA ultimate SU800 512GB SATA SSD Corsair RM850x 850w Gold power supply Corsair Carbide SPEC-06 white rgb case 2 120mm stock fans from Corsair SPEC-06 case as intake 3 Corsair iCue SP120 120mm RGB fans as exhaust (1 back 2 top) Windows 10 64 bit
Games tested on highest/Ultra settings @1080p Witcher 3 100 FPS GTA 5 around 88-100 FPS Destiny 2 130 FPS League of legends 300+ FPS Battlefield 5 90 FPS Star Wars Battlefront II 90-100 FPS
I have paired this motherboard with an AMD 3600 and 16GB of RAM and currently using my old GTX 970 for the time being. The build is very stable. One problem I had was after building my PC I used the MSI Utility LiveUpdate to update my drivers and software which went fine, but when I used it to update the BIOS I ended up with a none bootable PC. I could not even get into the BIOS afterwards. Just a blank screen on restarting. This would most likely be a big problem to someone new to PC building but I just disconected the power and shorted the CMOS jumper. I have since read on MSI website under the Support section to update the BIOS using the M-Flash function. Why then MSI allow it within the LiveUpdate Utility??
Despite this one problem I had now the motherboard is fully updated it is rock solid and I consider it good value and highly recommended.
Ok so i bought this after looking at the x570 boards and realised i didn't need the extra fluff. Worked out of the box with 3700x and G.skill 3600 ram 22.214.171.124. Bios was 7C02v32but i updated it anyway to 7C02v34 after i installed windows but like i said everything did work ok, i was just mini-maxing. Ram was recognised with xmp profile, correct timings.
It's a painless exercise to install and works really well. I have 3 minor gripes but they're not really enough to kick a star from the score.
1/ The Post is slow. I bought a 500GB Nvme.m2 from WD and it doesn't boot any quicker than my ssd into windows but loading games it's fantastic. It look like after reading round that it does have a bios issue that is being worked on 2/ The headers for the front panel connector are halfway up the mainboard, which was a little weird 3/ The audio ports on the back are not coloured.
Great product and highly recommended for the price