Board Features

The MSI B450 Tomahawk is a gaming-themed ATX motherboard and offers a good feature set for a model costing $100. The Tomahawk hails from the Arsenal series which are primarily targeted towards gamers on a budget. Not only budget-gamers, but the B450 Tomahawk also offers users 2-way AMD CrossFire support albeit running at x16/x4. MSI has also included a value pairing of Realtek controllers to handle the audio and networking capabilities. A few notable improvements over the first generation B350 Tomahawk model include better power delivery heatsinks, better memory compatibility, and official support for up to DDR4-3466 RAM.

MSI B450 Tomahawk ATX Motherboard
Warranty Period 3 Years
Product Page Link
Price $100
Size ATX
CPU Interface AM4
Chipset AMD B450
Memory Slots (DDR4) Four DDR4
Supporting 64 GB
Dual Channel
Up to DDR4-3466+
Video Outputs 1 x HDMI 1.4
1 x DVI-D
Network Connectivity Realtek RTL8118H Gigabit
Onboard Audio Realtek ALC892
PCIe Slots for Graphics (from CPU) 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16
PCIe Slots for Other (from PCH) 1 x PCIe 2.0 x4
3 x PCIe 2.0 x1
Onboard SATA Six, RAID 0/1/10
Onboard M.2 1 x PCIe 3.0 x4/SATA
USB 3.1 (10 Gbps) 1 x Type-A Rear Panel
1 x Type-C Rear Panel
USB 3.0 (5 Gbps) 2 x Type-A Rear Panel
1 x Header (two ports)
USB 2.0 2 x Type-A Rear Panel
2 x Header (four ports)
Power Connectors 1 x 24-pin ATX
1 x 8pin CPU
Fan Headers 1 x CPU (4-pin)
1 x Pump/AIO (4-pin)
4 x System (4-pin)
IO Panel 1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A
1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C
2 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A
2 x USB 2.0 Type-A
1 x Network RJ45 (Realtek)
1 x HDMI 1.4
1 x DVI-D
1 x Combo PS/2
6 x 3.5mm Audio Jacks (Realtek)
1 x BIOS Flashback + Button

The major benefits of opting for a more expensive ATX sized X470 motherboard over one like this includes more native USB 3.1 Gen1 connectivity and a second full size PCIe 3.0 slot, which may support NVIDIA SLI  (depending on the licensing from the vendor). Outside of this the B450 Tomahawk ticks a considerable amount of boxes and for users looking to utilize a single graphics card in their system (or need more USB 3.1 Gen1 connectivity), then the price difference in comparison to an X470 board allows budget to be spent in other areas such as graphics, storage capacity, or memory.

Test Bed

As per our testing policy, we take a high-end CPU suitable for the motherboard that was released during the socket’s initial launch, and equip the system with a suitable amount of memory running at the processor maximum supported frequency. This is also typically run at JEDEC subtimings where possible. It is noted that some users are not keen on this policy, stating that sometimes the maximum supported frequency is quite low, or faster memory is available at a similar price, or that the JEDEC speeds can be prohibitive for performance. While these comments make sense, ultimately very few users apply memory profiles (either XMP or other) as they require interaction with the BIOS, and most users will fall back on JEDEC supported speeds - this includes home users as well as industry who might want to shave off a cent or two from the cost or stay within the margins set by the manufacturer. Where possible, we will extend out testing to include faster memory modules either at the same time as the review or a later date.

Test Setup
Processor AMD Ryzen 7 1700, 65W, $300,
8 Cores, 16 Threads, 3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo)
Motherboard MSI B450 Tomahawk (Bios v11)
Cooling Thermaltake Floe Riing RGB 360
Power Supply Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W Gold PSU
Memory 2x16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2400
Video Card ASUS GTX 980 STRIX (1178/1279 Boost)
Hard Drive Crucial MX300 1TB
Case Open Test Bed
Operating System Windows 10 Pro

Readers of our motherboard review section will have noted the trend in modern motherboards to implement a form of MultiCore Enhancement / Acceleration / Turbo (read our report here) on their motherboards. This does several things, including better benchmark results at stock settings (not entirely needed if overclocking is an end-user goal) at the expense of heat and temperature. It also gives, in essence, an automatic overclock which may be against what the user wants. Our testing methodology is ‘out-of-the-box’, with the latest public BIOS installed and XMP enabled, and thus subject to the whims of this feature. It is ultimately up to the motherboard manufacturer to take this risk – and manufacturers taking risks in the setup is something they do on every product (think C-state settings, USB priority, DPC Latency / monitoring priority, overriding memory sub-timings at JEDEC). Processor speed change is part of that risk, and ultimately if no overclocking is planned, some motherboards will affect how fast that shiny new processor goes and can be an important factor in the system build.

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36 Comments

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  • Mikita - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - link

    No memory overclocking? I just bought B450 Mortar + Ryzen 2600 + G.Skill 3200 CL14 and wanted to try some overclocking. While your description of CPU overclocking is nice and full, but what about memory? From what I've heard, there is some trade-off, when you cannot really push both CPU and RAM to the limits, and many recommend to start with RAM, and only then touch the CPU. Reply
  • SanX - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - link

    AMD should urgently add AVX512 to be considered seriously. Reply
  • sirnsasheryar - Thursday, December 13, 2018 - link

    First of i love the way you guys are spreading this kind of information cause i am a gamer myself so keep on spreading this kind of info, secondly i think ryzen is doing a pretty good job keeping up with intel and in future i hope they'll excel even more!! keep the good work going !! Reply
  • Tinasre henson - Thursday, December 13, 2018 - link

    The article is interesting. The blog article takes a look at the MSI B450 Tomahawk Motherboard Review: More Missile than Axe. The article mentions that ‘From the few second-generation AMD B450 and X470 motherboards we have tested, the majority have been refreshed models of pre-existing boards.’ The article is written well and the added images enhance its overall quality.
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  • vemanbaghel9691 - Monday, December 24, 2018 - link

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  • MGGoku - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 - link

    Does this mobo have ethernet support? Reply

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