Today we will be discussing about two top-notch mid-range options. They belong to two well-respected brands in the market—the MIS MAG B550 Tomahawk vs Asus ROG STRIX B550-F gaming motherboards.
If you look at the market, you can see the midrange chipsets are gaining prominence with each passing day. This makes them challenging to find in the market. The number of options that you have can be staggering, making your choice very difficult.
The moment we looked at the MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk, we thought it was a premium model sold in the market. You can’t blame us. For just $174, it comes with a dozen well-to-designed features, including 2 10Gbps USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, PCI Express 4.0 support, and a 2.5Gbps NIC.
These are mostly found on the AMD X570 and Intel Z490 chipsets. It makes the B550 Tomahawk very difficult to ignore. On the other hand, there is the Asus ROG STRIX B550-F gaming unit.
The board was designed for mainstream gamers, programmers, and video editors. It is an exceptionally well-designed board. It comes with features including 2.4 GigE, a set of M2 SSD slots, and AX WIFI6.
You can find most of the Ryzen processors being supported by this unit. That is a good sign. Additionally, you can also notice that the board comes with 12+2 phases and a sublime VRM. The unit also comes with a simple shielded design, excellent cooling features, and the right features.
The Taiwanese manufacturer has never failed with the audio, and the same can be said about this model too. It comes infused with the ALC 1220 Codec from Realtek. You would be surprised to know that the B550 product lineup comes with 11 Asus boards.
They are priced between $130 to $290. We were quite satisfied with the performances of both the motherboards. We know it is going to be a difficult choice to make in the end. However, we can tell you that the pricing will not come in the way of choosing the winner.
Let us delve into the comparison review and get acquainted with both the models, shall we?
|MSI MAG B550 TOMAHAWK||ASUS ROG STRIX B550-F GAMING|
|The design of the board is stunning.|
The VRMs can handle the heat effortlessly.
It has a sublime BIOS among most chipset.
It comes with several ports infused in the unit.
The model is priced reasonably under $200.
|The ROG model has an eloquent design.|
The unit comes with 14-phase power delivery.
It comes with 2.5 GbE LAN and Wi-Fi 6 AX200 features.
It has an AI noise-canceling microphone infused in it.
The product has a magnetic Wi-Fi6 antenna.
|The model comes with no integrated Wi-Fi.||The model is still expensive for B550.|
FEATURES & LAYOUT
The features & layout of the MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk motherboard comes in generic black and grey tones. But we felt that the designers had done a splendid job with it. We found the black tone more infused on the board than the other colors.
It keeps things quite elegant and attractive. There is nothing that can beat the color when it comes to motherboards and peripherals. No surprises in there. Besides, it makes the model not appear dull.
We also liked the RGB LED lights found on the heatsink. They come with the needed color tones that you need on your unit. RGB lights are always a turn-on no matter what. The motherboard came with an average size and was a little compact than what we expected.
On the bright side, it can seamlessly fit into your box without hassle. You do not want to be struggling with it. We find it quite annoying in most of the Asus and Gigabyte models that they need some effort to get it inside the box.
However, they have provided 10 digital power phases and 3 additional phases for the CPU. The first glance at the Asus ROG STRIX B550-F gaming motherboard provides you with stunning features. It comes with a black PCB, slots, and heatsinks.
Like the MSI motherboard, this one too comes with ample black tone used on it. The color gives it a sublime appearance. The Asus ROG models have never failed to impress us, and it is the same with the Tomahawk model.
You can find the ROG log written in few areas on the unit. It gives the unit an aggressive appearance. Sadly, it does not come with a fan that is present on most other models. It is probably because it does not have to support the heatsink and PCIe 4.0 lanes; you can find the IO shroud at the rear IO bits at the top.
They prominently cover the VRM heatsink. That is an excellent thing actually because you do not want to see all of them visible. You can also notice the 2 EPS connectors, 1 8-pin, and a 4-pin present on it.
There are the pump headers and the first RGB header. You can also find 2 additional fan headers present at the right of the IO shroud. They are located above the top M.2 slot. The fan headers come with an output of 1A/12W.
The unit comes with 4 single-side latching DIMM slots. They can hold 128GB of DDR4 memory. The AMD’s sweet spot is also reached effortlessly in the DDR4 3600-3733 range. However, you might want to know that when it goes past, the IF ratio isn’t 1:1.
We suggest that you have a memory speed of less than 4000. At the right side of the board comes the 24-pin ATX connector. There is also a USB 3.2 Gen1 (5 Gbps) header. You can find the 4 LED lights.
It lights up when the motherboard boots up. The unit also comes with several components like VGA, DRAM, Boot, and CPU. When errors are got, then the component LED remains till the issue gets solved.
It is convenient when you are troubleshooting POST problems. If the unit does not have to come with the debug LED screen for displaying the specific codes, you can use it. Overall, the units come with a stunning display & layout.
SOFTWARE AND FIRMWARE
Coming to the software and firmware of the MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk motherboard, there is not much to dwell on it. Thanks to the fact that you can find the drivers installed and it comes with the MSI Dragon Center software.
We must mention here that the Dragon Center offers you a ton of available features on an app. You can download the app of the Dragon Center from the support page. The thing is, we reviewed most of the earlier models, but they did not come with the program in a single download.
This was quite a relief this time because it can get strenuous. Those of you who are handling or dealing with processors for the first time would remain clueless about it if that were the case. We also noticed that it does not come with support for the built-in Wi-Fi chip.
However, the unit has 2 LAN controllers. If you are a gamer, then you might want to make use of the Ethernet. It also comes with the Realtek RTL8125B chip offering support for Internet speeds of 2.5Gbps.
It comes with a regular collaborator of mid-range and top-end models. They offer you with significant benefits from the previous 1Gbps solution. You can also notice the second networking controller like the Realtek RTL8111H that cannot be placed with the RTL8125B chip.
We felt that the board could have come up with more USB ports. On the other hand, you can also find the Asus ROG STRIX B550-F gaming motherboard coming with exceptional tweaking and overclocking.
You can see that the original Ryzen series come with revealed clocks in the 3900 MHz range. They work exceptionally well on the cores. If you take Ryzen 2000, it came with a notch higher. That is why the Ryzen 3000 comes with ample connectivity with the ROG STRIX B550-F.
The Ryzen 7 3700X can effortlessly reach up to the speed of 4400 MHz. However, you can reach there only when you use proper liquid cooling. You must ensure that you are also on the absolute top.
When you do that, you can get gain 4.3 GHz on all cores. We usually do not suggest too much tweaking and overclocking on the unit. The processors come with a boost of 1 or 2 cores. It works splendidly at 4500, 4600, and so on.
It comes with 16 cores. This works sublimely at 4.7 GHz. When the cores are binned slower, this is when you can get extra performance on your game. The main positive of this board is that it comes with an all-core 4400 MHz.
It does not outweigh the high Turbo clocks that you can see on most of the boards. As a gamer or user, you can think of what is best for you and consider that. However, the features on AMD that come applied on the processor work out exceptionally well.
We also found that the power consumption is also good. However, this is a normal thing for most Asus models. On the whole, the astounding motherboards come with opulent software & firmware that do not have anything too much to complain.
Before moving to the overclocking of MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk, we would want to tell you that the setup is quite simple. Like we mentioned at the beginning of the post, this is a compact design motherboard.
You can effortlessly place all the cables that should be placed. In fact, our tester was all done in a few minutes. This was the quickest in a very long time. We find it quite challenging on top-end units.
The mid-range units enable it to be simple. However, the connector on this unit was effortlessly found and done with. It could be set away from the VRM heatsinks that are not difficult to get. The rear I/O doesn’t have to get into the unit due to the height but can remain out of the way.
We also found that the CPU fan headers are set far enough for getting plugged effortlessly. The other connectors, including the USB-C and USB 3.0 headers, can get be set on the board. However, you can consider setting them on the right angle of the edge of the product.
This results in a clean and fluent build. It’s SATA 3.0 connectors have benefits. As with most of the MSI units, the MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk is equipped with the BIOS 5 user interface. Gamers loading the processor get introduced to the EZ mode menu.
Using their overlooking tools, you can alter within a short period of time itself. You can find them on most BIOS units. However, we felt that the performance here was quite exceptional with the CPU and RAM.
Coming to the Asus ROG STRIX B550-F gaming motherboard, you can use several methods to overclock. On most of the AMD platforms, you can effortlessly overclock depending on your purpose.
When you want to make use of the PBO precision boost overdrive, then you can do so with it. Their cores and threads can be used. You might want to set the CPU multiplier to manual and then use the voltage.
When the latter clips get higher, then they become into a single-threaded performance. Hence, you need to use 4.3 GHz, and 1.35V for the thread overclock. For the B550-F gaming unit, we used the Ryzen 9 3900X to 4.3 GHz.
You can add 2 more sticks to operate it as you want. The processor sweet spot is the figure of 4x8GB at DDR4 3600. We could say that the motherboard did not face any issues when we were running it using the FCLK 1:1 on the memory.
The pricing of the MAG B550 Tomahawk and ROG STIRX B550-F models are almost the same. They are priced in the mid-range, under $200. The MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk is priced under $174.
Our tester felt that this is a reasonable rate considering the fact that it comes infused will lesser features than the ROG model. The Asus ROG STRIX B550-F gaming is priced at less than $204. The ROG unit, on the other hand, comes with an abundance of features in it.
We have ended our comparison review on the MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk vs Asus ROG STRIX B550-F gaming motherboard. We felt that the MAG B550 Tomahawk comes with a brand-for-value product priced less than $200.
Though it is not a premium model, it can provide you with just the right amount of performance. That is what any user like us would require. You want something that is worth what you pay.
We were quite delighted to read what users had to write about the MAG B550 model. They said that it is the perfect motherboard for the Zen 3 series. It comes with an exceptional BIOS, and the connectors are accessible.
If you notice, these features and actions are crucial for the success of any motherboard. Just the fact that the overall usage was exciting and thrilling on this board lead to us saying that it is a stupendous model.
This unit compliments the monster in the Ryzen CPU family. We also found that the load values were excellent. Likewise, the Asus ROG STRIX B550-F gaming motherboard comes with the SupremeFX Audio, reliable power delivery, Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200, and more.
The feature includes 2.5G Ethernet and AX Wi-Fi. We also liked the audio that comes in the form of the Realtek 1220. The ports present in the USB 3.2 connectivity keep your board extremely feature-rich.
Overall, the ROG STRIX is a sublime board that comes at a reasonable price. When you do not require Wi-Fi capability, you can get the non-Wi-Fi model for $50 lower. We can say that unit comes with a sublime foundation to design a B550 PC.
Our winner in this comparison review between MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk vs Asus ROG STRIX B550-F Gaming motherboards is the MAG B550 Tomahawk. It is because of sheer performance. The Asus ROG STRIX is no downer, but overall, it feels slightly short in few areas.
Otherwise, it is a sublime motherboard to use.