Monday, January 18th 2021

MSI Outs MAG A520M Bazooka WiFi and MAG B550M Vector WiFi

MSI updated the entry-level of its AMD 500-series chipset motherboard product stack with two interesting additions. The new MAG A520M Bazooka WiFi is essentially based on the same board design as the MAG B550M Bazooka, but uses the cheaper A520 chipset; while the new MAG B550M Vector WiFi is based on the same design as the MAG A520M Vector WiFi that the company debuted its A520 motherboard lineup with.

The A520M Bazooka is a well spaced-out 240 x 240 mm Micro-ATX board with a 7+2 phase CPU VRM solution that uses a large heatsink to cool the Vcore MOSFETs; four DDR4 DIMM slots, expansion slots that include a PCI-Express 3.0 x16, and two Gen 2 x1 slots; and an entry-level combination of audio CODEC and Ethernet PHY (Realtek ALC887 + RTL8111H). The B550M Vector will be the most affordable B550 offering from MSI, thanks to its narrow Micro-ATX footprint, and just two DIMM slots. Unlike the A520M Vector, this board gives you PCI-Express 4.0 x16 and a Gen 4 NVMe slot. The onboard audio+Ethernet combination is the same as the Bazooka. Both boards offer dual-band 802.11ac WLAN + Bluetooth 4.2, put out by an Intel Wireless-AC 3168 WLAN solution. The company didn't reveal pricing.
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13 Comments on MSI Outs MAG A520M Bazooka WiFi and MAG B550M Vector WiFi

#1
TheLostSwede
Sorry, but why are 99% of all AM4 mATX boards crap?
It's like none of the board makers are willing to make a single decent AM4 mATX board, while they all make several ones for Intel CPUs.
There are better mini-ITX boards for crying out loud.
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#2
1d10t
TheLostSwede
Sorry, but why are 99% of all AM4 mATX boards crap?
It's like none of the board makers are willing to make a single decent AM4 mATX board, while they all make several ones for Intel CPUs.
There are better mini-ITX boards for crying out loud.
Mine actually pretty decent, able to turn off RGB through BIOS, got more USB port than MSI, able to do mild RAM overclocking and also dirt cheap. Just one small bumpy in audio, it keeps crackling even after 3rd software update.
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#3
RedelZaVedno
TheLostSwede
Sorry, but why are 99% of all AM4 mATX boards crap?
It's like none of the board makers are willing to make a single decent AM4 mATX board, while they all make several ones for Intel CPUs.
There are better mini-ITX boards for crying out loud.
Just get Gigabyte B550M Aorus PRO-P (-P is a newer version with better heatsinks). It's a very decent mATX MB with 10+2 phases design, PCIe4 support, shielded ALC1200, 2.5GbE LAN and a LOT of USBs for around 100 bucks.
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#4
Jill Valentine
TheLostSwede
Sorry, but why are 99% of all AM4 mATX boards crap?
It's like none of the board makers are willing to make a single decent AM4 mATX board, while they all make several ones for Intel CPUs.
There are better mini-ITX boards for crying out loud.
I have nothing to complain about my MSI B450M Mortar Max than this has only 4 SATA ports.
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#5
tabascosauz
TheLostSwede
Sorry, but why are 99% of all AM4 mATX boards crap?
It's like none of the board makers are willing to make a single decent AM4 mATX board, while they all make several ones for Intel CPUs.
There are better mini-ITX boards for crying out loud.
The Intel mATX boards are just the same 4 layer boards. Except for just 2 boards - the Z490 Strix-G which is the only midrange 6-layer mATX board, and the high end Gene that they didn't make for Z490.

On AMD, we don't get 6 layer mATX boards (Z490-G), and we don't get 10 layer ITX boards (Z490I Ultra). But quite honestly, now that I've had time to get over being mad about there not being a Strix mATX for AMD, I can see why.

- 4-layer mATX (TUF, Mortar) pretty much max out the FCLK for Matisse and Vermeer - it's getting over 4000 that's the issue with those boards.
- If it's 4000-5000MT/s you want by using a Renoir CPU, the existing 8-layer ITX (Aorus, Strix, Gaming Edge) have you covered there.
- Then for the rest pushing 6000MT/s validations, there's always the Impact.

Moving from 4 to 6-layer mATX or 8 to 10-layer ITX probably also helps keep VRM PCB temps down on Z490 - Ryzen doesn't have much power draw.

I just wish they would make at least a Strix mATX for us because while the TUF is a solid board, the aesthetics suck ass. But because Strix needs to be a 6-layer or better board, Asus refuses to make a mATX Strix for us. Why draw potential buyers away from your exciting, expensive ITX Strix and Impact?

The Aorus Pro actually had a matte PCB and looked great - too bad it was a shit board through and through. Then GB rectified its problems with the Pro-P...and for some reason took away the matte PCB so it looks like every other ass mATX 4-layer.
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#6
thegnome
Would be fun to see overbuilt 500$ mATX board. VRM and mem overclocking galore!
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#7
BSim500
TheLostSwede
Sorry, but why are 99% of all AM4 mATX boards crap?
It's like none of the board makers are willing to make a single decent AM4 mATX board, while they all make several ones for Intel CPUs.
There are better mini-ITX boards for crying out loud.
The problem is over-segmentation. Aside from X vs B vs A chipsets, you have within each cr*p like "ROG vs TUF vs Prime" or "Mortar vs Bazooka vs Vector". So it ends up like 9x different segments the "worst" of which have to be made deliberately cr*p in order to make the others look relatively better. Hence why ALC887 audio or half-speed (1x1) Wi-Fi is still a thing. (Reality check: Skylake ITX boards like the ASUS B150I PRO GAMING came with 2x2 antenna and that was 5x years ago). They could literally scrap the A chipset and just make a High-Low variant of the B/X boards, reducing "choice" from 9x to 4x segments and not only lose nothing, the quality of boards might actually increase to being worth buying instead of the current "wall of spam" we have.
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#8
watzupken
TheLostSwede
Sorry, but why are 99% of all AM4 mATX boards crap?
It's like none of the board makers are willing to make a single decent AM4 mATX board, while they all make several ones for Intel CPUs.
There are better mini-ITX boards for crying out loud.
I won't go to say MATX boards are crap. But the reality is that all MATX boards are entry level boards/ build. For example, you don't see MATX Asrock Tachi SKUs. Instead you get Steel Legend and their Pro series for MATX form. Essentially MATX is relegated to a low end by motherboard manufacturers which I feel is unfortunate. I agree if you want a better board, the only option will be to get ITX boards if the casing can't fit an ATX board. Only problem with ITX is that the board is very cram and very limited expansion options.
BSim500
The problem is over-segmentation. Aside from X vs B vs A chipsets, you have within each cr*p like "ROG vs TUF vs Prime" or "Mortar vs Bazooka vs Vector".
ROG vs TUF vs Prime - You are comparing the high, mid and entry level tiers.

For MSI, the fragmentation is worst. When you are looking at the high end, you have GodLike and MEG series. Mid tier you have the likes of Gaming Carbon and Gaming Edge series. For the entry level, MAG and the Pro are the entry level series. So within MAG series, you now have Mortar, Bazooka and Vector which further segments the entry level model. The Vector here is as good as the Pro series with a fancier board design and perhaps a slightly better cooler.
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#9
TheLostSwede
watzupken
I won't go to say MATX boards are crap. But the reality is that all MATX boards are entry level boards/ build. For example, you don't see MATX Asrock Tachi SKUs. Instead you get Steel Legend and their Pro series for MATX form. Essentially MATX is relegated to a low end by motherboard manufacturers which I feel is unfortunate. I agree if you want a better board, the only option will be to get ITX boards if the casing can't fit an ATX board. Only problem with ITX is that the board is very cram and very limited expansion options.
Sorry what? Why does a mATX build have to be an entry level build? That makes ZERO sense.
I want to build a high-end mATX system, as I don't need the additional slots and would like a smaller case, but alas, most of the boards are utter shite, so I have to build a full ATX system. However, I do need a PCIe x4 slot for my 10Gbps Ethernet card in addition to a graphics card and a couple of M.2 drives.
When I built my current rig, there wasn't a single decent mATX AM4 board. Now there might be one or two, but it's depressing to see, especially as we have some really high-end mini-ITX boards out there, which clearly are not aiming for entry level builds.
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#10
Colddecked
There's just not enough difference between mATX and Full ATX and not enough interest to make high end mATX verisons of their top end ATX stuff.
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#11
kapone32
thegnome
Would be fun to see overbuilt 500$ mATX board. VRM and mem overclocking galore!
The As Rock X399 Pro M.
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#12
NesteaZen
@TheLostSwede what you mean
plenty of good matx, b550 even, boards for 5950x. ?

>When I built my current rig, there wasn't a single decent mATX AM4 board.
in regards to? storage? design-wise?

plenty of z490 worse than b460. so, so much for that
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#13
TheLostSwede
NesteaZen
@TheLostSwede what you mean
plenty of good matx, b550 even, boards for 5950x. ?
Seriously? When I built my rig there wasn't one. Now there are maybe two or three at the most that comes anywhere close to decent.
So no, plenty is not a word I would use.
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