MSI B450 GAMING PRO CARBON AC Review 5

MSI B450 GAMING PRO CARBON AC Review

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Introduction


It is once again time to talk about a new chipset from AMD. This particular release, the B450 chipset, is no surprise. After the refresh of the X370 in the way of the X470 earlier this year, it was only a matter of time before the B300 series got the same treatment. The differences between the the old B300 series and new B400 series are pretty minor. However, the board we are looking at today is anything but minor. The MSI B450 GAMING PRO CARBON AC from MSI brings a lot more to the table than you might expect from a refreshed midrange board, and it is my pleasure to use it in this review as introduction to the chipset.

The MSI B450 GAMING PRO CARBON AC is a fully sized ATX board featuring everything we have come to expect from mainstream performance motherboards. The board features two M.2 slots, the first of which is covered by a thermal solution to increase drive performance and longevity. An impressive array of heatsinks cover the VRM and chipset to negate the risk of thermal throttling no matter the work load or climate. Add in a fully fleshed out audio solution, MSI Mystic Light, and Mystic Light Sync for expandable RGB support, and an especially beefy VRM design, and the MSI B450 GAMING PRO CARBON AC could be a true gaming powerhouse.

The MSI B450 GAMING PRO CARBON AC is actually fighting a battle on two fronts. On one hand, as a midrange chipset board, it is competing with boards like the ASRock AB350M Pro4 I took a look at earlier this year, affordable boards that still offer good performance. On the other hand, the MSI B450 GAMING PRO CARBON AC is offering the premium features you would expect from mainstream X470 boards. MSI has put themselves on a tightrope balancing features with affordability. By the end of this review, we will see whether they made it.



Specifications

Specifications
CPU Support:AMD Socket AM4 A-Series APUs (Bristol Ridge) and Ryzen CPUs (Summit Ridge and Raven Ridge)
Power Design: CPU Power: 9 phase
Memory Power: 2 phase
Chipset:AMD Promontory B450
Integrated Graphics:Dependent on installed CPU/APU
Memory:Dependent on installed CPU/APU
BIOS:AMI UEFI BIOS
Expansion Slots: 1x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots
1x PCIe 2.0 x16 slot
3x PCIe 2.0 x1 slot
Storage: 6x SATA 6 Gb/s port
2x M.2 port (PCIe 3.0 x4 or SATA 6 Gb/s)
Networking:1x Intel I211AT Gigabit LAN Controller
Rear Ports: 1x BIOS Flashback+ button
1x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port
2x USB 2.0 Type-A (black)
1x DisplayPort
1x HDMI
1x LAN (RJ45) port
1x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C
2x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A (blue)
1x WiFi Antenna connectors
5x Audio jack
1x Optical S/PDIF OUT connector
Audio:Realtek ALC1220 Codec
Fan Headers:6x 4-pin
Form Factor:ATX Form Factor: 12 in x 9.6 in, 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm
Exclusive Features:
  • Audio Boost
  • Nahimic 3
  • Voice Boost
  • Twin Turbo M.2
  • Extended Heatsink
  • Gaming fan control
  • Mystic Light
  • Mystic Light Extension
  • Mystic Light SYNC
  • EZ DEBUG LED
  • M.2 Shield
  • PCIe steel Armor
  • PCIe steel Slot
  • AMD 2-way CrossFire
  • DDR4 Boost
  • CORE Boost
  • GAME Boost
  • AMD Turbo USB 3.1 Gen 2
  • GAMING LAN with Gaming LAN Manager
  • Click BIOS 5
  • StoreMI
  • BIOS FLASHBACK+
  • AMD Precision Boost OverDrive
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