MSI herds Ryzen-ready motherboards to stores


— 3:00 PM on March 2, 2017

Every bit of news we have reported today has had at least a hint of Ryzen flavor. The latest announcement from MSI doesn't deviate from the trend, in the best of ways. The dragon afficianados have launched a slew of AM4 Ryzen-ready motherboards packing mainstream B350 and high-end X370 chipsets.

Budget users might want to cast their eyes towards MSI's trio of B350 offerings, all compatible with "Summit Ridge" Ryzen chips, as well as AMD's upcoming seventh-generation "Bristol Ridge" APUs. MSI's B350M Gaming and B350M Mortar are microATX boards with metal-reinforced PCIe x16 slots, four SATA 6Gbps ports, and an M.2 PCIe slot. The most obvious difference between the pair is the red silkscreening on the B350M Gaming PCB, though both boards have red LED illumination. The Mortar appears to be the more full-featured of the two, with four DIMM slots, a bigger cluster of audio jacks, a pair of PCIe x16 slots, and a USB Type-C port. The Mortar trades away a 1990s-era VGA port for a DisplayPort for APU graphics.

The third board, the B350 Tomahawk, is a full-size ATX affair with a gray-and-black design printed on the PCB. Like the boards above, one of the two PCIe 3.0 x16 slots is steel-plated for enhanced durability during transit. The extra space allowed by the ATX specification appears to be sub-optimally used by a pair of OG-Pentium-era PCI ports. Like its smaller siblings, the B350 Tomahawk sports four SATA 6Gbps connectors and an NVMe M.2 slot.

Opting for one of MSI's X370 offerings results in some extra goodies, in the form of the X370 Gaming Pro Carbon and X370 XPower Gaming Titanium motherboards. These mobos pack a second M.2 port, though it's limited to PCIe x2 speed. Both boards come with Intel Gigabit Ethernet chips. The X370 Gaming Pro Carbon has RGB LED illumination, a DVI port, and an HDMI connector, while the XPower Gaming Titanium eschews the light-show and offers DisplayPort and HDMI connectors, and a beneficial-or-befuddling "CMOS clear" button.

Newegg lists the B350M Gaming Pro at an affordable $80, while the larger B350 Tomahawk sells for $110. The X370 Gaming Carbon goes for $180, and the X370 XPower Gaming Titanium sells for an eye-popping $300. We were unable to find the B350 Mortar at any of our favorite e-tailers at the time of writing.

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