MSI’s Ryzen motherboard catalog gets reinforcements

If you've been after a Ryzen machine yet struggling to find a motherboard, MSI might soon have the answer for you. The company is launching its second wave of Ryzen motherboards and has a micro-site up for your perusal. Five boards make up the new releases: the X370 Krait Gaming, the X370 SLI-Plus, the B350M Bazooka, plus "Arctic" versions of the B350 Tomahawk and B350M Mortar.

Starting off at the top, we have the X370 Krait Gaming and X370 SLI-Plus. These two ATX motherboards are apparently identical aside from the name and the branding. The X370 Krait Gaming has the edgy design and shocking aesthetics that gamers obviously crave. Meanwhile, the X370 SLI-Plus appears to be a more "serious" offering for all of the businesses and professionals that need SLI support.

Whichever board you choose, you get four DDR4 DIMM slots supporting transfer rates up to 3200 MT/s and unbuffered ECC DIMMS. Onboard connectivity includes three PCIe x16 slots, an M.2 socket with four lanes of PCIe connectivity, and a pair of rear-panel USB 3.1 ports in both Type-A and Type-C flavors. MSI brags about its choice of the ASMedia ASM2142 USB 3.1 controller with its two lanes of PCIe connectivity, letting boards run two USB 3.1 devices at 8Gbps simultaneously. Realtek chips handle both audio and LAN duties.

Stepping over to the B350 chipset, the only wholly-new offering today is the B350M Bazooka. This micro-ATX board is part of MSI's Arsenal Gaming series and wears a stealthy black-and-metal color scheme with gray accents. The board looks quite nice, considering it's a modest offering. There are no surprises on this model, except perhaps that it offers both legacy serial and parallel port headers. You get four DDR4 slots, four 6Gbps SATA ports, a PCIe x16 slot, and an M.2 socket.

MSI is also releasing white-out versions of the B350M Mortar and B350 Tomahawk, both with the Arctic appellation. These boards are identical to their respective standard models, save for the new color scheme. The white LEDs on these boards could be quite a striking fashion statement in a suitably-colored case. Of course, all five of these motherboards have a Mystic Light header to control RGB LED devices.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like any of these boards have actually hit e-tail yet, at least here in the US of A. Keep an eye out, because MSI says they should be here any second now.

Comments closed
    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    I’ve been checking the specs of X370 and B350 boards (but mostly B350) and I notice that practically all of them use the Realtek ALC887 audio codec. Now these B350 boards are pretty much for budget minded buyers so the ALC887, which is also pretty much a lower-spec codec, is a reasonable option for mobo makers. Now you really can’t expect it to blow you away but is there anyone here who has experience with them? I can’t find it on Realtek’s site but I read somewhere that it’s comparable to the ALC892.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    I notice that with B350 motherboards, there’s usually an x16 slot, an x4 slot, an two x1 slots. Thing is, though, if you put anything on either of those x1 slots, the x4 slot drops to x2 operation. Is this correct? And does this sort of thing also happen with the X370? What about Intel B and H platforms?

      • DancinJack
      • 3 years ago

      I don’t know, but can you seriously not put all your thoughts into one comment? I see three top lvl comments here within ten minutes. C’mon ronch.

        • ronch
        • 3 years ago

        What’s the problem with splitting my comments? Does it cost you a cent?

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 3 years ago

      We’re seeing more PCIe lanes dedicated to the M.2 slots.

        • ronch
        • 3 years ago

        I suppose, as long as the M.2 slot sticks with x4 operation regardless of what you plug into the PCIe slots then there’s no problem. Apart from graphics cards and perhaps PCIe SSDs nothing uses more than an x1 slot anyway, AFAIK.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    Hey how about calling those white boards the Albino Series™? 🙂

      • raddude9
      • 3 years ago

      [quote<]Hey how about calling those white boards the Albino Series™? :-)[/quote<] Or how about we don't name motherboards after congenital disorders that can lead to debilitating symptoms.

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 3 years ago

        One of the causes of the rise of certain “plain speaking” politicians is a rebellion against increasing sensitivity. I can understand a lot of the frustration with the endless creep of new terms that can no longer be employed in public, and which would be embarrassing if someone were recorded using them in private. So on the matter of “albino” motherboards, I see no reason to shed tears. There should be a [i<]short[/i<] list of off-limits words, not a long list.

          • raddude9
          • 3 years ago

          I’m not saying that “Albino” should be an off-limit word. I just think that using a medical condition to try to get a cheap laugh is a crummy thing to do.

        • ronch
        • 3 years ago

        Don’t take everything too seriously.

          • raddude9
          • 3 years ago

          [quote<]Don't be so sensitive, man[/quote<] Sure, I'll agree to be less sensitive in the future if you agree to be less crass. EDIT: Your ninja edit completely changed the meaning of the post that I originally replied to.

      • Krogoth
      • 3 years ago

      Pffft, I like when they were called “Silver Dragons”

      [url<]https://techreport.com/review/4444/soyo-sy-p4x400-dragon-ultra-motherboard/2[/url<]

      • mcarson09
      • 3 years ago

      It’s better than black boards especially if you drop a jumper you just pulled.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    I’d like to know who started this stupid fad of printing silly graphics on motherboards. Fancy heatsinks are OK so long as they’re not over the top but drawing silly checkers or gears or whatever on the PCB is just ugly and lame.

    • Krogoth
    • 3 years ago

    [Looks at motherboard with white PCB board]

    It is the rebirth of Soyo.

    • DancinJack
    • 3 years ago

    Holy crap those are ugly boards. What is going on?

      • DoomGuy64
      • 3 years ago

      The Gigabyte board looks the best and is well rounded, but the Asus board has more OC features. Hard to decide on a board since there isn’t a solid winner.

    • TwistedKestrel
    • 3 years ago

    What the heck are people going to do with a parallel port these days?

      • ronch
      • 3 years ago

      Um, to connect your Epson LX-300 to, of course! 😀

      • etana
      • 3 years ago

      i still have a parallel port joystick

        • bthylafh
        • 3 years ago

        Unlikely. You’ve most likely got a *gameport* joystick.

        [url<]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_port[/url<]

      • Concupiscence
      • 3 years ago

      Connect a parallel port CD-ROM drive, obviously.

      In all seriousness, I’ve got no idea. Skimming the Wikipedia article, I find:

      “For electronics hobbyists the parallel port is still often the easiest way to connect to an external circuit board. It is faster than the other common legacy port (serial port) and requires no serial-to-parallel converter, and requires far less interface logic and software than a USB target interface. However, Microsoft operating systems later than Windows 95/98 prevent user programs from directly writing to or reading from the LPT without additional software (kernel extensions). Current CNC Milling Machines also often make use of the parallel port to directly control the machine’s motors and attachments.”

      So the answer is, it caters to a small subset of hardware tinkerers for whom even the inclusion of the antediluvian serial port just isn’t enough. I guess.

    • Waco
    • 3 years ago

    Krait boards used to be attractive. Too bad they’ve gone down the hideous route instead…

      • juzz86
      • 3 years ago

      The ‘SLI’ models are the classy option from MSI now.

    • albundy
    • 3 years ago

    just picked up a r7 1700 for $285 so i needs a mobo with better memory support. the first batch of them seemed to limit the ram speed.

      • ronch
      • 3 years ago

      Good grief! $285 for a 65w 8-core CPU! That’s an unbeatable combination of performance /watt/buckazoids!

        • mcarson09
        • 3 years ago

        Am I the only who would like to see 145-160W CPUs in Ryzen form?

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 3 years ago

      Of the ones that are available right now, I would choose the Gigabyte [url=http://www.gigabyte.us/Motherboard/GA-AB350M-Gaming-3-rev-10#kf<]GA-AB350M-Gaming 3[/url<]. The quickest memory that I see supported on the first batch of AM4 motherboards is [url=http://pcpartpicker.com/products/memory/#xcx=0&t=14&Z=16384001,32768002&V=310,1350&s=403200,403300,403333,403400,403466,403600,403666,403733,403866,404000,404133,404200,404266&sort=a7&L=0,140<]PC4-25600[/url<].

        • ronch
        • 3 years ago

        That’s also the board that I would get if I’m getting Ryzen now.

      • AnotherReader
      • 3 years ago

      Where did you get one for that price?

    • bthylafh
    • 3 years ago

    Those white motherboards look pretty sharp… too bad I detest windowed cases on principle and my cable routing game is weak.

    • ron_nelson
    • 3 years ago

    Sadly, the ECC mode is a lie: “in non-ECC mode”…

    D’oh

      • demani
      • 3 years ago

      Do any boards currently support ECC for real?

        • ron_nelson
        • 3 years ago

        I haven’t found any yet.

        Sure would like to see it though…

        • mcarson09
        • 3 years ago

        You need to wait for workstation boards to be released. Consumer boards always disappoint with it comes to ECC.

    • LiamC
    • 3 years ago

    When can we expect a review of Ryzen motherboards?

    Perhaps top-end ATX and mid-range mATX compared to similar Intel boards. I’m really wanting to know how USB 3.0/3.1 performance stacks up, ditto M.2 in SATA and NVMe. Overclocking ease, fan profiles. Not really looking for an Asus/Gigabyte/Asrock/MSi comparison.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 3 years ago

      Good news on those last two. If you buy a Ryzen 1700, it’s very easy to hit 1800X base speeds with a little extra voltage, even with the stock cooler. For fan profiles, both Gigabyte and MSI seem to have interfaces that are basically like their Intel counterparts. Smart fan controls on both the B350 Tomahawk (MSI) and AB350 Gaming 3 (Gigabyte) are very easy to do.

      USB 3.0/3.1 and SATA performance over NVMe seem fine. I have not run any benchmarks but it does not feel any slower than my Skylake box. I agree that real numbers are worthwhile, though.

        • LiamC
        • 3 years ago

        Thank you sir!

    • derFunkenstein
    • 3 years ago

    I thought we were going to get [url=https://techreport.com/news/31603/msi-z270-mpower-gaming-titanium-doubles-down-on-metal<]reinforced backplates[/url<] or something. :-/

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      Oh no, not this again! 😀

        • derFunkenstein
        • 3 years ago

        oh yes! 😉

    • Redocbew
    • 3 years ago

    Great, now I can use my motherboard as tiny camouflage if I’m ever trapped inside a black and white TV show.

      • Takeshi7
      • 3 years ago

      I miss when motherboards used to have color. Now they are all black and boring. And if they aren’t black they’re something grayscale. I will forever cherish my old PC with a blue PCB and bright yellow PCI slots.

        • UberGerbil
        • 3 years ago

        Yeah, wasn’t it great when the mobo guys spread color [url=http://i.imgur.com/IRSyRnE.jpg<]like a drunk baby at a crayon festival[/url<]?

          • Takeshi7
          • 3 years ago

          Damn, that purple PCB is awesome. Yes, they need to bring back color and make motherboards that look like 90s jackets again.

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