MSI B350I PRO AC Ryzen Motherboard Review @ [H]

Discussion in 'AMD MoBos' started by FrgMstr, Aug 23, 2018.

  1. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    MSI B350I PRO AC Ryzen Motherboard Review

    While we might be late to the party with a B350 review, we were running tests with it and were so impressed we thought we would put it through the full review process. MSI’s B350I PRO AC might just have been worth the wait. How does this inexpensive powerhouse fair against more expensive offerings?

    If you like our content, please support HardOCP on Patreon.
     
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  2. ssnyder28

    ssnyder28 2[H]4U

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    Did they just release this? Why didn;t they go with B450? Weird.
     
  3. MrDeaf

    MrDeaf Limp Gawd

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    Although I know this will slow down the review process further, I think it might be nice to see how a R5 2400G would have performed on the board.
    I hear the GPU portion on the APU can really hammer the SoC VRM thermals if they aren't sufficient.

    Anemic VRM heatsinks are definitely a problem, but Asus is definitely way worse than MSI with regards to VRM heatsinks. MSI actually upgraded their VRM heatsinks in the X470/B450 range, where as Asus seems to have regressed even further than what you see on the MSI B350I that you have reviewed.

    The VRM layout for MSI B450I Pro AC is 6+2, according to here:
    https://www.hardwareluxx.de/community/f12/pga-am4-mainboard-vrm-liste-1155146.html
    https://www.hw-journal.de/testberichte/mainboards/3227-msi-b350i-pro-ac-test?showall=&start=3

    Which is surprisingly good, since AsRock only does a 3+2 and Asus does 6+1 for their mITX offerings.
    MSI's VRM design is handicapped because of older and hotter running VRMs.
     
  4. sboucher

    sboucher Gawd

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  5. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    MSI press release from January 6, 2018 announcing this motherboard.
     
  6. Chimpee

    Chimpee [H]ard|Gawd

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    Just received this today, looking forward to build my 2600X system this weekend.
     
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  7. sboucher

    sboucher Gawd

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    Cool! Be sure to share your experiences with the board and platform.

    I was too chicken since no [H] review, didn't want to risk limiting any overclocking potential. I've always wanted to do a mATX build though.
     
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  8. mvmiller12

    mvmiller12 Gawd

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    I've had a B350 chipset board with an R7 1700 @ 3.8GHz since Ryzen launch last year. I lucked out with my RAM that I had and have been running the XMP profile on it (@2933) since Day 1 with no problems. Overclock was achieved by simply setting the LCC to Extreme and changing the multiplier. Of course BIOS updates have improved performance (particularly boot time) and made more options available, but I was pretty lucky, I guess.

    When you look at it from a purely chipset standpoint, you aren't really losing anything of worth going Bx50 vs Xx70 - just 4 PCIe lanes and the ability to do SLI. Everything else is controlled by the mobo manufacturer, and some are better than others with that. Hell, Asus even has a B350 mini-ITX ROG STRIX board...
     
  9. sboucher

    sboucher Gawd

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    Ya, when I was researching it I was coming across complaints about VRM's on that chipset (B350). I was very tempted with B450 though, but like I said in my previous post, I wasn't willing to make the dive without an [H] stamp of approval.
     
  10. mvmiller12

    mvmiller12 Gawd

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    The Asus B350 Prime Plus is currently in my wife's PC with that same CPU and Overclock (R7 1700 @ 3.8GHz and RAM @ 2933). When it was in mine, I had the VRMs water-cooled because I do a lot of video encoding. Her computer is mostly for games and schoolwork, and since her case is an awful lot tighter for space than mine, I put the heatsinks back on. It's been fine for her. They never seem to get particularly hot with her use pattern.

    I have never had any stability or difficulty of configuration issues with that B350 board either. My X370 boards I've used since, though (Prime X370-A and Crosshair VI Hero)... both of these have been a pain to set up. And of these, only the Crosshair VI was perfectly stable after tweaking and putting it on the latest BIOS (currently using R7 2700X with this). I never could get the X370-A stable at anything other than plain stock with the older R7 1700. I never tried it with the R7 2700X.

    Edit: Fixed grammar, cleaned up post. Diabetes really sucks. :(
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2018
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  11. Meeho

    Meeho [H]ardness Supreme

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    I didn't like MSI boards before due to their lacking BIOS and various quirks, but it seems like HardOCP is very pleased with them lately. Are they the best when it comes to current AMD boards? That's the impression I got from the latest reviews here.
     
  12. dragonstongue

    dragonstongue 2[H]4U

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    I was eyeballing the B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC myself, everything I have read sport this out as probably the BEST B450 currently in pretty much everything, it loses a bit in some aspects from its big brother x470 such as more pci-e for dual gpu (could care less) a few sata ports and if I recall instead of a 12x2 VRM uses an 8.x2 (single 8 pin cpu aux connector instead of 8+4, which so far does not appear to be a real detriment for Ryzen 1xxx or 2xxx of any type)

    The way they designed and implemented the VRM and heatsinks actually put it above the x470 or at least directly comparable to most of them (seems by them dropping a couple phases but keeping a really beefy heatsink design paid in spades)..so it more or less is an x470 for single gpu users at its heart...I was very very tempted for it because of the price point, save ~$60 going this route instead of the x470 way...was looking at the asus Strix B350-f as well, but the reviews (or at least customer feedback) did not seem nearly as positive so this put me on the fences.

    Beyond everything else, the audio design they used for it is what really tempts me, likely will not need any added cost to buy a different sound card (such as Creative Z) because on paper it is as good if not better than many of them.

    these are two specific comparison reviews I would like to see an unbiased reviewer to "test" am on a want to buy soon type approach but likely will wait a few months before 7nm chips start rolling out so that DDR4 and GPU pricing (Radeon) start to settle down more than they are (SSD price should be falling very shortly as well from what I have read)

    Asus ROG STRIX B450-F
    MSI B450 GAMING PRO CARBON AC

    thanks for the review Kyle and [H] a pleasure as always o7
     
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  13. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Wish I had seen this earlier.

    I just ordered all the parts for my fiancee's next system, a passively cooled Ryzen 5 2400G in a Streacom FC5 case

    I probably could have gone with this motherboard, but I was uncertain which 3xx chipset motherboards were receiving bios updates to support Raven Ridge, so I figured to be on the safe side, I should get one with a 4xx chipset.

    I searched on newegg, filtering by B450 or X470, Mini-ITX or Micro-ATX, and having at least one Displayport.

    This left me with three choices:

    I was amazed there were only three choices, none of them Micro ATX

    After looking through the choices, since this is an APU system and I don't want to have to use the PCIe slot, I decided to go with the Asrock X470 board, as I liked the on board features better. It cost $50 more, but I can live with that. Hopefully it won't be a bad board.
     
  14. Chimpee

    Chimpee [H]ard|Gawd

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    MSI B450M Mortar has a display port, it just took forever for MSI to release it.

    MSI B450M Mortar on Newegg
     
  15. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Odd, wonder why it didn't show up in my search.

    Probably because I filtered by Micro ATX and Mini ITX. It is a Micro-ATX board, but it looks like they neglected to add that to the specs page.

    That's a shame . Looks like a nice little board at a very good price. Too late for me now though. I'm going to have to live with the ASRock X470 board.
     
  16. Chimpee

    Chimpee [H]ard|Gawd

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    Not sure when you ordered the ASRock X470, but the listing for B450M Mortar didn't show up on Newegg until mid August That might be a reason why you didn't see it.
     
  17. SIS

    SIS [H]Lite

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    Let's hope this isn't one of those bait and switch moves, where a company substitutes a lower-spec product for the one that got a good review. This was "Consumer Reports Syndrome", where the top-rated or top-value product would be unavailable by the time the issue was printed. It has been done in tech a number of times. Just because a product is newer or has a longer name doesn't mean it hasn't been downgraded somehow.

    Gigabyte, for instance, cut out some components from its UD3P 970 board, when moving from 1.0 to 2.0. This caused users to no longer be able to adjust certain voltages, like northbridge and hypertransport. The 2.0 board also developed a boot bug where the board would not post if the multiplier was past what would result in 4.4 GHz. This forced 2.0 users to resort to BCLK overclocking to go past 4.4 and caused 4.4 to be the most efficient, when benchmarks were compared. Gigabyte made people think the 2.0 board is a pure upgrade by improving the audio, replacing the VIA chip with a Realtek. Very clever. Put in a substandard part that's obvious, to get people to complain about it, and then release an upgrade that will distract them from a downgrade in overclocking ability.

    Lenovo did this with the S-10 netbook. It was widely praised by reviewers for having a matte screen, a rarity for netbooks because glossy screens are a tiny bit cheaper to make. But, Lenovo replaced the S-10 with the matte screen with one that has a glossy screen. It didn't change the name from S-10, though.

    Going back to motherboards... companies like Gigabyte have been known to release even 5 different revisions of the "same" board, revisions that differ in various specs/performance metrics — such as VRM robustness. The only way the consumer would know is to find a tiny 1.0, 2.0, 2.1 – and so on – number on the small white sticker on the side of the box.

    I do see that the MSRP of the replacement board, in this case, is higher. That's another classic bait and switch maneuver. Give reviewers a lower MSRP then replace with a product that is only available at a higher one.

    One last example (of so so many) of deceptive practices is Sapphire's Vega GPUs. Sapphire released "limited edition" models of the 56 and 64 that have vapor chambers hidden in their coolers. Then, after getting those to review sites, it supplied mass market companies like Amazon with identical-looking cards lacking the vapor chambers. The naming, packaging... basically everything was designed to make this deception as profitable as possible for Sapphire. Like the hidden revision numbers for boards and special 4 digit codes tacked onto netbooks like the S-10, these practices are designed to better fulfill the corporate mantra: sell less for more.
     
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