Board Features

The B350 Tomahawk is a solid option given the component choice and offers virtually everything you would expect from a $100 offering. One of the defining features of this particular B350 model is that it does technically support two-way CrossFireX multi graphics cards configurations. The top PCIe 3.0 slot, which has been reinforced with MSI’s Steel Armor, operates at x16 with a single GPU, whereas the second slot operates at x4, but is only PCIe 2.0. 

MSI B350 Tomahawk ATX Motherboard
Warranty Period 3 Years
Product Page Link
Price $95
Size ATX
CPU Interface AM4
Chipset AMD B350
Memory Slots (DDR4) Four DDR4
Supporting 64GB
Dual Channel
Up to 3200 MHz
Video Outputs HDMI 1.4, DVI-D, VGA
Network Connectivity Realtek 8111H Gigabit
Onboard Audio Realtek ALC892
PCIe Slots for Graphics (from CPU) 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16
PCIe Slots for Other (from PCH) 1 x PCIe 2.0 x4
2 x PCIe 2.0 x1
2 x PCI x1
Onboard SATA Four, RAID 0/1/10
Onboard M.2 1 x PCIe 3.0 x4, on Front
USB 3.1 (10 Gbps) N/A
USB 3.0 (5 Gbps) 1 x Type-C Rear Panel
3 x Type-A Rear Panel
2 x Header
USB 2.0 2 × Header
2 x Rear Panel
Power Connectors 1 x 24-pin ATX
1 x 8-pin CPU
Fan Headers 1 x CPU (4-pin)
4 x System (4-pin)
1 x System/Pump (4-pin)
IO Panel 3 x USB 3.0 Type-A
1 x USB 3.0 Type-C
2 x USB 2.0 Type-A
1 x Network RJ-45 (Realtek)
1 x HDMI 1.4
1 x VGA
1 x DVI-D
1 x Combo PS/2
6 x 3.5 mm Audio Jacks

Even though the B350 Tomahawk doesn’t have support for NVIDIA SLI, users looking to utilize more than one graphics card should look towards the X370 chipset as this has far better options, and X370 supports SLI too. An interesting element is that this board does not have any USB 3.1 (10 Gbps) ports, despite the chipset supporting them.

Visual Inspection

The MSI B350 Tomahawk conforms to the usual ATX sizing (305 x 244mm) and features a shiny grey PCB with red accents on the power delivery heat sinks. This is a budget focused board, so the PCB is scarce beyond the aesthetics, but this is normal for a board of its price range.

On networking, the Realtek 8111H controller is located on the rear panel, and for audio is the Realtek ALC892 codec. Based on our performance numbers, the ALC892 as the low-end 7.1 option does perform a little bit worse than the slightly more expensive ALC1150 and ALC1220 codecs. The B350 Tomahawk does not feature a S/PDIF output, but rather it makes use of an additional 3.5mm audio jack which puts the total up to six on this particular model. The audio component section features an isolation line from the rest of the PCB to reduce inductance between the digital and audio traces, but there is no EMI shield on the codec. There are a set of Nippon Chemi-con gold audio capacitors to support the on-board audio.

There is a full compliment of DRAM slots on the MSI B350 Tomahawk, with support for up to a maximum of 64GB of DDR4, and the motherboard is listed up to DDR4-3200 for Ryzen CPUs/APUs or DDR4-2400 for Bristol Ridge APUs.

Underneath the darker grey heatsinks is a formidable (for the price range) set of midrange NIKOS MOSFETs, supplemented and controlled by a single AMD SVI2 compliant Richtek RT8894A PWM phase controller. The phases run in 4+2 configuration with the two being designed for the APU and SoC segments of the chip. With a lot of heat (pun intended) on motherboard manufacturers to improve the power delivery cooling, MSI has gone with a very reasonable offering of a metal bulk for better heat dissipation. It is nice to see a lower end board feature more function than flash, and a better design than some RGB enabled plastic.

Some users may care that the heat sinks do not feature RGB LED lighting, or any lighting for that fact, but MSI has implemented red LEDs on the rear to provide an ambient red glow (of sorts) when installed into a “closed” chassis. There is an additional 4-pin RGB header towards the bottom of the board.

One of the biggest differences between the B350 and X370 chipsets is storage support: the B350 chipset has native support for four SATA 6Gb/s ports, while the X370 chipset supports six. On the MSI B350 Tomahawk, two of the SATA ports are angled while the other two are vertical with the board. Typically this vertical arrangement is seen on cheaper motherboards. Along with the SATA ports is a single PCIe 3.0 x4 slot, suitable for NVMe drives up to 110mm.

On the rear panel, from left to right, there is a combination PS/2 connector, two USB 2.0 ports, a VGA video output, a DVI-D video output, a HDMI port, a USB 3.0 Type-C port, three USB 3.0 Type-A ports, a network port, and the audio jacks.

In the Box

The MSI B350 Tomahawk has a fairly limited set of accessories, but with that said, more than enough is included for an initial setup. We get the following:

  • Driver Disk
  • User & Quick Start guide
  • AMD Screw CPU Cooler guide
  • Rear I/O Plate
  • Two SATA Cables (One right angled and one straight)
  • Thank you card

MSI B350 Tomahawk Overview And Overclocking BIOS And Software
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  • Myrandex - Monday, March 12, 2018 - link

    I despise this too :( although based on the other comment below I'm hoping it actually is 3.1! Reply
  • Myrandex - Monday, March 12, 2018 - link

    The Krait website for this board says the C is a 3.1 port: https://us.msi.com/Motherboard/B350-KRAIT-GAMING

    And for this version of the motherboard it appears that it supports 3.1 for the Front Panel connectors, so if connected to a case the front plugs could be good! https://us.msi.com/Motherboard/B350-TOMAHAWK
    Reply
  • Geranium - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - link

    Those are USB 3.0 AKA USB 3.1 G1, not real USB 3.1 AKA 3.1 G2 which B350 chipset supports. Reply
  • vkristof - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - link

    The MSI B350 KRAIT GAMING motherboards supports TWO USB 3.1 Gen2 ports (one Type-A, one Type-C), but does it via an "ASMedia® ASM2142 Chipset". It shows the ASM 2142 both in the features and block diagram section of the motherboard manual. The block diagram shows the ASM2142 connected between the USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports and the B350 (PCI express lanes)

    So what gives with no USB 3.1 Gen2 from the B350 itself?
    Reply
  • attractionsandplaces - Monday, March 26, 2018 - link

    Really very good presentation of the topic.These type of relevant topics are the target of the viewers.
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    Reply
  • vkristof - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - link

    yeah: this has been driving me nuts.
    Many B350 motherboards do not list the full complement of TWO (2) USB 3.1 Gen ports that AMD states the chipset/FCH/whatever provides. Are there additional components that have to be added to the B350 to get the Gen2 speed to work?
    Reply
  • Tsavo - Monday, March 12, 2018 - link

    I have the Krait version of this. It takes forever (15s) to POST. Latest BIOS doesn't fix it, either.

    Other than that massive clanger, it's an ok board, but I'd certainly not recommend any AMD based MSI board based upon the long POST time.
    Reply
  • artifex - Monday, March 12, 2018 - link

    My MSI 970a-g43 (AM3+) hits the Windows login screen in about 5 seconds.
    I wonder what's happened between then and now, design-wise? Especially since mine's not a "gaming" board and I got it for about $30-40.
    Reply
  • kepstin - Monday, March 12, 2018 - link

    The change to DDR 4 ram hurt motherboard post times a fair bit. And the am4 boards, particularly with early bioses, might put you into a slow ram setup retry loop.

    That said, with the latest (1.C) bios on my tomahawk, and with Windows whql mode enabled (turns off legacy boot), I have nothing to complain about with post speed.
    Reply
  • Tsavo - Monday, March 12, 2018 - link

    I think you may be on to something here. I've been poking around, and found out that the BIOS of my GTX 660 doesn't support UEFI fast boot. I emailed EVGA for an updated version that supports it.

    Dollars to donuts, the UEFI bios is looking for signed devices and takes a long time to do it if it comes across ones that aren't.
    Reply

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