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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  • artifex - Monday, March 12, 2018 - link

    Yikes. Guess I should be looking for an update to that situation when the 450/470-based boards come out, before deciding to upgrade. Reply
  • TrackSmart - Monday, March 12, 2018 - link

    Why the long post times for all of these modern motherboards? I thought my Ryzen motherboard was just poorly optimized (about 20 seconds to post; Also 20 seconds to wake from sleep). But it looks like this is one area where desktop motherboards have *not* improved performance-wise in the past 8 years.

    My 2010-era AMD system posts faster than my new Ryzen build. And it wakes from sleep in about 4-5 seconds instead of ~20 seconds. That is after all efforts to streamline the post times. My ~1 second improvement in post time mirrors the difference between "stripped" and "default" in this article, so I'm guessing that there's not a lot of improvement to be had, short of optimizations from the motherboard manufacturer themselves (ASUS in my case).
    Reply
  • silverblue - Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - link

    My Gigabyte GA-AB350 Gaming 3 has three Fast BIOS speed settings - Disabled, Enabled and Ultra Fast. The latter doesn't even show the BIOS before you get the Windows 10 logo, not a massive issue if you're happy with the APP Center within Windows instead of being able to go the BIOS directly. Reply
  • silverblue - Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - link

    Yep, 9 seconds from on to Windows 10 logo, and another 5 to login screen. About 5 seconds from sleep (though some of that is the display turning back on). I should also explain that I have a Samsung 850 Evo 250GB as my boot drive, and that I'm running a Ryzen 5 1600 with 16GB DDR4 3000 CL16. Reply
  • drexnx - Monday, March 12, 2018 - link

    the RGB-LED header on the regular tomahawk is a reduced functionality version that only gives you those 7 color choices - not 16.7 million like it should Reply
  • Saabensippen - Monday, March 12, 2018 - link

    In the "board explorer" in the BIOS on my tomahawk it clearly identifies two of the rear usb ports as USB 3.1 Gen2. I have never tested the speeds so I do not know if they actually run at that. Also, I have read TERRIBLE things about the latest BIOS such as RAM refusing to run below 1.5v, vcore not going below 1.3, and fan curves not being adjustable anymore. I have not updated, still on 1.9 or whatever the one from a few months ago was. Reply
  • Geranium - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - link

    The board explorer showing wrong information. Couldn't find mention of USB 3.1 AKA USB 3.1 G2 on specification page.
    https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/B350-TOMAHAWK/Spec...
    Reply
  • Saabensippen - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - link

    Yeah, I don't really know. The tomahawk arctic which is the same but white says that it has g2 so who knows. My BIOS says it's g2... It wouldn't be the first time that something reports that it's something other than what it is. Reply
  • vkristof - Friday, March 16, 2018 - link

    This could be a function of the B350 FCH supporting USB 3.1 Gen2 per AMD's claims, but the higher speed not actually working reliably in the real world. That might be the reason that MB manufacturers have to add the Asmedia USB 3.1 Gen2 chip for their motherboards that actually claim Gen 2 ports.
    I'm somewhat surprised that I haven't seen any articles that detail this AMD Gen 2 wrinkle. Maybe that AMD reddit guy might respond...
    Reply
  • Saabensippen - Thursday, March 22, 2018 - link

    I would be interested to find out. I don't run external hard drives or anything that would benefit from it though. Reply

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