The AMD B550 Motherboard Overview: ASUS, GIGABYTE, MSI, ASRock, and Othersby Dr. Ian Cutress & Gavin Bonshor on June 16, 2020 11:00 AM EST
MSI MPG B550 Gaming Edge Wifi
Moving a step down MSI's B550 models, we come to the MSI MPG B550 Gaming Edge Wifi which opts for a design consistent with its MPG series. Focusing its attention at gamers, the B550 Gaming Edge Wifi includes a near-identical feature set to the more expensive B550 Gaming Carbon Wifi with two M.2 slots, a Realtek ALC1200 HD audio codec, an Intel Wi-Fi 6 interface and a Realtek 2.5 Gbe Ethernet controller.
The MSI MPG B550 Gaming Edge Wifi is an ATX motherboard with a simplistic primarily black aesthetic with silver accents on the heatsinks, with integrated RGB LEDs within the chipset heatsink. Dominating the lower portion of the board is the expansion slots which consists of a single full-length PCIe 4.0 x16 slot, a full-length PCIe 3.0 x4 slot, and two PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. For storage, the B550 Gaming Edge Wifi includes two M.2 slots with the top slot operating at PCIe 4.0 x4, and the second slot limited to PCIe 3.0 x4, while six SATA ports are present which support RAID 0, 1, and 10 arrays. MSI includes official QVL support for DDR4-5100 memory and allows users to install up to 128 GB of system memory across four memory slots.
Looking at the rear panel, the B550 Gaming Edge Wifi includes one USB 3.2 G2 Type-C, one USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, two USB 3.2 G1 Type-A, and two USB 2.0 ports. For networking, it is using a Realtek RTL8125B 2.5 GbE Ethernet controller and Intel AX200 Wi-Fi 6 pairing, while the onboard audio which consists of five 3.5 mm audio jacks and S/PDIF optical output are controlled by a Realtek ALC1200 HD audio codec. Users looking to use legacy peripherals will find a single PS/2 combo keyboard and mouse port, while Ryzen APU's are supported and a pair of video outputs are present including an HDMI and DisplayPort 1.4. Finishing off the rear panel is a small BIOS Flashback button.
The MSI MPG B550 Gaming Edge Wifi has an MSRP of $190 and represents its mid-range AM4 series aimed at gamers. MSI has included some premium components including a Realtek RTL8125B 2.5 GbE Ethernet controller, with an assisting Intel AX200 Wi-Fi 6 interface and offers users with support for BT 5.0 devices. From the storage, only the top PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slot includes a heatsink, and looking at the who B550 product stack across multiple vendors, it seems to lose out a little in terms of overall features compared to some. An example of this comes via the use of a slightly lower grade Realtek ALC1200 HD audio codec.