MSI MAG B550M Mortar & B550M Mortar Wifi

The MSI B550M Mortar Wifi and B550M Mortar are MSI’s only micro-ATX models currently available at launch and represents the Arsenal series which is MSI’s entry-level gaming range. Both models are identical in terms of features and aesthetics, aside from the Wifi version which comes with a Wi-Fi 6 interface. Some of the pairings other features include two M.2 slots, a Realtek ALC1200 HD audio codec, and a Realtek 2.5 GbE Ethernet controller.

Focusing on the design, the MSI MAG B550M Mortar has a very elegant contrasting design, with striking silver heatsinks on a black and grey patterned PCB. The Mortar includes two full-length PCIe slots with a top slot which operates at PCIe 4.0 x16, a second slot is locked to PCIe 3.0 x4, as well as two PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. The storage capabilities include six SATA ports with support for RAID 0, 1, and 10 arrays, with a pair of M.2 slots. The top M.2 slot operates at PCIe 4.0 x4, while the bottom slot operates at just PCIe 3.0 x4. Users can install up to 128 GB of DDR4 across four memory slots, with speeds of up to DDR4-4400 officially supported.

On the rear panel is a pair of USB 3.2 G2 ports including a Type-A and Type-C, with two USB 3.2 G1 Type-A and two USB 2.0 ports. A Realtek RTL8125B 2.5 G Ethernet port takes care of the audio, while the B550M Mortar Wifi model includes an Intel AX200 Wi-Fi 6 interface with support for BT 5.0 devices. The boards five 3.5 mm audio jacks and S/PDIF optical output are controlled by a Realtek ALC1200 HD audio codec, and the pairing also includes an HDMI video output, a BIOS Flashback button, and a PS/2 keyboard and mouse combo port.

The MSI MAG B550M Mortar Wifi has an MSRP of $170, while the non-Wi-Fi version costs $10 cheaper at $160. On paper, the Mortar is similar to the B550 Tomahawk without the additional Realtek Gigabit Ethernet port, and visually it looks like a stylish offering. The B550 Tomahawk does officially feature better memory support, and although MSI aims at a higher with its MAG series in comparison to its B450 models, the Mortar Wifi for $170 looks like a solid alternative.

MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk MSI B550-A Pro
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  • Operandi - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    Looks like some nice mATX versions this round, nice!
  • YB1064 - Thursday, June 18, 2020 - link

    I was hoping to see a $75-$90 board.
  • kenjiwing - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    Fortunately, this component is a unique motherboard among B550 and well worth reading up on [add link].
    Needs to be edited.
  • anirudhs - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    There's a noise sensor which can adjust fan speed for maximum quietness with good thermals. Saw it on the KitGuruTech video. The noise sensor isn't there to spy on you though.
  • PeterCollier - Wednesday, June 17, 2020 - link

    The quality of the editing here is shit tier. Seriously, just run the articles through Grammarly before publication. It's free and it spots plenty of errors.
  • Heavenly71 - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    Sadly none of the mITX boards have more than 6 external USB ports. My old ASUS mITX has 8! And in really small mITX cases you can't add a bracket with more USB, because the two brackets are already used by the gfx card. Guess I have to wait for an enthusiast mITX board )-:
  • damianrobertjones - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    Or, just maybe, get a usb dongle with 4 ports?
  • Mr Perfect - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    That is disappointing. The number of USB devices people need to plug in can't be dropping, surely? I know I've got more now then even a year ago.
  • rrinker - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    Are they really going up? I have 2 USB devices plugged in to my system - a keyboard and a mouse. I occasionally plug a USB stick in one of the front ports to transfer files. My phone and tablet sync over wifi, they don't get plugged in. I have a charger behind my desk and a cable to charge them. My printer is on the network.
    The one place I DO need lots of USB ports is also the place where I have a small cube case machine, with no discreete GPU, because it doesn;t need one. On that one I added a USB PCI card to get enough ports. In addition to the keyboard and mouse, that machine is on my workbench where it connects to several electronic test instruments and I have multiple cabled for programming microcontrollers. I also have a USB microscope for board inspection. And then I have 3 more USB devices connected for my other hobby that shares the bench. Plus a front port kept free for USB sticks.
    So the use case I have for more USB has the PCI slots open to add expansion cards, the use case where I have a discrete GPU eating up the slot space doesn't need an excess of USB ports.
  • DigitalFreak - Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - link

    I use 3 USB 3.0 ports just for my Oculus Rift

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