MSI Unleashes 5 Ryzen AM4 Motherboards Starting As Low As $79
The reviews are out
confirming that Ryzen
is the real deal, which means you can go forward with purchasing parts for your new build around AMD's latest silicon. If that's your plan, you'll need a new motherboard, as AMD introduced a new socket (AM4) for Ryzen. The market isn't yet overflowing with AM4 motherboard options, though if you're wanting to roll with MSI, it has a handful of options available at a variety of price points.
Starting at the top is MSI's X370 XPower Gaming Titanium. This is a $300 motherboard based on AMD's top-end X370 chipset and includes just about everything but the kitchen sink. It's a spiffy looking board with heavily plated titanium heat sinks, four DDR4 DIMM slots supporting up to 64GB of DDR4-3200 and higher frequency memory, two M.2 interfaces and a U.2 interface, half a dozen SATA 6Gbps ports, four USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports, USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C and USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C ports (one each), headers for four more USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports and a USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port, three PCI-Express x16 slots, three PCI-Express x1 slots, six SATA 6Gbps ports, GbE LAN, and a few other amenities.
Next up is another X370 motherboard, the X370 Gaming Pro Carbon. This is similar to the Titanium board with a different and darker color scheme and some toned down features. For example, MSI lists support for DDR4-3200 and higher frequency memory, which suggests that the Titanium can push RAM a little bit higher. However, it has the same number PCI-Express x16 and x1 slots, along with two M.2 slots for those gum-stick sized SSDs.
Rear connections include four USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports, USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C and Type-A ports (one each), two USB 2.0 ports, GbE LAN, DVI-D, and HDMI, along with audio connectors.
At $180, this is a far less price option for enthusiasts who still want a top-of-the-line chipset and a bevy of features.
Next on down the line is the B350 Tomahawk. The B350 chipset is aimed at mainstream users, though some of the higher end options such as this one deliver power user features at a lower price point than the X370 boards. In this case, the B350 Tomahawk is another heavily plated motherboard to keep temperatures down. It also features two PCI-Express x16 slots (one of which is reinforced for heavy graphics cards), two PCI-Express x1 slots, two standard PCI slots, four SATA 6Gbps ports, a single M.2 slot, GbE LAN port, three USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports, a single USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C port, and a few other odds and ends.
This motherboard sells on Amazon for $110.
MSI also announced a B350M Mortar motherboard, though this one is not yet available to purchase or pre-order, at least not in the U.S. This one is not loaded up with heat sinks like some of its bigger brethren, nor is it a full-size ATX board—it's a micro-ATX motherboard for small form factor builds.
Despite it's small size, there is quite a bit to play with here, including a combined half a dozen USB 3.1 and USB 2.0 ports, two PCI-Express x16 slots, two PCI-Express x1 slots, an M.2 slot, and support for up to 64GB of DDR4-3200 or higher memory.
Finally there's the B350M Gaming Pro motherboard. This is a sub-$100 part ($80 on Amazon) and another micro-ATX option for SFF builders. It supports half the amount of RAM as the rest at 32GB and has a single PCI-Express x16 port, which is reinforced. It also boasts two PCI-Express x1 slots, four SATA 6Gbps ports, a single M.2 slot, a GbE LAN port, four USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports, and two USB 2.0 ports.
Not all of these are in stock yet, but if you're interested in any of them, here are links to their product listings on Amazon:
Based on a rundown of features versus price, these all look to be solid options. If none of them float your boat, however, hang tight—it's only a matter of time before the market will be flowing with a dizzying number of AM4 motherboards.