MSI MPG B550 GAMING EDGE WiFi

Key Features

  • Price: 170 USD (CLICK TO BUY )
  • ATX Form Factor / 6 PCB Layers
  • AMD B550 chipset
  • AM4 CPU socket
  • CPU Support
    • RYZEN 3000 AMD CPU
    • RYZEN 5000 AMD CPU
  • 4 x 32GB 5,100 MHz DDR4, maximum 128 GB
  • 2 x PCIe x16 —  2 x PCIe x1
  • Back IO :
    • Flash BIOS Button
    • PS/2 (keyboard/mouse)
    • Display Port 1.4
    • HDMI 2.1
    • 2 x USB 2.0 — RX/TX 480 Mbps
    • 2 x USB 3.2 2nd gen. Type-A+C — RX/TX 10 Gbps
    • 2 x USB 3.2 (1st Gen) — RX/TX 5 Gbps
    • 2.5Gbs Realtek LAN,
    • Realtek ALC1200 Codec 7.1 channels audio,
    • DUAL BAND WiFi 6 802.11 AX (2.4 Gbps), BT 5.1
  • STORAGE
    • 2 x M.2 SSD — RX/TX 32 Gbps
    • 6 x SATA 3 — RX/TX 6 Gbps
  • MULTIPLE GPU
    • NO Nvidia SLI
    • x2 AMD Crossfire
  • Upgraded and robust VRM
  • Great passive Cooling elements
  • 6 layered PCB ( PCIe 4.0 ready)
  • 5,100 MHz RAM clock
  • WiFi 6
  • Price
  • Premium Audio
  • No hybrid fan connectors
  • Too close to the MAG B550 TOMAHAWK in terms of specs

MSI’s MPG series is all about performances, and the GAMING edge is its most sold model.
It’s meant to bring you the best possible gaming centric performances to a market’s bottom dollar.

In short when someone has a STRIX in its build, it needs to wow.

 

AMD’s B550 chipset offers a much more versatile and affordable motherboard.

  • 4 SATA cables
  • wifi antennas
  • Thermistors
  • M.2 SSD screws and screw raisers
  • RGB cable extension
  • Manual
  • DVD driver & Software


PCB

We are dealing with a 6 layered PCB ATX motherboard. A significant upgrade when compared to its predecessor, the MPG X570 Gaming EDGE 4 layers, and an added signal isolation which will allow a stable PCIe 4.0 support.

It also will benefit VRM heat dissipation and audio quality. Obviously, a very solid foundation for a performant and durable motherboard.

AM4

Our AM4 socket can support :

Note that Ryzen 3000G series are not compatible with this board!

This is a PCIe 4.0 only CPU support, which makes sense since it is the CPU PCIE 4.0 lanes which will feed the PCIe 4.0 enable components (GPU PCIe slots and on M.2 SSD connector).


VRM

This is where MSI really did well!

It is exactly the same VRM you will find on the MAG B550 TOMAHAWK.

We are dealing with 12 60 amps Powers stages, 10 of which are CPU centric.

They are paired into 6 parallel phases, delivering a whooping 600 AMPs to our CPU.
Obviously more than you’ll ever need to run and severely overclock any processors featured in the Ryzen 3000 and 5000 series.

Heat wise

First, we have a 6 layered PCB, meaning a greater heat dissipation through the board,

Secondly, finally we have these imposing VRM heat-sinks, which do an amazing job at radiating all that excess heat away.

Worth noting, the double contact thermo-padded design which improves its heat-sink heat diffusion ratio quite a bit.

A simple inexpensive evolution which really adds a ton of VRM value here!

And that all translate in a cool and efficient VRM, even in the most demanding and continuous load.

With an overclocked Ryzen 3900X (4,7 GHz / BIOS Auto) , CPU stressed for 60 minutes:

Absolutely great for this motherboard in term of stability and durability.


RAM

The MPG B550 GAMING EDGE WiFi can support up to 128 GB of DDR4 ram in a dual channel configuration.

It is  overclockable up to a whooping 4.8 GHz, which is noticeably more than its Z390 equivalent.


M.2 SSD

Our board can support up-to 2 M.2 SSD (11 cm and 8 cm respectively).

Equipped with PICe 3 M.2 SSDs, our sticks can swap data upto 32 Gbs.

But if you do purchase a PCie 4.0 enabled M.2 SSD, the CPU fed M.2 SSD will be able to swap data up to an indecent 64 Gbs.

In both cases our M.2 SSD sticks will experience a lot of heat.

Fortunately , we do have a rather impressive thermo-padded (0,5 mm thinck) heat-shields  which do a wonderful job at keeping our stick cool in any usage condition. Perfect for a bootable M.2 SSD.


Chipset

Our B550 chipset is in all and for all a B450 chipset with an upgraded WiFi integrated module (WiFi 6 802.11AX) and a few more IOs.

It does remain a PCIe 3.0 Chipset. The PCIe 4.0 abilities of this board will be provided by its processor, which is not a bad thing.

One one hand it keeps our Chipset cold enough not to require an active cooling solution as seen on the boiling 11 watts X570 chipset, and on the other, the motherboard still benefits from the PCIe 4.0 standard brought in by its CPU.

As a result, we have a cooler, more affordable and arguably more durable motherboard.


SATA 3.0

For more classical storage solutions, we have our usual SATA 3.0 plugs. 6 in total, with a transfer rate of 6 Gbps each. They can be configured to run into a 0,1, or 10 RAID configuration.


PCIe Slots

The MPG B550 GAMING EDGE WiFi has 4 PCI expresses slots.:

Only the closest one to your CPU can deliver up to 16 full bus speed meaning, this is where you’d want your video card to be placed for optimal performances, hence the metal re-enforcement.

The second naked one has been capped at only x4 PCIe 3.0 lanes. Not exactly suitable to extract the best performances from your video card, but fully expected at this price range.

So a good board for a single GPU configuration, even though it can support a dual AMD card configuration (CROSSFIRE).


Back IO

First let me note the presence of an IO integrated plate which is always a good point!

  • a BIOS flash back button, delighted to find one.. great to update or recover your bios on the go!
  • a PS/2 connector for our no latency players.
  • 2x display outputs for our integrated graphics (HDMI 2.0 / DP 1.4) which can both deliver upto 60 FPS @ 4k. Something to keep an eye on as the next Gen 5000G series of processors hit the market later this month.
  • 2x 2nd Gen USB plugs
  • 2x 3.2 2nd GEN USB plus , including a type C
  • a 2.5 gigabit LAN which is an upgrade coming either from its B450 or X570 variant.
  • a Wifi 6 AX201 with transfer up to 2.4 Gb/s, same that is available on AMD’s X570 powered boards.
  • a mid range  CLA 1200 REALTEK audio codec which fully benefits from the 6 PCB layers board, since both left and right audio channel have been traced on separate and dedicated PCB layers, insuring a better static isolation, especially when recording. Problem that people living in a non grounded house will certainly appreciate !


Front Panel Connectors

We have :

Overall a well furnished board-based peripherals in par with its pricing.

Cooling connectors

We have 8 nested PWM FAN connectors, 1 of which can support a water pump (AIO or dedicated)

Definitely what you want to see on an enthusiast driven board. The MPG B550 GAMING EDGE can handle about any cooling solutions you will throw at it. Spanning from the classic air to the eccentric dual-loop custom water cooling apparatus.

Only regret here, is the fact that these connectors are not Hybrids which could support anything you’d throw at it, whether a fan, a water pump or a flow sensor.

I would have given this boards an unprecedented level of agility which enthusiast would have most certainly appreciate.


TROUBLESHOOTING

EZ Debugger

The EZ debugger is really the a crucial must have on the overclockers. More often than not, enthusiasts can’t resist the call to find their RAM or CPU overclocking limits, and fail boots becomes a daily incidence.

The EZ debugger will give us a first-aid troubleshooting guidance one what stage of the boot your system failed.


MYSTIC Sync Effect

RGB wise, our MSI MPG B550 GAMING EDGE WiFi has 2 nest RGB Strips

One under our Chipset heat sink,

We also have 4 RGB connectors :

2 standard 12V RGB connector and 2 addressable RGB connector.

All of which can obviously be synced though MSI proprietary Mystic software.


CONCLUSION

At 190 USD (MSRP at launch), the MSI MPG B550 Gaming Edge WiFi is the proof that when MSI puts its mind onto something, it can deliver.

It shows a real improvement coming from its hot mess of a sibling the X570 Gaming Edge.
The VRM is both powerful and heat efficient, the very point were its X570 so miserably failed!
It is feature rich and delivers a solid foundation for a long lasting product, and it does deliver beyond its price range! For sure!

BUT it’s so all déjà vue! In fact It is in all and for all the exact same board, the exact same specs, the exact same pricing than what was suppose to be its lower tier board, the MAG B550 TOMAHWAK.

The only difference, is the WiFi add-on. For the rest, both motherboards are near replicas. They look different, but they are in essence the very same board.
It is a pure product cannibalism, and good example of big companies trying to milk the same product with some rebranding, and not taking too many risks! I find it even a little lazy.

And MSI should really rethink their approach here, and maybe propose less boards with more distinct qualities.
This said, the B550 GAMING EDGE is an excellent board just like the  B550 TOMAHAWK is, and my advice, to you would be, get the one who looks best for you, or is available or comes at a cheaper price tag.

Because that’s the only difference you will have between them two.

QUICK OVERVIEW

CPU & northbridge support

Supported Processor
Ryzen 3000 and Ryzen 5000 AMD CPU series
Chipset
B550
CPU socket
AM4

Memory

Slots
4 (dual channel)
Max System Memory (Gigabytes)
128
Memory Technology
DDR4
Maximum Clock (MgHz)
5,100

Connectors

USB 2.0
2 back IO + 2 on-board
USB 3.2 (1st Gen)
2 on back IO + 1 on-board
USB 3.2 (2nd Gen)
2 on back IO + 1 on-board
LAN
2.5 Gb/s
WiFi
Dual Band WIFI6 AX / BT 5.1

 

MUST BUY

PERFORMANCES
OVERCLOCKING
DESIGN
DURABILITY
PRICE
ACCESSORIES
LOOKS
CUSTOM WATER COOLING
TROUBLESHOOTING
CONNECTIVITY

AWESOME

It shows a real improvement coming from its hot mess of a sibling the X570 Gaming Edge. The VRM is both powerful and heat efficient, the very point were its X570 so miserably failed! It is feature rich and delivers a solid foundation for a long lasting product, and it does deliver beyond its price range! For sure!

BUY IT NOW
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