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MSI Unveils MEG B550 Unify Series With Quad M.2 and Extreme Overclocking

MSI B550 Unify Series
(Image credit: MSI)

The launch of the Ryzen 5000 series CPUs is giving motherboard makers an opportune time to revamp or refresh current B550 motherboard designs. MSI is no exception and today went all out on a new design for its new MEG B550 Unify and Unify-X, designed specifically with Ryzen 5000 CPUs in mind.

The B550 Unify and Unify-X are very unique in the workloads the boards are designed for. Both boards have no RGB, but feature quad M.2 slots, and both models are designed specifically for extreme overclocking.

MSI B550 Unify Series

MSI MEG B550 Unify (Image credit: MSI)

Specs-wise, the MEG B550 Unify and Unify X comes with a beefy 14+2 VRM power delivery system, only equal to that of the B550 AORUS Master from Gigabyte. However the Gigabyte model "only" comes with 70A power stages, the Unify and Unify X upgrade the power stages to 90A units. The extra amperage is overkill for moderate overclocking, but for world records, they can help stabilize the power the CPU needs at very high wattage.

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MSI B550 Unify Series

MSI MEG B550 Unify-X (Image credit: MSI)
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MSI B550 Unify Series

MSI MEG B550 Unify-X (Image credit: MSI)

To achieve quadruple M.2 slot capability on the Unify series, MSI removed the 2nd PCIe x16 slot (wired with 8 lanes traditionally) to make way for two M.2 slots. All in all you get four PCIe gen 4.0 capable M.2 slots. However, you can't run a graphics card or other PCIe devices in the first x16 slot and expect gen 4.0 performance on all four slots. Two of the slots can switch from either running off the CPU PCIe lanes or the chipset PCIe lanes. For most users that need a graphics card, you'll be running two of the M.2s from the chipset which means a downgrade to Gen 3.0 speeds. Still having quad M.2 slots at all is impressive and Gen 3.0 speeds are still very quick for storage.

The final big feature for the Unify, and especially the Unify X, is the memory overclocking capability. The Unify can support an official max speed of 5600Mhz, the Unify X with the dual DIMM slot design increases that max spec to 5800MHz. The Unify X removes two of the DIMMS to achieve a higher speed. Having more DIMMs always hinders overclocking performance, so this is a great feature to have if you desire ultra-high memory speeds.

There is no release date for either of these boards. However, the Ryzen 5000 series launch is just a week away so we can expect MSI's Unify boards will release around that time.

  • jpe1701
    The m.2 arrangement is a little hard to understand as written. You say that the 4 m.2 are pcie 4.0 ready but are 3.0 with a gpu. How do you run a Ryzen CPU without a gpu? Also while I'm on the topic the b550 Aorus master is listed and explained wrong in the best motherboards article too. The m.2 slots on that are pcie 4.0 too because they take 8 cpu lanes from the primary x16 slot and split it into 2 x4 connections for the lower 2 m.2.
    Reply
  • danger89
    So there are Ryzen CPUs with APU's (like Ryzen 2400G with Vega 11 graphics or the upcoming Ryzen 4000 noir APU series).

    My question would be (I want to use it for a server setup), can I use a non-APU CPU with a very simple GPU in lowest PCI lane, so the GPU is just for boot. And still giving me 4x M2 Gen 4 PCI? That would be awesome for my use-case! Anybody?
    Reply
  • jpe1701
    danger89 said:
    So there are Ryzen CPUs with APU's (like Ryzen 2400G with Vega 11 graphics or the upcoming Ryzen 4000 noir APU series).

    My question would be (I want to use it for a server setup), can I use a non-APU CPU with a very simple GPU in lowest PCI lane, so the GPU is just for boot. And still giving me 4x M2 Gen 4 PCI? That would be awesome for my use-case! Anybody?
    B550 doesn't support the 3400g and the renoir apu's don't support pcie 4.0. also the apu's only support a x8 link to the gpu as far as I know. The earlier ones only had a x2 pcie lanes for the m.2 as well but I'm not sure if they changed that or not.
    Reply
  • docbones69
    Did this ever come out? Doesn't seem like it. Can not find anything about it for sale.
    Reply