MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC: Mixed Mid-Range Impressions

Value and Conclusion

Other than the obvious MSI X470 Gaming M7 AC, the remaining three boards on the bench today are clearly priced for value builders looking for a good, reasonably inexpensive board. For the most part, the B450’s have comparable feature sets, with WiFi, dual M.2, and forward-looking VRegs and another accouterments. The Asus TUF-X470 does get to strut its stuff with impressive performance results, but it cuts several corners in order to get into the value arena. Surprisingly though, even the X470’s price doesn’t come close enough to be in the hunt for a value win in this group. We wouldn't recommend it for anything other than a serious gaming build.

The B450 boards, on the other hand, have some decent VRegs, cooling, and adequate performance overall, forcing us to look at this from a few different angles. Shuffling back to our overclocking charts, the Gigabyte B450 Aorus Pro WIFI knocks it out of the park with DDR4-3200 performance, with all slots enabled and decent overclocking and regulator cooling performance. On the flip-side, the MSI B450’s Vregs are arguably better suited for overclocking, but the memory overclock in a fully-deployed setup was less than optimal in our testing. Given how well Ryzen scales with memory speed, we’d favor the Gigabyte B450 in this instance.

However, at the top end of the B450 scale, builders might want to push their processors harder for longer periods of time, and that’s where the MSI gets its edge. Tack on the understated aesthetic of the board, and we do see how this product could appeal to an audience interested in substantive performance over flashy design. If that alone is worth the extra $20 to you that this board costs over similar competition, it's a solid choice. But at the end of the day, I’d rather spend my precious tax-return dollars on a cheaper, similar board and save that extra refund cash for a roomier M.2 drive or a higher end chassis.

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