Peripherals

Best B450 Motherboard To Buy In 2020

AMD has taken over the marketplace with its stunning, next-gen Ryzen CPUs that offer mind-boggling performance and higher core and thread counts. The Ryzen 2000 and 3000 processors are extremely powerful and they are the go-to for video rendering, editing, and programming as the higher core thread count significantly helps to reduce render times.

With AMD recently announcing support for future Ryzen 4000 processors on their B450 chipset, it became quite clear why someone would consider buying a B450 motherboard over the X470. It should be kept in mind that like X470 motherboards, B450 motherboards do not come with features such as SLI and they offer comparatively lesser storage options and PCIe lanes. Unless you are a hardcore overclocking enthusiast, choosing the B450 chipset would be the sensible choice as it is much cheaper than X470. 

Keeping that in mind, we have compiled a list of five of the best B450 motherboards to buy in 2020 for your ultimate Ryzen builds, keeping in mind high memory frequency support, overclocking headroom and aesthetics. 

1. MSI B450 Tomahawk Max

Best Overall

  • High Memory Speed Support
  • Superb Heatsink
  • Includes Bios Flash Button
  • Great Overclocking Headroom
  • Single M.2 Slot

Form Factor: ATX | Chipset: AMD B450 | Socket: AM4 | Expansion Slots: 1x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1x PCIe 2.0 x16, 3x PCIe 2.0 x1 | Maximum Memory: 128GB | Maximum Memory Frequency: 4133Mhz (3rd Gen), 3466Mhz (Rest) | Storage: 1 M.2, 6 SATA 6Gb/s

Last Update on 2020-09-09 using Amazon Product Advertising API

MSI has never failed to top the charts when it comes to producing computer components especially in the gaming realm. It has always been one of the favorites when it comes to high-end parts be it graphic cards, motherboards, PC cases, or even gaming gears for instance gaming monitors or peripherals. So it should be no wonder if our list of best b450 motherboards to buy in 2020 kicks off with the MSI’s B450 Tomahawk Max.

At first glance of this motherboard, we can see an AM4 socket that supports upto Ryzen 3rd-gen processors and can be made compatible with 4th-gen via BIOS update when they are released. It features 4 DIMM slots with a dual channel memory that supports upto 128gb of total memory (32gb per slot) which can run at 2667Mhz all the way up to 4133Mhz on 3rd Gen Ryzen processors and 3466Mhz on other CPUs using A-XMP mode. 

The vrm consists of a 4+2 power phase design to ensure stable power delivery to the CPU from the 8 pin 12v power connector and for keeping it cool, an extended, heavy plated heat sink design is implemented on the Tomahawk Max which also guarantees high overclocking potential. 

As far as storage is concerned, it features a single turbo M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slot delivering speeds upto 32Gb/s. Other than that, 6 x SATA 6Gb/s ports can also be populated. However, SATA5 and SATA6 ports are disabled when an M.2 device is installed. The only downside is the single M.2 slot whereas, other competitors or even cheaper b450 motherboards offer more than one. 

It offers 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slot (PCI_E1) which is steel armored to protect graphic cards from bending, and a 1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 slot (PCI_E4) which means it supports x4 mode. It also offers 3 x  PCIe 2.0 x1 expansion slots. 

As for the I/O ports, it offers a flash bios button, 2 USB 3.2 Gen2 ports (1 Type C and 1 Type A), 2 USB 3.2 Gen1 ports (Type A) and 2 USB 2.0 ports. For onboard graphics, it has 1 DVI-D port and 1 HDMI 1.4 port. It also offers a Realtek 8111H Gigabit LAN controller for LAN connectivity and 6 HD audio ports that are powered using Realtek ALC892 codec. For USB connectivity on the front, it offers 2 USB 3.2 Gen1 ports (Type A) and 4 USB 2.0 ports. 

Overall, it is an excellent motherboard which offers high overclocking headroom, high speed memory support and decent storage capacity with SATA 6Gb/s however, only 1 M.2 capacity. Definitely, a great option for overclocking enthusiasts. 

2. Asus ROG Strix B450-E Gaming

The Premium Pick

  • Finest Aesthetics
  • Exceptional Cooling
  • Splendid Design
  • Ton of USB Ports
  • Pricey

Form Factor: ATX | Chipset: AMD B450 | Socket: AM4 | Expansion Slots: 2 PCIe 3.0 x16, 1 PCIe 2.0 x16, 3 PCIe 2.0 x1 | Maximum Memory: 64GB | Maximum Memory Frequency: 3533Mhz | Storage: 2 M.2, 6 SATA 6GB/ps

Last Update on 2020-09-09 using Amazon Product Advertising API

The second entry on our list is probably the most awaited one on this list: The Asus ROG Strix B450-E Gaming. A perfect balance of aesthetics, performance and cooling is what makes up this motherboard. However, the premium features of this motherboard come at a cost which might not be affordable for everyone.

Flashy and colorful design with exquisite aesthetics is no surprise for the ROG lineup of Asus and the B450-E gaming is no different with its fancy look. The CPU vrm of this motherboard is even superior to the Strix X470-F. The heat sink features a classy metallic silver finish and just above that is a carbon black shroud with an Asus ROG RGB logo over the pre-installed I/O shield which means no forgetting the I/O shield anymore when installing the motherboard in the case.

Just like any other motherboard in this list, it also features a 4 DIMM slot layout with dual channel memory architecture upto 64Gb with memory speeds from 2133Mhz upto 3533Mhz using A-XMP profile. However, 64Gb memory capacity is a bit of a disappointment as other b450 motherboards offer upto 128 at a much cheaper price.

As for the expansion slots, the B450-E gaming offers: 2 PCIe 3.0 x16 slots which they call ‘ASUS SafeSlot’ to provide superior retention, 1 PCIe 2.0 x16 slots which operates at 4 lanes and 3 PCIe 2.0 x1 lanes for additional expansion cards.         

Moving on to the storage options, it offers 2 M.2 slots, 1x type 2242-2280 that supports SATA and PCIe 3.0 x4 modes and the other slot is type 2242-22110 that supports PCIe 3.0 x4 modes and 1 sleek looking M.2 heatsink is also included. 6 SATA 6gb/s ports are included however, SATA5 and SATA6 are disabled when M.2_1 is functioning.

The included I/O shield has 1 PS/2 combo port, 2 USB 3.1 Gen2 Type A ports, 4 USB 3.1 Gen1 (3 Type A and 1 Type C) and 2x USB 2.0 ports. Other than that, 1 optical S/PDIF output, 1 LAN port is also present and 5 audio jacks are also present. For onboard graphics, HDMI 2.0 port is  present and surprisingly Displayport is also available which is a feature not available in many motherboards. 

There are both wired and wireless network connections available. For wired, there is the Intel I211-AT, 1 Gigabit LAN controller and Intel Wireless-AC 9260 for wireless connectivity. Audio is powered by SupremeFX S1220A coupled with Sonic Studio III for smooth audio experience. 

To sum up, it is probably the best motherboard available with a superb blend of aesthetics and performance however, at a premium price and a bit low maximum storage capacity at 64Gb but it is more than enough for most needs.

3. MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC

The All-Rounder

  • Excellent Design and Aesthetics
  • Beefy Heatsink Design
  • Six Fan Headers
  • Impressive Overclocking Capability
  • A Bit Expensive

Form Factor: ATX | Chipset: AMD B450 | Socket: AM4 | Expansion Slots: 1x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1x PCIe 2.0 x16, 3x PCIe 2.0 x1 | Maximum Memory: 128GB | Maximum Memory Frequency: 3466MHz | Storage: 2 M.2, 6 SATA 6Gb/s

Last Update on 2020-09-09 using Amazon Product Advertising API

Next up we have another entry from MSI: the B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC, a full sized ATX board with an AM4 socket that packs a great deal of features including ample storage options, decent VRM and a tried heatsink design. 

Right out of the box, you get to see a sporty looking motherboard featuring black carbon heatsinks and spotless PCB design. The large Gaming Pro branding adds to the aesthetics of the board. The heatsinks are typically larger than what you would expect from a midrange B450 motherboard, and that’s a good thing if you ask me. Overall, the board boasts a sleek design with superb aesthetics. 

Coming to the PCIe storage features of this board, there is space for two PCIe x16 cards and three x1 slots, along with six SATA3 ports and two M.2 slots. The PCIe 3.0 x16 slot is metal reinforced to protect the card from any damage. At the I/O panel, you also have DisplayPort and HDMI ports for onboard graphics. However, as with most motherboards there are some complications, such as using the primary M.2 slot disables two SATA slots. 

In terms of cooling, the Gaming Pro Carbon AC comes with six fan headers that support DC/BWM modes, and you can adjust them using BIOS or any other third-party software until you find a good setting. 

MSI has done a great job with the RGB lighting on their Gaming Pro Carbon AC. The right side of the board is equipped with RGB LED lighting, and there are four extra ports in case you want to bump up the RGB scene to another level. The lighting can be customized using the MSI Mystic Light Sync software to suit your favorite color combinations. 

At the I/O panel we have five gold-plated audio jacks, one S/PDIF, two USB3.1 10GB/s, two USB 3.1 5GB/s and two USB2.0 ports, along with one RJ-45 port that is connected to the Intel I211AT Gigabit ethernet. For audio, this motherboard makes use of the Realtek ALC1220. MSI has largely improved their audio game and the audio results exceed expectations at this price range. 

In other words, the Gaming Pro Carbon AC from MSI is a game-changer and a beast of a motherboard. You can overclock this thing to quite an extent without any problems, thanks to the well-thought heatsink design. However, it might be a bit expensive for some. 

4. ASRock B450 Fatal1ty Gaming K4

Budget Competitor

  • Cheap
  • Sturdy Build Quality
  • Remarkable Sound Experience
  • Decent VRMs considering the price
  • Memory support only upto 3200Mhz

Form Factor: ATX | Chipset: AMD B450 | Socket: AM4 | Expansion Slots: 2 PCIe 3.0 x16, 4 PCIe 2.0 x1 | Maximum Memory: 64Gb | Maximum Memory Frequency: 3200Mhz | Storage: 2 M.2, 6 SATA 6Gb/s

Last Update on 2020-09-09 using Amazon Product Advertising API

Speaking of expensive, here we have a worthy contender coming from ASRock that won’t cost you an arm and a leg: it is the ASRock B450 Fatal1ty Gaming K4 motherboard. Like other motherboards on this list, it comes with the AMD Promontory B450 chipset in the ATX form factor. 

The B450 Fatal1ty Gaming K4 is the newer version of the previous B350 Gaming K4. There is a small but significant increase in price, and there are a few changes from the previous model. First and foremost, the B450 Gaming K4 features a more robust, clean and subtle looking design.

Another major revamp from the previous model is the inclusion of USB3.1 10GB/s connectivity and updated RGB lighting in the heatsinks. Altogether, the newer features quite justify the price difference between the new and previous Gaming K4 models. 

As usual, we have a dual channel DDR4 memory technology, and four DDR4 DIMM slots with a maximum system memory of 64GB. 

In terms of storage, there are a total six SATA3 6.0GB/s connectors and two M.2 sockets that can reach speeds of up to 32GB/s and 16GB/s. As you would expect, one M.2 slot and SATA3 and SATA4 slots share lanes so they can not be used together. Four of the SATA ports are at a 90-degree angle, whereas the other two are angled straight. 

The I/O panel features two USB 2.0 ports, a keyboard/mouse port, DisplayPort, HDMI port, two USB 3.1 (type A and type C) ports, four USB 3.0 ports, GBit LAN and analog audio jacks. 

If you talk about the cooling system, ASRock has fitted five fan headers: one header circled in red is a PWM fan header meant for the main CPU. The other four fans circled in blue are your standard PWM/DC mode headers. With chromatic RGB lighting on the fans and interesting aesthetics, the Gaming K4 looks like a monster when in action. 

As for the audio, the Gaming K4 relies on the Realtek ALC892 codec. One feature we liked about the sound system on this motherboard is the fact that it supports Creative Sound Blaster™ Cinema 5 for an improved and cinematic sound experience. 

In conclusion, the Gaming K4 is an excellent choice for those who are looking for a budget motherboard to go with their B450 chipset. With impressive aesthetics, decent VRM and modest overclocking capabilities, the Gaming K4 proves itself to be a worthy contender in the motherboard realm. 

5. Gigabyte B450 Aorus Pro Wifi

Best Bang For The Buck

  • Stylish Design
  • Built In Wifi
  • The 802.11ac Controller provides smooth connectivity
  • Affordable Price
  • Minimal Overclocking Headroom

Form Factor: ATX | Chipset: AMD B450 | Socket: AM4 | Expansion Slots: 1x PCIe 3.0 x16, 2x PCIe 2.0 x16, 1x PCIe 2.0 x1 | Maximum Memory: 64GB | Maximum Memory Frequency: 3600MHz | Storage: 2 M.2, 6 SATA 6Gb/s

Last Update on 2020-09-09 using Amazon Product Advertising API

To conclude this list on a high note, we have the GIGABYTE B450 Aorus Pro Wifi motherboard. The Aorus Pro Wifi is one of the most favored mid-range motherboards that support the AMD B450 chipset with an impressively reasonable price point. 

Gigabyte has done an applaudable job with the aesthetics of the Aorus Pro. It looks quite similar to the X470 Aorus 5. The B450 Pro wifi features stylish RGB lighting, RGB power switches, and a digital addressable RGB LED header. The default RGB color is orange and a similar theme is carried out throughout the heatsink system, too. One might argue that the B450 Pro wifi has a more stylish and sleek look as compared to our top entry, the Tomahawk Max. 

Coming to the I/O panel, Gigabyte has thrown in four USB 3.0 ports, USB 3.1 type A, USB 3.1 type C, Wi-Fi antenna, a DVI-D and HDMI port for onboard graphics, Gigabit Ethernet, and five audio jacks. In terms of memory we have two M.2 slots and six SATA III connectors along with DDR4 memory that can run up to 3600 MHz. As for the audio, the B450 Pro Wi-Fi uses Realtek ALC1220-VB codec which offers sweet audio performance. 

Moreover, Gigabyte has installed a total of five fan headers circled in red. The headers are hybrid PWM/DC mode, and they provide an aesthetic look to the overall motherboard. For Wi-Fi connectivity, the Aorus Pro features a tried Intel I211AT controller. One notable feature that we liked is the inclusion of the 802.11ac controller that makes use of Intel’s AC3168 providing seamless connectivity options. 

Lastly, the B450 Pro Wi-Fi has a fairly average heat sink design and decent VRM, and it’s not the best as compared to, for example, an MSI motherboard such as the Tomahawk Max. Consequently, due to design and software limitations the B450 Pro Wi-Fi seems adequate for moderate overclocking. All in all, it’s a great motherboard and an excellent value for the money. 

Mark Smith

Mark Smith is a hard working student with a great passion for writing. He likes to express his deep interest in tech gadgets and latest PC hardware through valuable writeups.

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