MSI B650 Tomahawk WiFi Review

On this occasion we tested one of the reference motherboards within the mid-range on the Zen 4 platform, it is the MSI B650 Tomahawk WiFi . This model aims to give us good performance at an affordable price in view of the high figures that are handled in the high range. It has 3 M.2 PCIe 4.0 slots , the same amount as PCIE slots, and a rear panel with 10 USB ports, 1 of them Gen2x2 . It will also cover the energy and overclocking needs of the most powerful CPUs thanks to a good 14+2+1 phase VRM .

We thank MSI for their trust in us by sending us this board for review.

MSI B650 Tomahawk Wi-Fi Technical Features


The MSI B650 Tomahawk WiFi arrives in a rigid cardboard box with a smooth external finish where we are shown images of the board and its main features. The size of the package is noticeably more compact than the high-end, as there are obviously fewer accessories included . At least the main product comes inside the usual insulating plastic bag and placed on a cardboard mold.

The contents of the box will be as follows:

  • Motherboard MSI B650 Tomahawk WiFi
  • Latch screws for M.2 installation
  • Antenas Wi-Fi
  • SATA cables
  • various stickers
  • Documentation

Exterior design

With a simple look at the exterior of the MSI B650 Tomahawk WiFi you can see that it is a mid-range motherboard as it does not have all the M.2 slots covered by heatsinks. In fact it’s similar to a direct rival board like the Asus ROG Strix B650-A , although MSI opts for black for both PCB and heatsinks. This model does not have any type of integrated RGB lighting, but it does provide the usual 4 headers, 2 of them 5VDG and 2 12VRGB.

In the socket area we have a fairly simple design without Debug LEDs or onboard buttons , something that could be expected in a board with a contained price. So we go directly to the VRM heatsink made up of two finned aluminum blocks separated from each other . Both use gray silicone thermal pads to make contact with chokes and MOSFETS. The main block has a metal extension that acts as a cover for the rear port panel, whose backplate is attached to it by two screws .

We continue towards the bottom where we see the main PCIe slot with steel armor to improve its resistance . Of the 3 M.2 slots, only two will have a passive cooling block , although the lower one will be compatible with both slot 2 and 3 as they are of the same length. What would it have cost to include a third block to cover all 3? We believe that for an outlay of €300 or more it would be logical to have it.

The SATA port panel is divided into two headers on the bottom edge of the board and a 90º oriented 4-drive panel on the right edge, thus sharing usage and accessibility. Since there is no Clear CMOS button, we will have to use the internal jumper, although at least there is a BIOS Flash button on the rear panel with an associated status LED for when it is activated.

VRM and power configuration

The VRM of this MSI B650 Tomahawk WiFi is made up of 14 phases for Vcore, 2 for VSoC and 1 for Vmem , which use double power input through 8-pin headers.

The DC-DC conversion stage is entirely made up of 16 MOSFETS MPS2210 Monolithic Power Systems in Duet Rail configuration without using signal doublers. They will be managed by a MPS2221 controller . In the signal smoothing stage we found 16 metal-encapsulated chokes and high-capacity electrolytic capacitors without knowing more details about them.

B650 chipset and RAM capacities

The MSI B650 Tomahawk WiFi has the AM5 socket that for now is only compatible with AMD Ryzen 7000 Zen 4 architecture processors , although it will be valid for future generations. Socket that uses LGA matrix and pressure bracket fixing system very similar to that of Intel plates.

As for the new B650 chipset , it has a total of 12 PCIe 4.0 lanes, of which 4 will be for direct connection to the CPU and 8 for expansion connectivity . 4 PCIe 3.0 lanes are added that can be assigned for PCIe slot, SATA ports or other connections. Supports at most 1 USB 3.2 Gen2x2 or 2 USB Gen2 ports, up to 4 USB 3.2 Gen2 and up to 6 USB 2.0 ports . Unlike X670E, B650 is single chip instead of two, being passively cooled on all boards.

RAM memory capacity is technically the same as on X670E boards, as it supports a total of 128 GB DDR5 through its DIMM slots with sunken solders on the PCB and Dual Channel . Remember that AM5 is a platform exclusively compatible with DDR5 RAM, implementing AMD EXPO profiles to support OC frequencies of up to 6600 MHz, both Non ECC and ECC (with error control).

Storage and PCIe slots

The MSI B650 Tomahawk WiFi has a total of 3 PCIe slots , two of them in x16 format and one in x1 format for smaller expansion cards. Between the main and secondary there is a space of 3 slots to compensate for what a high-end graphics card consumes.

The operation of the slots will be as follows:

  • PCI_E1– This is the only slot connected to 16 CPU lanes, but it is limited to 4.0 instead of reaching PCIe 5.0 speed. It is another limitation that makes little sense in our opinion.
  • PCI_E2: the next slot also in x16 format only has 4 active PCIe 4.0 lanes that it takes from the chipset. It shares the bus with M.2_3, so both slots will be limited to x2 when used simultaneously, while if we only use one of them, the other will be disabled.
  • PCI_E3: The last slot operates with a single PCIe 3.0 lane of the chipset without bus sharing.

We now continue with the storage configuration, which consists of 6 SATA ports at 6 Gbps connected to the chipset . Of these we must take into account that the SATA ports A1 and A2 (according to documentation) do not support RAID , but the rest do support RAID 0, 1 and 10 like all AMD boards. There will be three M.2 slots that complete the storage capacity.

The operating conditions are:

  • 2_1: This is the first slot according to location on the board, being connected to 4 PCIe lanes of the CPU, also limited to Gen4 on this board.
  • 2_2: The second slot located under the chipset and with a cooling block is also connected to the CPU in the remaining 4 lanes, also working in Gen4 mode.
  • 2_3: the last slot located between the expansion slots is connected to 4 PCIe 4.0 lanes of the chipset, sharing the bus with PCI_E2 as we have seen before.

The distribution of lanes allows us to use all the slots simultaneously , although obviously the distribution is a little more limited than other high-end models, and also not 100% of them are used or at their maximum capacity, since at no time are realizes the CPU’s PCIe 5.0 speed.

Network connectivity and sound

We turn to the network connectivity of the MSI B650 Tomahawk WiFi where we will have more or less the same as many other board models. Firstly a 2.5 Gbps Ethernet connection thanks to a Realtek RTL8125B chip , and secondly a MediaTek RZ616 wireless card . This model supports WiFi 6E and therefore triple band at 2.4, 5 and 6 GHz, the latter two with 160 MHz channels and Bluetooth 5.2.

Fortunately, the implemented sound card will be the Realtek ALC4080 codec , one of the most powerful in its class, although this time without a dedicated amplifier/DAC on the front panel. It is capable of up to 7.1 channels in high definition, 32-bit/384 kHz audio, and features high-fidelity Japanese Nippon capacitors.

I/O ports and internal connections

We continue to look at the peripheral connections of the MSI B650 Tomahawk WiFi , where the manufacturer will take advantage of the remaining PCIe lanes.

On the rear panel we find:

  • BIOS Flash Button
  • 2x 2T2R connectors for external Wi-Fi antenna
  • 3x USB 3.2 Gen2 (Rojos)
  • 1x USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C
  • 4x USB 3.2 Gen1 (Azules)
  • 2x USB 2.0 (Negros)
  • HDMI 2.1
  • DisplayPort 1.4
  • RJ-45 LAN 2,5 Gbps
  • S/PDIF optical audio output
  • 5x Jack de 3,5 mm

An excellent distribution and number of USB ports with up to 3 operating at 10 Gbps and USB-C at 20 Gbps . Little more can be asked for this mid-range version with the B650 chipset, so we are more than satisfied with the rear I/O panel. Only the Clear CMOS button, always very useful for testing, has been missing. The BIOS Flash port is indicated by inscription on the panel, which allows you to update the BIOS without CPU or RAM.

We continue with the internal ports of the motherboard:

  • 8x Fan Heads (6x SYS_FAN, 1x CPU_FAN, 1x AIO_PUMP)
  • 4x cabeceras RGB (2x 5VDG A-RGB, 2x 12VRGB RGB)
  • AAFP audio connector for front panel
  • F_Panel Connections
  • 1x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C Header
  • 2x USB 3.2 Gen1 (supports 4 ports)
  • 4x USB 2.0 (supports 8 ports)
  • TPM 2.0
  • Jumpers Clear CMOS
  • Conector para Tuning Controller (JDASH)

It is surprising to have no less than 4 headers for front USB 2.0 ports, or in your case, internal chassis or lighting controllers.

testing bench

It’s time to test the MSI B650 Tomahawk WiFi on our test bench, in which we will be using the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X . We will use the following components:

Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X
Base plate : MSI B650 Tomahawk WiFi
Memory: 32GB Kingston Fury Beast RGB DDR5 5600 MHz
heatsink MSI Coreliquid S360
HDD ADATA Gammix S70
Graphic card Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti
Power supply Corsair RM1000


MSI’s BIOS uses the usual skin and layout similar to X670E boards, which we are testing on the most current version at the time of review. It must be said that the posting is quite slow at least with this almost initial BIOS, we hope that it will improve with successive updates. We must not activate the XMP profile of the memories until at least we have done a complete boot until we reach Windows, since at first, the activation causes a blockage in the initial posting.

We have easy or EZ mode , in which complete information about hardware is presented in different sections, active cooling elements and installed storage. On a lower panel we have multiple switches to activate different fast options of the board such as TPM or UEFI or CSM mode, Audio Controller or EZ LED, however the Resizable Bar option is still missing.

The Advanced mode begins with the Settings section where we find the general management of the expansion slots, system status, boot order and security settings. From Advanced we will access the most important parameters such as Precision Boost Overdrive to manage the power limits of the CPU. In Tweaker we find the usual overclocking options for the CPU, as well as the operation of clocks, memories and VRM.

VRM temperatures

We will perform a stress test on the CPU in its stock configuration and without touching the default assigned voltage. We collect temperatures on the surface with a thermal camera and through a sensor from HWiNFO .

MSI B650 Tomahawk WiFi
Relaxed Stock Full Stock
Board 43ºC 50ºC
Chipset (sensor) 43ºC 49ºC
VRM (exterior) 32ºC 56ºC
VRM (Sensor) 39ºC 69ºC




This VRM has done a good job of controlling temperatures, even better than some higher cost and smaller block options.

Overclocking and voltages

We have overclocked by setting a frequency of 5.375 GHz on all cores at a voltage of 1.265 V on the 7950X . It remains stable with a level 4 LLC . We have not achieved continued stability at 5.4 GHz, so we have opted for Ryzen master to configure the clock frequencies in more detail to a little less than those 5.4 GHz. So in this configuration it is as stable as they allow temperatures, because when it reaches 95ºC there will be throttling.

The default voltages supplied by this board with the 7D75v10 version will be 1.34V at 5.3GHz on all cores , a minimum of 1.065V and a maximum of 1.47V in burst mode at 5.75GHz. the screenshot we see 5.4 GHz, when we start the stress to the CPU quickly drops to 5.3 GHz and even less when throttling due to relatively high stock voltages.

Final words and conclusion about the MSI B650 Tomahawk WiFi

We end this analysis where we know one of the best quality / price options from MSI for the Zen 4 platform if our budget cannot stretch to reach the X570E. And it is that even this MSI B650 Tomahawk WiFi , which a priori is a mid-range, is at a price of €300, about €125 more expensive than the same B550 version of the previous generation.

It is true that the increased performance of Zen 4 has raised prices across the board, but it is exactly the same for all new generation boards . If we are looking for wide and versatile connectivity , this model is a very good option as it has a triple PCIe slot and 3 M.2 slots, all of them PCIe 4.0, however there is no trace of PCIe 5.0 because the brand has limited the bandwidth even in the main slot. At the level of peripheral connections, we have good news with rear USB-C Gen2x2 , and a large front expansion capacity.

We recommend reading our guide on the best motherboards on the market

Other aspects to highlight, as always, will be the design, elegant and good manufacturing of the PCB, with a sufficiently well-cooled VRM even withstanding the thrust of the 7950X at maximum performance for hours. Yes , the stock voltages in the BIOS could be improved a bit , but the Vdroop is quite good at LLC level 4 and has allowed stable overclocking to 5.375 GHz , just like much more expensive boards.

In general terms, it is presented as a highly recommended board if we do not plan to use PCIe 5.0, because except for this, the rest gets a very good grade without having anything to envy to more expensive options, with Wi-Fi 6E 160 MHz or ALC4080 sound . Since the price is high on all boards, this model for us means a good buy for any Zen 4 processor that we install.


The Professional Review team awards it the gold medal and recommended product

MSI MPG B650 Tomahawk WiFi Placa base Micro-ATX – Compatible con procesadores AMD Ryzen Serie 7000, AM5-12 Duet Rail 80A VRM, DDR5 Memory Boost 6400+MHz/OC, 2 x PCIe 4.0 x16, 2 M.2 x M. Gen4, Wi-Fi 6E

326,92 EUR

MSI B650 Tomahawk WiFi


COOLING – 88% BIOS – 91% EXTRAS – 83% PRECIO – 86% 87%

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