MSI will be unveiling its latest B550 chipset-based motherboards, the B550 Unify series, which are fully prepped to support AMD's next-generation Ryzen 5000 Desktop CPUs based on the latest Zen 3 core architecture.
MSI MEG B550 Unify-X & MEG B550 Unify Fully Prepped For AMD Ryzen 5000 'Zen 3' Desktop CPUs, Feature Stunning Design & Up To 5800 MHz DDR4 Memory OC Support
We last talked about the MSI MEG B550 Unify series motherboards back in August when we gave an exclusive look at the design for the upcoming series. Since then, MSI has worked on putting the finishing touches on the first MEG motherboards in its B550 class of products. Just as expected, the MSI MEG B550 Unify series aims to drive overclocking to the extreme with its insane overclocking support, especially for memory which is officially listed at up to DDR4-5800 MHz but we have heard that LN2 overclockers will easily be able to breach that limit.
MSI MEG B550 Unify-X Motherboard
Coming to the specifications, we first have the higher-end MEG B550 Unify-X motherboard. This is going to retail at a price of around $299 US which puts it in the premium category considering that it is based on the B550 chipset. Talking about the features, the AM4 CPU on the board is powered by a 14+2+1 direct power design which makes use of 90A power stages. Two 8-pin connectors are used to route power to the VRM and the socket. Everything about this motherboard screams high-end from its extreme VRM design to its server-grade 2oz copper PCB which is made up of 6 layers. The boards will feature the latest BIOS which will fully support AMD's Ryzen 5000 Desktop CPUs out of the box.
MSI is targetting this motherboard at overclockers which is apparent from its 2 DIMM design. You can expect the motherboard to feature support for the fastest DDR4 (up to 5800 MHz) DIMMs out in the market but also expect to gain much more performance out of them with overclocks. To cool the VRMs, MSI is using a dual heatsink block design with an aluminum cover. The heatsinks are interconnected with a heat pipe that channels heat equally around the heatsinks so they can be cooled off from airflow within the case.
Expansion slots include two x16 PCIe slots, two x1 PCIe slots, and four M.2 slots. All M.2 slots come with enhanced M.2 Frozr heatsinks. The three heatsinks at the bottom are part of the B550 PCH heatsink too. The PCH heatsink has cutouts with dual-tone colors in matte grey and brushed silver. Unlike the X570 Unify series, the B550 Unify motherboards don't feature any active fan cooling that can be considered a great thing for users who didn't like an active cooling solution on the X570 line of motherboards.
The topmost PCIe x16 and three M.2 slots on the motherboards are PCIe Gen 4 compliant. Storage outputs include 6 SATA III ports and there's a single front panel USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C header. The board also features 2.5G LAN (Realtek), WiFi 6 support, and a range of I/O features such as HDMI 2.1 for display output when running a Ryzen APU. Compared to the X570 Unify, the B550 Unify X offers a much better value in terms of features such as more M.2 slots, more SATA ports, a better VRM, and impressive overclocking capabilities, all at the same price point.
MSI MEG B550 Unify Motherboard
The MSI MEG B550 Unify retains all the features of the X model but comes in at a lower price point of around $279 US. The reason is that the motherboard will make use of four DIMMs instead of the 2 DIMM design on the 'X' variant. The 'X' variant is more fine-tuned for overclockers and hence will have a slightly higher price.
The I/O on the MEG B550 Unify & MEG B550 Unify-X motherboards include four USB 3.2 Gen 2, four USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, a PS/2 combo port, Clear CMOS & Flash Bios buttons, a 2.5G networking LAN port, WiFi 6 antenna jacks, and a 7.1 channel HD audio jack. The motherboard comes with a pre-installed I/O bracket.
With that said, the MEG B550 Unify looks like an exceptional product in the high-end B550 board segment. Expect more details from MSI in the coming month as the B550 Unify series is expected to launch sometime this month alongside AMD's Ryzen 5000 series desktop processors.