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Top 5 Best B450 Motherboards (2020)

Recommended B450 Motherboards Compatible With Ryzen 3000 CPUs Out the Box Without Needing a BIOS Update (& Highly Likely to Support "Zen 3" Ryzen 4000)




Published: June 15, 2020

Chasing the best B450 motherboard for your new budget AMD gaming PC build? After a near-death experience, B450 motherboards are alive and kicking in 2020 thanks to AMD reversing their initial decision to drop support for future Ryzen 4000 (Zen 3) processors on their B450 chipset.

But to be fair, even if AMD didn't reverse the decision, B450 motherboards would still be well worth considering for new system builds on a budget, as the majority of people building with the latest Ryzen 3rd gen CPUs (like the Ryzen 5 3600 or Ryzen 7 3700X etc) don't care about upgrading to Ryzen 4th gen in only 6-12 months time.

See Also: How to Choose a Motherboard (Specs Explained)

B550 motherboards are dropping very soon too, but that won't exactly make B450 obsolete overnight as B550 won't bring anything groundbreaking to the table (PCIe 4.0 support just doesn't matter for 90% of builders). Besides, B550 will likely cost a bit more than B450, making B450 the more cost-effective option with little downsides compared to the coming B550 boards.

But if you're set on B450 for an awesome budget AMD build to use with the latest Ryzen CPUs (like the 3100, 3300X, 3600/X, 3700X, or the 3200G/3400G APUs) and pondering which B450 motherboard is best to buy, here we roundup the best B450 motherboards in terms of bang for buck to help you get the best quality, features, and reliability for your particular budget.

As with most motherboard chipsets, there are a whole bunch of different B450 motherboards to pick from, many of which with similar pricing and features. But if you know what to look for and carefully analyze and compare features, professional reviews, and customer experiences across multiple sources, there are certain models that make better buys than others. Let's get straight into our top 5 best B450 motherboards, including a specs cheatsheet to make for easy comparing between our top recommended models.




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The Best B450 Motherboards: 2020 Edition (Socket AM4)

Hover mouse over icons below if unsure what a certain spec is


Category: Best Budget Micro ATX B450 Best Budget ATX B450 Best B450 for Overclocking Best Mini ITX B450 Best B450 With WiFi
Our Pick:
MSI B450M Pro-VDH Max

MSI B450-A Pro Max

MSI B450 Tomahawk Max

Asus ROG Strix B450-I Gaming

MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon Max WiFi
Form Factor:
Micro ATX ATX ATX Mini ITX ATX
Compatible CPU Series: Ryzen 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000*

Athlon APUs
Ryzen 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000*

Athlon APUs
Ryzen 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000*

Athlon APUs
Ryzen 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000*

Athlon APUs
Ryzen 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000*

Athlon APUs
Overclocking Suitability:
Okay Good Very Good Good Good
RAM Slots (and Max Capacity):
4 x DDR4 (128GB) 4 x DDR4 (128GB) 4 x DDR4 (128GB) 2 x DDR4 (64GB) 4 x DDR4 (128GB)
Max RAM Speed:
3866MHz OC (Gen3 Only) 4133MHz OC (Gen3 Only) 4133MHz OC (Gen3 Only) 3600MHz OC 4133MHz OC (Gen3 Only)
M.2 Slots:
1 (SATA/PCIe) 1 (SATA/PCIe) 1 (SATA/PCIe) 2 (1 SATA/PCIe, 1 PCIe) 2 (1 SATA/PCIe, 1 PCIe)
Fan Headers:
2 Chassis

1 CPU
4 Chassis

1 CPU

1 AiO Pump
4 Chassis

1 CPU

1 AiO Pump
1 Chassis

1 CPU

1 AiO Pump
4 Chassis

1 CPU

1 AiO Pump
RGB Headers:
1 RGB (4pin 12V) 1 RGB (4pin 12V) 2 RGB (4pin 12V) 1 RGB (4pin 12v)

1 ARGB (3pin 5v)
2 RGB (4pin 12v)

1 ARGB (3pin 5v)
WiFi: No (adapter required) No (adapter required) No (adapter required) Yes (WiFi 5 / 802.11ac) Yes (WiFi 5 / 802.11ac)
SLI / CrossFire:
No / No No / Yes No / Yes No / No No / Yes
Full Official Specs MSI MSI MSI Asus MSI


* B450 will support upcoming Ryzen 4000 CPUs, but support is yet to be confirmed for specific models as it's up to each manufacturer to release a BIOS update once these new CPUs come out. But it's safe to assume that most B450 boards, especially popular models (and especially MSI's "Max" boards), will be getting support when the time comes.



1. MSI B450M Pro-VDH Max (Best Budget Micro ATX B450)


Pros

  • Best overall value Micro-ATX B450
  • Updated "Max" BIOS for guaranteed Ryzen 3000 compatibility out the box
  • New BIOS means highly likely to support upcoming Ryzen 4000 CPUs without issues
  • 4 memory slots; nice for a cheap board
  • Suitable for light overclocking

Cons

  • Plain design (looks more brown than black which is hard to see in product images)
  • Only 2 fan headers for connecting your case fans (plenty for budget builds though)

Honorable Mention: Gigabyte B450M DS3H (mATX)

You're going to see a lot of MSI in our recommendations here, but for good reason as they undoubtedly have some of the best B450 motherboards on the market overall for various reasons.


Image Credit: BHPhotoVideo

Most of MSI's B450 boards are great choices, partly based on their price vs performance/features, but also partly because of their latest "Max" range of boards which were released after their initial B450 range, which come with larger BIOS chips to avoid compatibility issues with the latest Ryzen 3000 BIOS versions (as we explained a while back in this article).

In mid 2020, by now mostly every single B450 you buy will come with an already-updated BIOS that'll work with Ryzen 3000 CPUs (so you don't need to update the BIOS yourself). But MSI "Max" boards are 100% guaranteed that this is the case. Furthermore, buying a "Max" branded model is the most surefire way to avoid any problems if you were planning on upgrading to a future Ryzen 4000 ("Zen 3") CPU at the end of the year (or next year).

That's not to say that other B450's won't be fine to use with the future Ryzen 4000 series, but just that I would personally stick to a MSI Max board if you want to upgrade to a Ryzen 4000 CPU later using a BIOS update, as Max boards have larger BIOS ROM chips to accommodate future BIOS versions (eg the B450 Tomahawk Max has a 32MB BIOS ROM chip compared to 16MB on the older non-Max Tomahawk).


The MSI B450M Pro-VDH Max I used recently for our budget AMD gaming PC install guide. Nothing fancy but a good cheap board.

But back to what most people care about - building with a Ryzen 3000 CPU now and not worrying about upgrading in only 6-12 months to the next upcoming Ryzen series. If on a budget and you're looking for the cheapest B450 that's still good quality and reliable, with a nice set of features, the B450 Pro-VDH Max is our top pick (if you're also after a mATX (Micro ATX) model for smaller cases).

It's not the most amazing looking board, but that isn't an issue for most budget builders where maximizing aesthetics is not a concern. Besides, it doesn't look that bad, and the motherboard isn't something you see much of once your system is built anyway as your other parts mostly cover the board.

And that's assuming you have a see-through side panel on your case; if you don't, it wouldn't matter if your mobo was a funky pale green abomination resembling Yoda's soup in ESB. If you have a larger case (even a roomier mid tower) and want to "fill out" your build a bit more with a full-sized ATX board, I'd get the B450-A Pro Max instead though (see next).




2. MSI B450-A Pro Max (Best Budget ATX B450)


Pros

  • Best overall bang for buck full-sized B450
  • Updated "Max" BIOS
  • Highly likely to support upcoming Ryzen 4000 

  • 4 case fan headers to accommodate tons of fans (without needing to buy a splitter or fan hub)

Cons

  • Only 1 RGB header (not a problem for multiple RGB fans if you use a RGB controller/hub)
  • Like the Pro-VDH, looks quite basic (dull, even)
  • Tomahawk Max doesn't cost much more and is superior for overclocking and aesthetics

Since they look very similar, you could say the MSI B450-A Pro Max is essentially the Pro-VDH mentioned above but in full-sized ATX with a few extra features and better cooling/VRM for basic overclocking. At around 100 bucks you can't go wrong if you're not chasing aesthetics, as this basic-looking board comes with everything you likely need for a typical mid-range gaming PC.

It's even got 4 fan headers should you want to fill out your case with a nice amount of fans. Plus, the fact that it's the updated "Max" model of this board means that it has better support for BIOS updates, so you shouldn't have any issues upgrading to future Ryzen 4th gen (4000 series) processors if that's your plan.


Image Credit: BHPhotoVideo




3. MSI B450 Tomahawk Max (Best B450 for Overclocking)


Pros

  • Updated "Max" BIOS
  • Highly likely to support upcoming Ryzen 4000 
  • Best VRM of any B450 for overclocking
  • 4 case fan headers
  • Much slicker color scheme than the MSI B450-A Pro, with a little built-in RGB lighting to boot
  • Has a super-fast USB Type-C port

Cons

  • Only 1 M.2 Slot

  • No ARGB (Addressable RGB) header, but it does have 2 standard RGB headers

Not to say other B450 models aren't suitable (or good) for overclocking your Ryzen CPU, but the Tomahawk Max (and original Tomahawk non-max) is well known among enthusiasts for having the best VRM and cooling of any B450 board out there (see a B450 VRM tier list compiled by enthusiasts here, and just one of many VRM temperature tests here, both showing the Tomahawk on top of the B450 heap).


Image Credit: BHPhotoVideo

In other words, it's your best bet if you want a stable, reliable base to push your CPU past stock speeds but you don't want to spend the extra money on the X570 platform (which can be even better for overclocking). But the B450 Tomahawk Max isn't just a great option for overclocking, and it makes a solid choice overall if you're simply after one of the best B450 motherboards on the market for running your CPU at normal stock speeds (which is what most people do anyway). It contains a decent set of features, including 4 chassis fan headers, 2 RGB headers, a dash of built-in RGB lighting, and looks very decent too - noticeably better than the uninspiring B450-A Pro Max.

As for which is the best B450 motherboard overall in terms of bang for buck for a mid-range gaming PC build (MSI B450 Tomahawk Max vs MSI B450-A Pro Max), it comes down to personal preference as you could make the argument that the B450-A Pro is better value overall if you want to be as cost-effective as possible and you don't care for aesthetics or top-notch overclocking performance.

Related: B450 Tomahawk Max vs B450 Tomahawk




4. Asus ROG Strix B450-I Gaming WiFi (Best mITX B450)


Pros

  • Likely to support upcoming Ryzen 4000 

  • WiFi and Bluetooth
  • Decent VRM for overclocking
  • 2 M.2 slots

Cons

  • Only 2 RAM slots (standard for mITX though)
  • 1 chassis fan header (can use pump header, buy splitter/hub, or connect to PSU molex)

Asus to the rescue here, saving us from having to recommend MSI for every single one of our top 5 best B450 motherboards which could potentially make this guide seem a little biased to some readers (which couldn't be further from the truth as MSI objectively owned the B450 market from day one)

If you're assembling a miniature SFF (Small Form Factor) system using the mITX (Mini ITX) standard, your choices narrow a fair bit as there aren't a heap of mITX B450 motherboards out there. But if we had to pick one, the Asus ROG Strix B450-I Gaming WiFi would be it.


Image Credit: BHPhotoVideo

Due to size constraints it lacks certain features of bigger boards like the standard 4 RAM slots (it only has 2), but it's a neat little package with all the crucial pieces of the puzzle to serve most types of tiny systems - even for high-end gaming powerhouses. For a closer look at this little guy, enter hardware's hilarious stand-up guy Bitwit as he reviewed it here.




5. MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon Max WiFi (Best B450 With WiFi)


Pros

  • The #1 best B450 motherboard overall
  • Updated "Max" BIOS
  • Highly likely to support upcoming Ryzen 4000 
  • Excellent crisp design and RGB lighting
  • 3 total RGB headers (1 being ARGB) to support lots of RGB fans or accessories

Cons

  • One of, if not the most expensive B450 (same price as budget X570 boards)
  • No WiFi 6 support for next-gen wireless routers (but no biggie)

Most motherboards do not come with built-in WiFi/wireless capability, meaning you have to buy a separate wireless adapter to install in your desktop if you were planning to get online wirelessly with your new PC. 

But if you want a board that already comes with WiFi, and you're not in the market for a Mini ITX like the Asus above (which has WiFi too), the B450 Gaming Pro Carbon Max is worth a look if you're willing to spend a little more on a premium B450 (though keep in mind it'll work out roughly the same cost overall if you were to get a wireless PCIe adapter for a cheaper board).


Image Credit: BHPhotoVideo

The B450 Gaming Pro Carbon Max is second to none in terms of quality and features within the B450 range, with slick, sharp aesthetics for a neat-looking finished system. It's also got a respectable VRM should you want to overclock your Ryzen 5, 7 or 9 CPU (no point getting this board for a Ryzen 3).

Related: How to Choose the Best Gaming Router




FAQ


Do All B450 Motherboards Support Ryzen 3000 Out the Box?

By "out the box" we mean without having to update the BIOS (the motherboard's software) before the CPU can work. The answer is no, not all B450 motherboards that you buy are 100% guaranteed to come shipped with a Ryzen 3000 ready BIOS, but the good news is, in 2020 most B450 motherboards will come shipped with an updated BIOS that supports Ryzen 3000 processors.

It's unlikely that you would receive old motherboard stock that has the older BIOS, which would require you to do the BIOS update yourself (which sometimes requires you to have an older Ryzen CPU on hand to perform the update if your motherboard doesn't have a BIOS flashback feature). But it is possible, especially if buying from lesser-known retailers (or buying a used motherboard). 

If you want to 100% ensure the B450 motherboard you buy has the new Ryzen 3000 BIOS, for "plug and play" compatibility with Ryzen 3000 CPUs (like the 3300X, 3600, 3700X, 3900X, and so on), you can either stick to MSI's "Max" range of B450 boards (which released after Ryzen 3000 CPUs and are guaranteed to have the new BIOS), or you can ask the seller/retailer directly if the board you will receive comes with the new BIOS. If you're buying at a local store, look on the box for a "Ryzen 3000 Ready" sticker.


Boards that come with a Ryzen 3000 compatible BIOS have this box sticker (all of MSI's "Max" boards are guaranteed to have this, but most B450s will also have it by now)


Can You Use a B450 for Ryzen 9 3900X/3950X?

B450 motherboards are compatible with high-end Ryzen 9 processors like the 3900X or 3950X, but the real question is does this pairing make sense? Most people using an extreme Ryzen 9 CPU won't be eyeing off the budget B450 chipset, but it's an entirely possible proposition if you're looking to build the most cost-effective high-end workstation PC that you can, and if you're NOT going to be overclocking such a behemoth of a chip (in which case you'd absolutely need the better VRMs of a good X570 motherboard).

To pair a Ryzen 9 3900X or 3950X with a B450 safely, you must choose a good B450 that is proven for overclocking. Yes, that means the B450 Tomahawk Max or the B450 Pro Carbon, the former of which proven to perform absolutely fine with a stock 3950X in this particular test by the one and only benchmark boss (thanks Steve). In that benchmark the ASRock B450 Gaming K4 and Gigabyte B450 Aorus Pro WiFi also did fine, but the Tomahawk is in a league of its own. 



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