Review | MSI MPG B550I Gaming Edge WiFi

The MSI MPG B550I Gaming Edge WiFi is yet another AMD B550 motherboard we got here for review.

A major difference between this one over the past few B550 motherboards tested is of course its ITX form factor. This one is also a high performance motherboard featuring an 8+2 power design cooled by an expanded VRM heatsink together with a MOSFET backplate. To make things even cooler, the PCIe 4.0 M.2 slot is actively cooled with a 0dB function as well.

Technical Specifications

Processor
CPU AMD Ryzen 3rd Generation
Chipset AMD B550
Memory
SDRAM DDR4 Non-ECC
Slot 2x LO-DIMM
Channel Dual Channel
Frequency 3200MHz (4600MHz OC)
Capacity 64GB
Graphics
GPU Ryzen 3rd Generation
Display Output 1x HDMI 2.1
Multi-GPU N/A
Expansion
PCI Express PCIe 4.0 x16
Storage
SATA 4x SATA
M.2 1x PCIe 4.0 x4, 1x PCIe 3.0 x4
RAID 0, 1, 10
Network
Wired Realtek RTL8125B 2.5Gbps
Wireless Intel AX200
Audio
Codec Realtek ALC1200
Channel 7.1
USB
USB 2.0 1x External, 2x Internal
USB 3.0 2x External, 2x Internal
USB 3.2 2x External
Dimensions
Length 170mm
Width 170mm
Height 45mm
Weight N/A

Packaging and Accessories

The B550I Gaming Edge WiFi comes packed inside the usual dual compartment packaging from MSI. It comes with the following accessories and documentations inside:

  • User manual
  • Quick installation guide
  • MSI case badge
  • Product registration card
  • MSI product catalog
  • 2x SATA cables
  • Promotion card
  • Driver DVD

Lotsa paper work to see here. Nothing’s fancy so let’s carry on.

Design, Layout and Build Quality

The MSI MPG B550I Gaming Edge WiFi is one of the few SFF B550 motherboards with a built-in fan. Board looks proper in matte black and is clean enough not to raise eye brows. Perfect for a classy ITX build.

Layout wise, the MPG B550I Gaming Edge WiFi is clean. Almost spotless if it isn’t for the hard to reach front panel header. MSI really need to add something like ASUS’ Q-connector and GIGABYTE’s G-connector.

There are two reinforcements found at the back of the board together with the PCIe 3.0 M.2 slot. There’s one for the MOSFET to keep it cool while the OEM AMD back plate for the CPU and its cooler has been replaced by a much more beefier steel for added stability – as if the stock one isn’t enough for ITX platforms.

Now VRM is a courtesy of an 8+2 phase digital power design. Feeding it power is a 4+4 EPS power connector situated at the edge of the board. This straight VRM layout allowed the CPU socket to move further up the board, allowing enough space for the huge M.2 slot cooler and CPU cooler to be mounted without much hassle. Perhaps the extra reinforcement is really required due to this configuration. This is a clean area, devoid of headers.

Internal storage options are adequate and we’re happy to see a USB Type-C internal header thrown into the mix. Two of the 3 fan headers are located on this area.

As usual for ITX motherboards, the bottom area of the board is dull as ever – if you’re not going to count the front panel and audio header next to the PCIe 4.0 slot. Speaking of the audio, what we have here is a Realtek ALC1200. Nothing fancy.

Back panel options are great for its size – except that it doesn’t have a DisplayPort as a part of the deal. We got S/PDIF though and a single Type-C port. That’s on top of the 2.5Gbps LAN and Intel AX200 Wi-Fi.

Firmware Interface

MSI is still using the tried and tested Click BIOS 5 which is something I’m not really a fan of. This is a 4:3 UEFI with a nice EZ Mode but a tired looking Advanced Mode.

There are 6 main menus found within this UEFI. The OC menu for an instance is the most important option here if you find overclocking and tweaking your system worth it – which is usually the case. :)

Hardware Monitor is where you could check the real-time voltage and thermals plus adjust the RPM of your fan or pumps attached to the headers.

Test Setup and Methodology

System performance is evaluated by industry standard benchmark tools and applications. The system is tested with the following software configurations:

  • Windows Power Plan: Balanced
  • UEFI configuration: Default
  • Windows Game Mode: Disabled
  • Windows Game Bar: Disabled
  • Windows Security: Disabled

Outlined below are the test system specifications as well as the software and or applications used for the review:

Test System Specifications
CPU AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
Motherboard MSI MPG B550I Gaming Edge WiFi
Cooler MSI MAG CoreLiquid 240R
Memory ADATA Premier 2666MHz 16GB
GPU ASUS ROG Strix RX 570 4GB
Storage Crucial BX200 480GB
Case Thermaltake Core P3
PSU CORSAIR RM850X
Display DELL U2715H
OS Microsoft Windows 10 Pro

Synthetic Performance:

  • Super PI – 32M Calculation
  • wPrime – 1024M Calculation
  • AIDA64 Extreme Edition – Memory Benchmark

Productivity Performance:

  • GIMP – Image Processing
  • HandBrake – Video Encoding
  • WinRAR – Compression Speed

Gaming Performance:

  • CS:GO – Maximum Settings, V-SYNC off
  • DOTA 2 – Maximum Settings, V-SYNC off
  • Assetto Corsa – Maximum Settings, V-SYNC off

Miscellaneous:

  • AS SSD – Storage Performance
  • RightMark Audio Analyzer – Audio Performance
  • NetIO-GUI – Network Performance

Power Consumption:

  • AIDA64 – Stability Test, CPU, Memory and GPU

Synthetic Performance

Super PI is a single-threaded program that calculates pi to a specified number of digits after the decimal point. It is a widely used benchmark to check a single-core performance of any system.

WPrime is a multi-threaded program that calculates a set number of square roots. A good application to check the multi-core performance of any system.

The AIDA64 Extreme Memory Benchmark measures the data transfer bandwidth and latency of the system memory. The latency is measured for this benchmark.

As usual, synthetic performance is in line with other B550 motherboards we’ve tested.

Productivity Performance

GIMP is a free and open-source image editing tool. 7MB worth of images are processed and converted for the benchmark.

HandBrake is a free video encoding tool that supports a wide variety of media codecs. 150MB worth of MP4 video is converted using the H.264 codec for the benchmark.

WinRAR is a file archive utility that creates, view and unpack numerous archive file formats. The built in benchmark tool is utilized to for the benchmark.

Nothing exceptional here, just proper productivity performance results for the MPG B550I.

Gaming Performance

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or CS:GO is a multiplayer first-person shooter developed by Valve. Settings are set to their maximum with V-Sync and motion blur disabled.

DOTA 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena game developed and published by Valve. Settings are set to their maximum with V-Sync disabled.

Assetto Corsa is a simulation racing game developed by the Italian video game developer Kunos Simulazioni. Settings are set to their maximum with V-Sync disabled.

Gaming performance is generally good. Nothing out of place here.

Storage Performance

AS SSD is a storage benchmark widely used in the industry. The total score is taken to evaluate the storage performance.

Storage performance is pretty good as far as SATA performance is concerned.

Audio Performance

RMAA is a tool designed to test the quality of audio devices. A loop-back is configured with a sampling rate of 24-bit at 48000Hz for the test. Our setup essentially tests the quality of the line-in and line-out of the audio solution.

Noise level alone is the best compared to other B550 boards tested. Frequency response has a gradual roll-off until 30Hz and gets a droop beyond 20KHz which is fine. THD + Noise is not the best though at -41.9dBA.

I figured this has something to do with either the line-in or line-out. Well, that’s the peril of using the same audio solution for RMAA.

Network Performance

NetIO-GUI is an application used to test the performance of a network. The LAN round trip time is our concern here, checking out latency anomalies if there are any. The client and server are connected on the home network via Cat 5e cables.

The motherboard has a wired network latency at 1ms on any packet sizes tested.

Power Consumption

AIDA64 Extreme System Stability Test features 64-bit multi-threaded stress testing module to drive the system to its limits. Power readings are recorded with a watt-meter.

Power draw is ATX level – both idle and load. I don’t see this as a problem though since it appears to be within spec.

Overclocking and Underclocking

There are two ways to overclock and underclock any compatible unlocked AMD Ryzen processors. One way is to do it within the UEFI and the other is via the AMD Ryzen Master. Both works well, but we prefer via UEFI since it is way easier to use.

Since this is not our test sample, we didn’t overclock the CPU over the suggested 1.325v Vcore. Like the other B550 motherboards tested, we tried 4.1GHz at all cores with a x41 multiplier to see if it works. It does like many other AM4 motherboards reviewed.

Software, Lighting and Special Features

MSI had the MPG B550I Gaming Edge WiFi bundled with a number of applications that should help you maximize your motherboard’s potential. That should include the following software and or applications:

  • MSI Dragon Center
  • Realtek Audio Control
  • Realtek LAN Manager

Final Thoughts

The MSI MPG B550I Gaming Edge WiFi appears to be a great motherboard – and it is for its size. We have plenty of internal and external connectivity options, it has a performance appropriate for a B550 motherboard and has a capable Wi-Fi and 2.5Gbps LAN on top of the PCIe 4.0 conforming design.

Cons? Audio solution. While it has excellent noise levels, THD + Noise and IMD + Noise are rather poor. Poor EMI shielding could be the culprit here – yet we could only guess until my new audio testing gear arrives.

In spite of its shortcomings, the motherboard’s cooling performance and build quality (except the audio part) are well worth the trouble. Heck, I don’t even see the need to put a fan on the M.2 slot but they did it anyway.

Summing it up, MSI MPG B550I Gaming Edge WiFi is a great choice for a SFF B550 motherboard at $199 USD (11,400 PHP, locally).

TechPorn Awards 2018 (1)

MSI MPG B550I Gaming Edge WiFi

  • Performance - 8.5/10

    8.5/10

  • Build Quality - 8.5/10

    8.5/10

  • Features - 9/10

    9/10

  • Design - 8.5/10

    8.5/10

  • Value - 8.5/10

    8.5/10

8.6/10

Summary

Summing it up, MSI MPG B550I Gaming Edge WiFi is a great choice for a SFF B550 motherboard at $199 USD.

Pros

  • 2.5Gbps LAN + Wi-Fi 6 combo
  • Excellent cooling solution
  • Plenty of connectivity options
  • Excellent build quality (except the audio part)

Cons

  • Audio solution could be better
  • Aging UEFI design

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Leo Bien Durana is the Owner and Chief Editor of TechPorn. A competitive PC gamer with a robust technical background. He usually breaks a lot of stuff though.