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MSI MEG B550 Unify Gaming Motherboard AMD AM4 $240 (various retailers)

$240.00
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Not the historical low (which is $220) but it's been near msrp ($290) for months.
Awesome board (4 heat-sinked NVMe slots!) but hit and miss with coil whine, just return if get a noisy one.
The Unify-X is not on sale (only difference is the X model only has 2 RAM slots for better overclocking, the non-X obviously has higher capacity with 4 slots).

BH Photo:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/pr...board.html
Newegg:
https://www.newegg.com/msi-meg-b5...6813144375
Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/MSI-Unify-...B08Q2685ZN
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Created 05-07-2022 at 06:51 PM by luddite_cyborg
in Motherboards (9)
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#2
why buy b550 when x570 is just like 150
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#3
Quote from duenor :
why buy b550 when x570 is just like 150
For me it comes down to the active cooling on chipset with x570, which I really don't want. Since B550 doesn't lack anything for my use, I haven't even considered x570.
There are cheap B550 boards too, this one just packs a lot of features and quality.

Edit: There's some incorrect info below about the M.2 slot capabilities, so here are the actual specs (see screenshot from manual). By default the bandwidth for the 4 M.2 slots is mixed between CPU and Chipset, with 1 at PCIe 3/4 x4, 1 at PCIe 3 x4, and 2 of them run at PCIe3 x2 mode (NOT x1).
HOWEVER, you can choose to run all 4 M.2 slots in CPU mode (using PCIe 4 lanes). That makes 3 of the M.2 slots run at PCIe 3/4 x4 mode, and 1 at PCIe 3 x4 mode.
The only potential drawback with CPU mode for M.2 is that PCIe slot 1 for GPU is reduced to x8. If you have a PCIe 4 GPU then this will hardly make a difference (like, 0 with current gen) since PCIe 3 x16 and PCIe 4 x8 are equivalent bandwidth. But, if you have an older PCIe 3 GPU you'll be running in PCIe 3 x8 mode, which can reduce GPU performance ever so slightly perhaps (see negligible test results for GTX 1080 here: https://www.gamersnexus.net/guide...ct-on-gpus).

Bottom line is that if you want full bandwidth for all 4 M.2 slots, it's there!
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Last edited by luddite_cyborg May 9, 2022 at 09:33 AM. Reason: M.2 Info
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#4
Quote from duenor :
why buy b550 when x570 is just like 150
Because you can buy much higher end B550 boards for half the price. B550 still offers PCIe 4.0 x16 on the first GPU slot and PCIe 4.0 on the first M.2 slot. For many builds that is the max that is needed as "average" users run just one M.2 drive and one GPU. Hell my 6600 XT doesn't even run at x16, had no idea that AMD was limiting these things to x8. Still doesnt saturate all the lanes even at that speed though. It's a case use scenario on what chipset you go with. X570 more future proof but honestly if your running 5xxx series Ryzen, your next build is gonna be a whole new AM5 build in a few years anyway.
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#5
I have an ASUS ROG X570-E board and never even notice the active cooled chipset. If it's there, it just fades in with the rest of my fan noise (which isn't loud at all).
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#6
This one has 4 m.2 slots, but you're going to sacrifice speed on a lot of them. 2 of them run at PCIE gen 3 x1.

MEG B550 Unify and B550 Unify-X offers 4 PCIe slots. Here is the configuration:
PCI_E1 is connected to CPU and supports PCIe 4.0 x16.
PCI_E2 & PCI_3 are connected to chipset and support PCI 3.0 x1.
PCI_E4 is connected to chipset and supports up to PCIe 3.0 x4.
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#7
Quote from Spawne32 :
Because you can buy much higher end B550 boards for half the price. B550 still offers PCIe 4.0 x16 on the first GPU slot and PCIe 4.0 on the first M.2 slot. For many builds that is the max that is needed as "average" users run just one M.2 drive and one GPU. Hell my 6600 XT doesn't even run at x16, had no idea that AMD was limiting these things to x8. Still doesnt saturate all the lanes even at that speed though. It's a case use scenario on what chipset you go with. X570 more future proof but honestly if your running 5xxx series Ryzen, your next build is gonna be a whole new AM5 build in a few years anyway.
ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero is pretty high end and is $269. If the motherboard fan is what is turning you off, I would suggest you seriously try it out. I don't hear my fan at all and I run a VERY quiet computer - all noctua fans, all down-controlled, and most of the time my fans aren't running at all because they don't need to.

But I suppose if b550 is all you need and x570 offers you nothing, then, sure, I get it.

one thing you do get here that you don't on similarly priced x570 is wifi.
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Last edited by duenor May 7, 2022 at 08:27 PM.
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#8
Quote from duenor :
ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero is pretty high end and is $269. If the motherboard fan is what is turning you off, I would suggest you seriously try it out. I don't hear my fan at all and I run a VERY quiet computer - all noctua fans, all down-controlled, and most of the time my fans aren't running at all because they don't need to.
That's an X470 board...
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#9
Quote from Chemosh013 :
I have an ASUS ROG X570-E board and never even notice the active cooled chipset. If it's there, it just fades in with the rest of my fan noise (which isn't loud at all).
Right but what was the cost of the board? Looks like it's still 379.99 on newegg ATM. I just posted a B550 Taichi board for 199.99. That's why its a case by case scenario for where B550 works. You can get the higher end boards for half the price with that chipset.
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#10
Quote from Spawne32 :
Right but what was the cost of the board? Looks like it's still 379.99 on newegg ATM. I just posted a B550 Taichi board for 199.99. That's why its a case by case scenario for where B550 works. You can get the higher end boards for half the price with that chipset.
I wasn't talking about price. Your complaint was the active heatsink and there are two people in this thread who are saying active heatsink is a nonissue. I got my board for $200 on amazon warehouse. Came basically brand new and has worked great.
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#11
Quote from Chemosh013 :
I wasn't talking about price. Your complaint was the active heatsink and there are two people in this thread who are saying active heatsink is a nonissue. I got my board for $200 on amazon warehouse. Came basically brand new and has worked great.
That wasn't me who said that about the chipset cooling. lol
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#12
Quote from Spawne32 :
That wasn't me who said that about the chipset cooling. lol
Got it, well the comment and the other one were clearly directed to the active chipset cooling person.
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#13
Quote from Chemosh013 :
Got it, well the comment and the other one were clearly directed to the active chipset cooling person.
Well you are right in that respect, the chipset coolers are typically inaudible. In fact I am not even sure they are rpm controlled and most of them just run at a static speed.
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#14
Quote from Chemosh013 :
I have an ASUS ROG X570-E board and never even notice the active cooled chipset. If it's there, it just fades in with the rest of my fan noise (which isn't loud at all).
Quote from duenor :
ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero is pretty high end and is $269. If the motherboard fan is what is turning you off, I would suggest you seriously try it out. I don't hear my fan at all and I run a VERY quiet computer - all noctua fans, all down-controlled, and most of the time my fans aren't running at all because they don't need to.

But I suppose if b550 is all you need and x570 offers you nothing, then, sure, I get it.

one thing you do get here that you don't on similarly priced x570 is wifi.
I agree the noise is minimal on most boards, but for me the consideration was the added point of failure of a tiny fan.
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#15
so that b550 is better than x570 for gaming? Since x570 some good board is only cost $200-$250
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