MSI B450M Gaming Plus Review

The MSI B450M Gaming Plus is MSI’s attempt at a mid-tier version of their more expensive Z-series boards like the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon. 

This opened up the market of performance gaming boards to those who might have tighter wallets. 

MSI B450M Gaming Plus Review

In this review, we find out if the MSI B450M Gaming Plus can live up to expectations. We pick it apart to examine its memory support, storage, cooling, and audio, as well as tackle some commonly asked questions about the board.

Sale
MSI Performance Gaming AMD Ryzen 2ND and 3rd Gen AM4 M.2 USB 3 DDR4...
  • Supports 1st, 2nd and 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen/ Ryzen with Radeon Vega Graphics and 2nd Gen AMD Ryzen with Radeon graphics/ Athlon with Radeon Vega Graphics desktop processors for socket AM4
  • Supports DDR4 memory, up to 4133(OC) MHz
  • Lightning fast game experience: Turbo M.2, AMD turbo USB 3.2 gen2, storemi technology
  • Ddr4 boost: Advanced technology to deliver pure data signals for the best gaming performance and stability. Please check the website for MSI in case of any queries related to the product and compatibility issues
  • Audio boost: Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality for the most immersive gaming experience

MSI B450M Gaming Plus (Our Review)

Overall Assessment 

The MSI B450M Gaming Plus conforms to the standard MSI theme and has a simplistic black and red design. The board is slightly smaller due to its microATX form factor and should work well if you’re looking to build a small but powerful PC. 

Memory 

A staple for any gamer, hardcore or casual, is having great memory capabilities. The MSI B450M Gaming Plus has 2 DDR4 memory slots, built with an optimized memory layout that promises to increase performance and stability. This allows you to add a maximum of 32Gb of RAM to the system memory—2 16GB RAM cards. 

The board also supports the XMP, which boosts RAM speeds. This increases the performance of your PC and keeps those resource-heavy applications from slowing everything down. 

However, if you’re looking for a board that has additional RAM slots, we recommend checking out the MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC motherboard or the MSI B360 Gaming Plus.   

Storage

The board has 4 standard SATA III ports. These were specifically designed for traditional 2.5” and 3.5” drives. This choice is a bit strange and it limits your storage options quite a bit.

The board has a single M.2 slot which uses the PCIe 3.0×4 interface for speeds of up to 32Gb/s through a compatible NVMe drive. If you’re looking for a boost in performance, you also have the option of enabling the X-Boost in the onboard software. 

The MSI B450M Gaming Plus has a full-length PCIe 3.0 x16 slot as well as a pair of PCIe 2.0 x1 slots. The PCIe 3.0 x16 slot is reinforced with MSI Steel Armor for added protection and stability. The number of PCIe slots is limited, however, given the size and price of the board, we can’t really blame it. 

While this might accommodate casual gamers and mainstream PC users, hardcore gamers might opt for a board with more if they’d like to install a high-end graphics card. 

If you’re searching for a board with more PCIe slots, we recommend the MSI MPG X570 Gaming Edge AC or the MSI MPG X570 Gaming Pro Carbon Wi-Fi motherboard. 

Sale
MSI Performance Gaming AMD Ryzen 2ND and 3rd Gen AM4 M.2 USB 3 DDR4...
  • Supports 1st, 2nd and 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen/ Ryzen with Radeon Vega Graphics and 2nd Gen AMD Ryzen with Radeon graphics/ Athlon with Radeon Vega Graphics desktop processors for socket AM4
  • Supports DDR4 memory, up to 4133(OC) MHz
  • Lightning fast game experience: Turbo M.2, AMD turbo USB 3.2 gen2, storemi technology
  • Ddr4 boost: Advanced technology to deliver pure data signals for the best gaming performance and stability. Please check the website for MSI in case of any queries related to the product and compatibility issues
  • Audio boost: Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality for the most immersive gaming experience

Cooling

The MSI B450M comes with three onboard fan headers that support DC and PWM modes. This is impressive to see since it allows you to adjust your fan speed. You can do this manually or automatically through the BIOS. 

This is great for when you want your PC to run quietly without having to compromise on cooling. 

Audio

The board sports the standard MSI Audio Boost which is made up of both hardware and software components. The board has 3x 3.5mm audio jacks by Realtek ALC887. While they’re not the most impressive, they manage to deliver reasonable sound quality with minimal distortion. So while you won’t be using this board to mix studio audio, you’ll be fine watching YouTube. 

It also has an EMI-shielded audio processor which increases the sound quality and cleans stereo and surround sound output. 

One great gaming feature is the Nahimic 3. It provides a full virtual surround sound with an in-game overlay that shows you where the sounds and noises you’re hearing are coming from. 

This is great for first-person shooters or horror games.                                                                                                                  

Pros 

  • Durable 
  • Supports Ryzen 5 2600 immediately
  • Easy installation
  • Affordable
Sale
MSI Performance Gaming AMD Ryzen 2ND and 3rd Gen AM4 M.2 USB 3 DDR4...
  • Supports 1st, 2nd and 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen/ Ryzen with Radeon Vega Graphics and 2nd Gen AMD Ryzen with Radeon graphics/ Athlon with Radeon Vega Graphics desktop processors for socket AM4
  • Supports DDR4 memory, up to 4133(OC) MHz
  • Lightning fast game experience: Turbo M.2, AMD turbo USB 3.2 gen2, storemi technology
  • Ddr4 boost: Advanced technology to deliver pure data signals for the best gaming performance and stability. Please check the website for MSI in case of any queries related to the product and compatibility issues
  • Audio boost: Reward your ears with studio grade sound quality for the most immersive gaming experience

Cons 

  • Only 2 RAM slots
  • Clumsy layout 

Common Questions about the MSI B450M Gaming Plus 

Does the MSI B450M Gaming Plus have RGB lighting?

The MSI B450M doesn’t have onboard RGB lighting, however, it does offer 2 5050 RGB headers so you can add RGB lighting strips if you want to. 

You can add RGB lighting fans and other accessories if you’d like to make your set-up more aesthetically pleasing. 

Does the MSI B450M Gaming Plus have NVME support?

The M.2 slot is compatible with NVMe drives and runs at 32Gb/s. This increases the performance of your PC and allows programs and games to run smoothly. 

Can I overclock the MSI B450M Gaming Plus?

With a B450 chipset, the Gaming Plus board can comfortably overclock. 

The board has a great VRM and decently sized heatsinks so you can get high overclocking rates without having to worry about overheating your system. 

However, we still advise that you invest in a solid cooling system if you plan to overclock the board.  

Customer Reviews

“I took a long time to decide which motherboard would best suit my first real PC build and it really wasn’t an easy decision. These days finding a good motherboard is an expensive business. 

After hearing all the positive things reviewers were saying about the MSI B450M Gaming Plus I decided to give it a try. I chose this board specifically because of its build quality and the quality of the BIOS. 

I am a beginner at PC building and I must say, the board was so easy to install and set up. I was able to get my new PC up and running in under an hour. I’ve paired the board with a Ryzen 5 2600, a recommended Corsair Memory, a 480GB SSD, and a GTX 1660ti. 

I did have some issues with the RAM however, after reading some things on the internet, I reseated the CPU and swapped the RAM slots and the problem was resolved. 

Overall, this is a great board that is very well equipped.”

Emily

5/5 stars

“When I bought this board, I aimed to use it in a beginner gaming PC set-up. I wanted to use a discounted GEN 2 Ryzen 3 2200g APU. We have replaced the motherboard and the APU twice and not once has the board recognized the APU. 

I called the MSI twice and the support techs that I spoke to said that the board was manufactured after the GEN 2 release and should be a plug and play. I also went to a local repair shop but that didn’t work either.

However, when the repairman plugged in a Ryzen 5 CPU, the system worked perfectly. 

In the end, I ended up returning the Ryzen 3 200g for the Ryzen 3 1200 and chucked the old GPU. But, for a product that claims to support the 2nd Gen Ryzen CPUs, it was very frustrating.”

Aaron McCullough 

3/5 stars  

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