MSI MAG B650M MORTAR WIFI motherboard review: compact platform for Ryzen 7000

After the expansion of the line and reduction in the cost of Ryzen 7000 chips, as well as a certain reduction in the price of motherboards and DDR5 RAM modules, the progressive Socket AM5 platform is finally starting to interest users who are used to rational purchases. Motherboards based on the AMD B650 chipset are still the most affordable option for CPUs on the Zen 4 architecture, so it is not surprising that special attention is drawn to these models. Today we are reviewing the MSI MAG B650M MORTAR WIFI motherboard – a compact solution from the cohort of functional, but relatively affordable models for AM5 chips.

Model name MSI MAG B650M MORTAR WIFI
CPU support AMD Ryzen 7000
Connector Socket AM5
Form factor mATX, 244×244 мм
Chipset AMD B650
Memory 4×DIMM DDR5, up to DDR4-6400+; 128 GB
Expansion slots 1×PCI-E 4.0 x16; 1×PCI-E 4.0 x16 (x4 mode); 1×PCI-E 4.0 x1
Drives 2×M.2 PCI-E 4.0 x4; 6×SATA
Network 1×2,5 GbE LAN (Realtek RTL8125); 1×Wi-Fi 6E (AMD RZ616, 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.3)
Interface panel elements 4×USB 3.2 Gen1; 3xUSB 3.2 Gen2; 1×USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (Type-C); HDMI 2.1; DisplayPort 1.4; 2x antenna; 5x audio; S/PDIF; Wi-Fi antenna; Flash BIOS button
Fans 5×4 pin (PWM/DC)
Audio Realtek ALC4080
MSRP 9 200 UAH (~$230)

MSI MAG B650M MORTAR WIFI delivery set

The motherboard comes in a compact cardboard box decorated in dark colors.

The delivery kit includes a quick assembly guide, two SATA interface cables, a pair of antennas for the wireless module, and fasteners for mounting M.2 drives. As a bonus, a set of stickers with corporate symbols is included.

Design and layout

Judging by the name, it is not difficult to guess that the model is based on the AMD B650 chipset. The board is made in mATX format with classic dimensions for this standard – 244×244 mm. For the MSI MAG B650M MORTAR WIFI, the developers have chosen a restrained external design – a black PCB with a matte coating, the same, but even deeper, color for the elements of the cooling system and connectors.

 

That is, everything is fine with the “masking” mode of the board. However, one could not expect anything else from the “mortar”. Against the general background, only the PCI-E x16 slot with metal armor, the processor connector and the yellow cylinders of specialized containers in the area of the audio subsystem contrast.

Like all boards for the Socket AM5 platform, the MSI MAG B650M MORTAR WIFI model supports the full range of Ryzen 7000 chips, including models of the Ryzen 7000X3D line with an increased L3 buffer.

Even the most affordable available motherboards on AMD B650 conditions but can be classified as a mid-range device. That is, these models can be used in connection with the top Ryzen 7000 chips. And this will not be a freak combination, but a rather practical configuration. Therefore, special attention is needed here to equipping the power subsystem.

In the case of the MSI MAG B650M MORTAR WIFI, the board received a VRM unit with a 12+2+1 phase configuration. SPS assemblies MPS2210 with operating current up to 80A are used. The MPS2221 PWM controller is used to control the parameters of the power subsystem.

Let’s pay special attention to the overall radiator blocks for additional cooling of the power stabilization elements. MSI was the first to actively use an enlarged radiator design, which is simultaneously used as a decorative cover for the area around the interface panel. Usually, this area was covered with plastic sarcophagi, but the idea of implementing such a covering precisely at the expense of the radiator turned out to be very appropriate. In addition, the design looks practical, in this case, the heat dissipation area increases significantly, and accordingly, the power elements are cooled better. The developers additionally emphasize that thermal pspacers with a thermal conductivity coefficient of 7 W/(m*K) are used for the board.

Two 8-pin ESP12V connectors are provided for connecting additional power. Although the very fact of such equipment can hardly be called decisive, it is an additional indicator of the board’s suitability for working with the most powerful chips.

The MSI MAG B650M MORTAR WIFI has four slots for single-sided RAM modules. The Socket AM5 platform works exclusively with DDR5, so the standard of supported RAM does not need to be specified. The developers assure the ability of the board to work with modules in DDR5-6400+ modes. In the table of compatibility of kits, which have passed preliminary verification, at the time of preparation of the review, one is the fastest a set of DDR5-6200. However, taking into account the fact that DDR5-6000 kits are optimal for Ryzen 7000, and there are more than eight dozen such in the list, there is plenty to choose from, even if you want to have guaranteed compatibility before purchasing.

The mATX format imposes certain restrictions on the number of available slots for additional expansion cards. MSI MAG B650M MORTAR WIFI offers one PCI-E x16 4.0 slot, one compact PCI-E x1 3.0, as well as one PCI-E x4 4.0, which has a full-frame appearance. The board does not offer slots with PCI-E 5.0 support, this option is only available for models based on the AMD B650E chipset.

As for the layout of the available slots, again, the reduced format does not allow for much freedom. All connectors are located next to each other. That is, a graphics card with a three-slot cooling system will block access to free connectors. This should be taken into account if you plan to further expand the functionality of the platform.

For clarity, we will give an example when the video card blocks access not only to the slots, but also to the connectors on the bottom facet of the board.

To use giant graphics adapters weighing 2+ kg without additional fear, the main PCI-E x16 slot has an additional Steel Armor metal frame. The coating increases the strength of the connector.

MSI MAG B650M MORTAR WIFI allows you to use two high-speed M.2 storage devices. A pair of matching connectors supports 2260/2280 format models with PCI-E interface. At the same time, M.2_1 and M.2_2 correspond to the PCI-E 4.0 x4 specification. The board does not support PCI-E 5.0, however, for AMD B650 models this is only an option, not a guaranteed possibility.

We should note that aluminum radiators with thermal spacers are standard for both M.2 drives. Models with performance controllers usually require additional cooling, which allows you to keep pace with the maximum data transfer rate for longer.

Special plastic latches EZ M.2 Slip are provided for fastening drives, however, to fix additional coolers, you will still have to use a screwdriver.

For the benefit of the owners of drives with SATA interface, the developers have expanded the capabilities of MSI MAG B650M MORTAR WIFI. Despite the fact that AMD B650 supports four corresponding ports, engineers added an ASM1061 controller to implement two additional SATA channels. So the total number of available ports increased to six. The connectors are located in the lower right corner of the PCB, while the connectors from the additional controller are oriented perpendicular to the plane of the board.

Next to the SATA connectors is the AMD B650 chipset microcircuit, which is covered by a medium-sized radiator block.

To configure the cooling system, the board offers five 4-pin connectors. One is nominally intended for the air cooler, one more – for connecting the RSO pump, the rest – for case fans. All channels are independent and support DC/PWM control modes.

The developers significantly increased the capacity of the corresponding connectors. The CPU_FAN1 and PUMP_FAN1 connectors support a current of up to 3A, allowing you to connect consumers up to 36W. All channels for system fans are also boosted to 2A, although 1A is usually enough.

From the MSI MAG B650M MORTAR WIFI, you should not expect a scattering of additional controls for working on an open stand. Among the options, we note the presence of the EZ Debug LED express diagnostics system with a set of signal LEDs. At one time, the appearance of a similar indication of possible problems during system startup made it possible to exclude from the necessary skills the recognition of sequences of long and short sound signals.

The board also supports the technology of offline firmware update from a USB drive. The corresponding activation button is located on the interface panel. Flashing the BIOS requires only connecting to a power source.

The network capabilities of the card include the Realtek RTL8125B controller (2.5 Gb/s) for wired connection, and the AMD RZ616 module for wireless communication. The block supports Wi-Fi 6E (up to 802.11ax) and Bluetooth 5.3. The manufacturer’s assortment also includes the MSI MAG B650M MORTAR model without an additional module for working with wireless networks, but only the “WiFi” modification is available in Ukraine, which expands the possibilities, but increases the final price of the board.

The board’s sound subsystem is based on an 8-channel Realtek ALC4080 codec. The audio path area is partially isolated from the main PCB array, and specialized capacitors are used in the circuit. The sound is clean, with well-developed highs and accented bass – although at the default settings it can be too much in some genres.

This is already becoming a kind of regularity, but the next gaming board is not equipped with regular RGB lighting. It seems that the developers decided that the colored shimmer does not suit restrained model from the MORTAR line, so they left the board without the corresponding decorations. But for supporters of illumination, several options are provided. There are two connectors on the PCB for connecting 12-volt RGB strips based on 5050 elements and addressable ARGB garlands of the second generation.

Setting the backlight modes is carried out in the corresponding section of MSI Center. Here you can synchronize the illumination of various system components that support the MSI Mystic Light protocol.

So, of course, you can add lighting in the case not only with the help of additional tapes, but also thanks to the illumination of the components.

The MSI MAG B650M MORTAR WIFI interface panel is initially equipped with a stationary plug. The composition of connectors is also quite convincing. We have four USB 3.2 Gen1 (5 Gb/s), three USB 3.2 Gen2 (10 Gb/s) ports, as well as one USB 3.2 Gen2x2 in Type-C format with a data transfer speed of up to 20 Gb/c.

DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.1 outputs are provided for connecting screens. We remind you that all Ryzen 7000 chips are equipped with integrated graphics, so even in the absence of a video card, you can display a picture using the iGPU.

The panel also has an Ethernet socket for connecting a wired network, as well as connectors for connecting the amplifying antennas of the wireless module. There are five 3.5 mm jacks and an optical S/PDIF output for connecting speakers.

Separately, we note the presence of a miniature button for activating the already mentioned Flash BIOS mechanism for updating the firmware from a USB drive.

On the reverse side of the PCB there is a minimum number of surface mount elements. It can be seen that the insulating almost continuous audio trace separates the segment of the board. As you can see, all radiators of the cooling system are attached with screws.

BIOS and software settings

The board uses the already well-known Click BIOS 5 firmware with a characteristic formation of parameters and settings.

The basic EZ Mode allows you to solve key configuration issues without delving into technical parameters. Choose a profile for RAM modules, check RAM operation mode, set loading priority for existing drives, and configure the algorithms of the cooling system elements. All these key questions can be solved in a few mouse clicks.

The rest of the options require the use of Advanced mode. Boards on the AMD B650 allow you to experiment with both CPU and RAM overclocking, so the board has a wide set of parameters for carefully setting up the power subsystem and options that depend on the stability of the platform.

In the case of the Ryzen 7000, fine-tuning capabilities with target power consumption or CPU temperature targets are usually more in demand. In the presence of an effective cooling system, auto-overclocking already nearly exhausts the frequency potential of the CPU, but by adjusting the temperature/power consumption, it is possible to significantly optimize the operation of the platform without major performance losses.

For software configuration in the operating system, the developer offers the MSI Center package. Monitoring of parameters, CO operation modes, illumination – everything is here.

Test bench configuration

  • Motherboard: MSI MAG B650M MORTAR WIFI (AMD B650, Socket AM5)
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (6/12; 4.7/5.3 GHz, 32 MB L3)
  • Cooling: MSI MEG CORELIQUID S360
  • Memory: Kingston FURY DDR5-6000 32 GB (KF560C36BBEAK2-32 2×16 GB)
  • Graphics card: MSI GeForce RTX 4080 16GB SUPRIM X

Performance

To test the capabilities of the board, we used the Ryzen 5 7600X processor. Perhaps the 16-core Ryzen 9 7950X chip would be better suited to assess the board’s ultimate capabilities, but the MSI MAG B650M MORTAR WIFI belongs to the category of models that can be used in connection with a relatively inexpensive 6-core processor, so this configuration seems realistic.

Recall that the Ryzen 5 7600X chip has 6 computing cores and supports SMT, which allows the chip to process up to 12 data streams simultaneously. One CCD (Core Complex Die) chiplet with computing cores is used for the model. The standard thermal package of the CPU is 105 W.

Since this is our first introduction to the Ryzen 5 7600X, we will present some results in popular benchmarks.

The Ryzen 5 7600X managed to score almost 15,000 points in the Cinebench R23 test when using multi-threaded mode. We also used this stage to evaluate key system indicators. In automatic mode during rendering, the clock frequency of all processor cores was kept at the level of 5250–5275 MHz. The supply voltage under load is 1.29 V. When using the MSI MEG CORELIQUID S360 liquid cooling system, the CPU temperature was maintained at 87-88C. The chip’s power consumption during the task was 113 W.

According to HWinfo64, the VRM elements only heated up to 40C during load. Indeed, the radiator above the power assemblies located along the interface panel remained barely warm to the touch. The increased dimensions and dissipation area definitely have an effect. The cooler on the upper side of the PCB is a bit hotter – the temperature of these MOSFETs rose to 45-50C.

Note that the chip of the AMD B650 chipset heated up to 55-58C during operation. Working mode. In addition, we will take into consideration the fact that in our case the chipset was covered by an overall graphics card.

MSI MAG B650M MORTAR WIFI offers many options to optimize system performance. In the BIOS settings, the AMD CBS unit allows you to adjust power parameters, limit temperatures, and current depending on the nature of the load.

Let’s say we don’t like the processor heating up to 88C during load. In this case, we limit the temperature to an acceptable value, changing Thermal Control accordingly. For example, we choose a target value of 70C. For clarity, we repeat the test with Cinebench R23 load in multi-threaded mode. In this case, the CPU really warms up only to 70.5C. At the same time, the supply voltage was 1.21 V, and the maximum power consumption did not exceed 98 W. The processor was accelerated to 5125 MHz, that is, 125-150 MHz less than in normal mode. As a result, the Cinebench R23 score decreased to 14,113 points, i.e. by ~5%, but at the same time, heating decreased by almost 20C, and consumption decreased by 15 W.

When optimizing the operating mode of the platform, it is also possible to deviate from the specified maximum energy consumption. For example, for some reason we are not satisfied with the standard 113 W that the Ryzen 5 7600X consumed under a multi-threaded load. In this case, you can limit consumption by configuring TDP Control and PPT Control. As an experiment, we set the limit 65 W. What came of it? During the test, CPU power consumption peaked at nearly 68W. The operating frequency of all cores was in the range of 4650–4725 MHz at a supply voltage of approximately 1.05 V. In this case, under load, the processor heated up to only 52C. As for productivity, it decreased by about 11% from the regular mode. The benchmark result is 13,279 points.

You can also experiment with the platform parameters with helpthe Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO) mechanism, using existing profiles, or adjusting the necessary parameters.

Overclocking

Processors of the Ryzen 7000 series have excellent mechanisms of dynamic auto-acceleration, so attempts to further increase the operating frequencies of the CPU can rather be considered fun for desperate enthusiasts who enjoy the process of experimentation.

The practical gain from the additional 100–200–300 MHz is minimal, taking into account the fact that already in the basic version the chips work at frequencies above 5 GHz. In addition, to get a 0-5% increase in performance, it is usually necessary to increase the supply voltage as well, which will affect heating and power consumption. Anyway, if there is a desire to dive into the topic of overclocking, MSI MAG B650M MORTAR WIFI provides opportunities for this.

For express overclocking, MSI offers to try the Performance Switch technology with available acceleration profiles. The mechanism combines the features of PBO regulation and the method of static frequency increase of all cores.

To be able to activate the Performance Switch profiles, you must first change the CPU Ratio Apply Mode parameter from the standard “All Core” to the “Adaptive” mode in the BIOS settings. After that, several levels are available to increase performance. Given the presence of a powerful liquid cooling system, we immediately chose Level 3.

In this mode, the CPU was clocked at 5400MHz at 1.32V under multi-threaded load. Of course, the performance increased (~3%), but the consumption also increased to 125W, with the CPU heating up to 95-97C. Here, everyone can decide for himself whether a few percent are worth the indicators of the resources spent.

RAM

During the tests, we used a Kingston FURY DDR5-6000 32 GB RAM kit (KF560C36BBEAK2-32 2×16 GB).

DDR5-6000 mode is optimal for the Socket AM5 platform. An additional increase in frequency requires asynchronous operation of the controller, which only increases delays. The test suite supports both XMP and EXPO profiles. Accordingly, activating the desired one is a matter of one click in the settings.

When measuring memory throughput on a platform with Ryzen 7000 processors, we have differences between read/copy and write speeds for single-SSD chips. A similar situation could be observed on Ryzen models of the previous generation. The existing “asymmetry” is absent with processors on two CCD crystals (Ryzen 9 7900/7950X).

Since there is no sense in the presence of a DDR5-6000 kit, further increasing the operating frequency does not make sense, if you wish to improve the capabilities, you can only experiment with the timing formula, trying to get minimal delays.

8.5
Powerful power module; large cooler of VRM elements; two M.2 PCI-E x4 ports with additional radiators; the presence of a USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 port; support for BIOS update technology from a USB drive; the presence of a wireless communication module; equipment of the interface panel; reinforced lines for connecting fans/pumps; options are available for setting the CPU operating mode
Lack of PCI-E 5.0 support for M.2
MSI MAG B650M MORTAR WIFI is an mATX motherboard based on the AMD B650 chipset for Ryzen 7000 processors with Zen 4 architecture. The model has interesting equipment with a powerful VRM unit, a massive cooler for power assemblies, standard radiators for M.2 storage devices and an additional wireless module Wi-Fi 6E connection. In the implementation, attention to certain details is felt, and in general, the board offers a good price/functionality ratio. Advanced customization options allow you to use the platform optimally depending on your preferences and needs. Among the features, one can complain about the lack of implementation of PCI-E 5.0 for the M.2 port, but this is rather a question of perspective. Also, it would be desirable to have a more affordable modification of the board without a WiFi module in Ukraine, in order to get the opportunity to choose the optimal version for your tasks.
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