Motherboard downsizing again - ASUS Strix B450-i or the MSI b450i


SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Aug 7, 2015
I'm going to do some rig restructuring.
I was hoping to downsize to even smaller but the cases that I'm interested in have availability issues. There hasn't been any memorable small cases from large manufacturers since the SG13 until the recently released H1 and Era.
Current main rig is 3700x MSI b450 tomahawk in a fractal R5
My plan is to shove it into the Ncase.
Parts I can reuse are the GSkill TridentZ ram, cryorig c1, SFX psu so I just need a motherboard.

I've narrowed it down to the ASUS Strix B450-i or the MSI b450i

Current advantages for the Strix:
256Mb bios rom
front mounted m.2 slot
There is a picture of a cryorig C1 on a Strix b450-i barely fitting into the M1.

does not have PS/2 port.

The Pros for the msi board is better VRM and Cons are the nvme slot under the motherboard and the small bios rom.

Any other parts suggestions such as use another cooler or motherboard?


Average Stuffer
Jan 15, 2019
If you want to upgrade your CPU later, it might be better to buy a X570 or B550 board. AMD said everything older will not get support for Ryzen 4000. B550 boards will be available soon.


SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Aug 7, 2015
I had thought about waiting for b550, but itx boards will probably be another couple months after June.
Also, by the time I upgrade, b850 will probably be out.

I'm buy it this week but I still can't decide on the ASUS Strix B450-i or the MSI b450i and which cpu cooler


Airflow Optimizer
May 21, 2018
Your biggest question is CPU. Do you plan to keep this build long term? Do you foresee the need for the 3950X at some point in the future? It will likely be the best CPU that will work on the B450 board and the MSI will be able to handle that better than the ASUS.

By the looks of things, you don't shy away from a MB swap/upgrade. With that in mind, I would go with the ASUS Board. NVME drives are the future and you have 2 of those on the ASUS B450i. Yes, using the back slot will take away PCIE lanes from the GPU, but unless you are running a 2080 ti, it won't matter.