REVIEW | MSI MAG B460M Mortar: Yep, this beats cheaper Z490s

As the dawn of 10th gen intel processor come to the release and a lot of boards have started to flood the market – with the amount of choices and close pricing between the available boards, can you really find a board that’s cheap but can handle as close to higher end boards? Enter the MSI MAG B460M Mortar

While the Tomahawk being the cheaper of the Z490s in MSI’s product line passes as an overclocking board with reservations can the B460M Mortar handle the boost clocks or base clocks of Intel processor with the cheaper boards?


What’s in the Box

Standard MSI package with a motherboard with less inclusions compared to the Z490 variant – understandable as we see a lot of manufacturers cut on inclusions so they can focus on the board itself while keeping the price low.

It’s Basically a Z490 without the Boost

The Z490 being the OC capable board is without a doubt the way to go for future proofing but it seems like Intel has the same steps in future proofing as AMD as they provided a good platform in their mid tier board.

If you would put the Z490 tomahawk and this board side by side you would notice that most of the physical features from the higher board remains to be the same in the B460m Mortar which makes this just a less feature packed version of the higher board counterpart.

Why would you need beefy externals if you’re running on non-oc? well even if you can’t “oc” you can still turbo boost your locked processor with its set clock rates. Something that would push the heat and processing power of your chosen processor. The B460m did not cheap out on heatsinks this can actually pass as an option for M-ATX users if they find ATX boards too big.

Performance and Benchmarking

We’ve decided to round up our results from the MSI Z490 Tomahawk as it would be a good starting point in where to map out the MSI B460M Mortar is in the market – considering it occupies somewhere in the performance of starter Z490 boards and the locked B series boards.

A worthy processor for this test is the Intel I9 10900K which would really bring the most stress on the board to really see if it competes against Z490s

Testing Rig:

Motherboard: MSI MAG B460M Mortar
Processor: Intel I9 10900K
GPU: MSI RTX 2060 Gaming Z
RAM: Trident Z Royale 3000mhz 16gb dual kit DDR4 (clocked down to 2933)
Cooler: Noctua D15

As much as we want to test some games with the processor and motherboard that won’t be maximizing the load on these hardware. With that in mind we have prepared the following for gauging the default and OC profile with the board.

– Cinebench (Single and Multicore)
– 3DMark
– Blender BMW Render Time Test
– Blender Temp Test

Cinebench R20 Single and Multicore Tests

The B460M Mortar comes close to the Z490 Tomahawk in our Multicore test – Do also notice the close price difference between the two boards. While it does come close, the Z490 still can push an unlocked processor further.

Single core is no different while there is a noticeable difference – it’s still surprising a B460M board can take a processor to performing at the same rate on the Z board counterpart.

3Dmark (CPU Score)

It’s surprising how the B460M mortar gets close to the Z490 do note that the Z490 Tomahawk isn’t the cheapest of MSI’s Z series lineup – In theory, the B460M Mortar can close the gap when faced against the Z490 A-Pro

Blender BMW Render Time

The Z490 Tomahawk did absolutely well in this render time test and the B460M with some restraints did a little less but still is close enough to be considered great in the price range.

Blender Temperature Test

This last test shows that the same cooling beef from the 2 boards give it a rather close fight in keeping the temperature down. The B460M Mortar tries its absolute best to keep the temperature down with a processor not suited for it and still does fairly well.

Final Verdict and Recommendations

The B460M Mortar is similar to a demigod in the like of having Z490 like performance but not wielding the full power to tame unlocked processors. There is a severe shortage of M-ATX motherboards in some parts of the globe and this could suffice if you really need a board to at least handle the temperature of unlocked processors on stock or boost.

I’d give it the checkmark for being the baby version of the Z490 Tomahawk and I’m actually proud of this board rather than wishing it had features for under 200$.


It’s a Z490 with restraints – In times of shortages or limit of choice, this can still suffice in handling the raw power of unlocked and definitely locked processors. With almost the same cooling properties as the entry level Z490, it absolutely babies processors on load.

Skipped on the non-essentials – Of course keeping the price down is part of the brands way to keep the product levelled with its target market. The B460M Mortar skipped out on some stuff but not the essential ones.


Well you could just get a Z490 – A couple of bucks out and you got yourself a Z490, it’s like a pay to win scenario but this is the other side of the coin in which it’s an option for people who has the extra cash to blow out.

We’re going to give the MSI B460M Mortar – the Platinum Award – It’s just too good to be a B460M – Why does it even exist? Maybe for the higher tier locked processors? It’s good for people who doesn’t really play around with their components and with it’s performance from the benchmarks we see a good use for this case.

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