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The MSI B550 Gaming Plus Review

Updated: Jun 23

This motherboard was like a good Chinese sweet and sour takeout!

It went in so fast with my two NVMe SSD drives and the solo WD SATA 4TB HDD that I suspected it was all a tad too surreal and good to be true.

It was not a major issue, it booted and ran the many Operating systems I threw at it all using the RealTek 1GB Ethernet Lan port and the various GPU I threw in it had no problems at all with this motherboard.

It was when I tried to chuck in various Intel 10GbE NIC cards that I ended up deep in the twilight zone.

I ordered a second PCIe NIC and even switched the PCIe slots the GPU and the NIC were using but the second PCIe port remained stock dead.

Amazingly, the Port light came on but the device was not showing up in the BIOS or in any returns from lspci commands in the various Linux CLI's I tried.

When the third NIC did the same thing I concluded the motherboard had either arrived at the square root of 5 or this thing was shutting down the second PCIe slot deliberately.

My money was on the latter.

I swapped the motherboard with a genuinely newer one and it did the same thing so I nixed the NIC's as the problem and started to look into it's behavior with basic configs.

I had two NVMe M2 2280 SSD plus one WD Blue 4TB SATA HDD plugged in.

I pulled one of the M2 NVMe and hey presto, the fucking NIC came right up and the 2nd PCIe slot was suddenly working AOK.

What is happening with this board is the second M2 slot is for WiFi Key M2 action, not NVMe SSD action.

When you do that, it shuts down the second PCIe slot.

If only the fucking manual would let you know this vital fucking info?!

I did in fact know the B series had a PCIe lane budget and that I was over it, I just did not think it would actually shut down a frelling PCIe slot!

I did read the manual in 5 languages in search of clues but alas the manual is clueless on this rather er, vital point.

Oi Vey!


So apart from that irksome quirk, this B550 Gaming plus is actually a pretty sweet Motherboard, honest injun!

As far as being a Nutanix CE 2.0 host goes I may have to rethink that one, but lemme see whut it does with one NVMe, one SATA HDD and one SATA SSD and report back.

Some 2 weeks after making the above comment and this B550 is running Nutanix AOS sweet as a nut! In fact I suspect it is a lot more stable than my X570 that runs the cluster Prism Central Instance.

This might be because of the PC shenanigans it is doing but my chess AI virtual machines actually perform better on the B550 motherboard!

I ended up with one SATA SSD for AOS, one NVMe SSD for cache and with a 4TB SATA HDD for the Data disk.

I must say that I believe the 12 core Ryzen 9 5900 CPU is near perfect for these sorts of HCI based shenanigans!

My trusty HP42CV Electronic engineering module calculator reckoned I could squeak it and it is actually very comfortable!

In the meantime I have successfully setup several Nutanix HPOC's with two single node clusti and I do believe I am becoming quite the single node Clusti Bigot!

Of course, I must mention there is no expanding a single node clusti instance, you have to have at least three nodes for that game....

But we are not interested in that bollocks now are we Chasps?!


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