MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk Motherboard Review

/ 5 days ago

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A Closer Look

The Tomahawk is a really nice looking motherboard, and while it’s not as crazy or heavily armoured as the bigger and more expensive models, it’s hardly lacking in cool features either. It’s a simple and almost industrial look, which I do like. The all of an all-aluminium extended heatsink cover is really slick, and matches up well with the black and grey styling on the PCB.

MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk Motherboard Review 1

The heatsinks are a good size, and as I said, they blend into that extended heatsink cover, which basically makes that a massive heatsink too! To bore uses a 12+1+1 Duet Rail Power System. 12 Phases go direct to the CPU and there’s a phase for SA Power and GT Power.

MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk Motherboard Review 2

Everything is fed from an 8+4 pin power configuration up in the top left. That’s more than enough to power any CPU in the 10th Gen range.

MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk Motherboard Review 3

The motherboard features a pair of M.2 mounts, both of which come with their M.2 Shield Frozr covers too. There’s a similarly designed heatsink over the chipset too, so everything matches up. It’s very angular and aggressive, but I rather like that.

MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk Motherboard Review 4

There’s are two full-size PCIe lanes and two 1x lanes. The top one is fully armoured too, so big and bulky GPUs shouldn’t be an issue for the slot. Down in the corner, there’s also the Realtek ALC1200-VD1 audio chipset in the corner, as well as a small group of gold capacitors for that.

MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk Motherboard Review 5

The rear I/O is pre-installed, so there’s no chance of you forgetting it when you install the motherboard. It offers up the old-school cool PS2 port, as well as a nice mixture of USB ports, including a lovely Type-C option. There are two display outputs with DP and HDMI on offer. However, I’m pleasantly surprised to see both 1GbE and 2.5GbE included on this model.

MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk Motherboard Review 6

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