MSI MAG Z690 Tomahawk Review


MSI MAG Z690 Tomahawk Review


We know we mentioned this at the start, but we think it's important enough that it deserves highlighting again. The MSI MAG Tomahawk isn't the only Z690 motherboard available that allows you to run the infinitely more affordable, more 'in stock', and perhaps more 'already owned' DDR4 instead of the latest DDR5, but the fact you have a choice is hugely important. Nobody likes being forced into a product choice that isn't necessarily the one they want. It's a stark reminder of your budgetary constraints when you've been looking longingly at one particular motherboard but have to settle for a different one. The Tomahawk says that you might love the all-black design and affordable featuree set, but if you're unable to stretch to, or find in stock, a DDR5 kit then don't worry, just grab the DDR4 one. Consumer friendly practises are things we always enjoy. After all, we're consumers too, not some faceless corporation.

However, for stock reasons the review sample we were sent sadly was the DDR5 model although from looking around there appears to only be a £20 price difference between to two. As you could see throughout our testing the Tomahawk has plenty of performance available, and a decent amount of connectivity. It isn't quite up there with the premium models such as the Unify, but neither is it remotely in the same ballpark in price terms. It ticks an awful lot of Z690 boxes without pushing the boat out and making you pay for elements you might not utilise. We can't be the only people with motherboard boxes full of accessories we never removed from the packet. Who exactly does monitor their voltages with an external device anyway. Okay some people, but not most of us. Why pay for stuff you'll never use? What you get is all the Z690 hallmarks, PCI Express 5.0, DDR5, USB 3.2 2x2, and many M.2 slots, but in a package that won't make you wince when the bill arrives.

With very solid performance wrapped in a flexible memory choice structure and on a motherboard that might be all-black, but uses many different textures and types of black to still be attractive to the eye, the MSI MAG Z690 Tomahawk is a great option for those of you who want to move to the 12th Generation of Intel CPUs and all their features, but without busting the budget. VRM temperatures are excellent too, showing that MSI haven't compromised the build quality to reach the affordability target. Perhaps the most surprising thing is the headers. Vertical SATA ports are usually indicative of a 'tight fiscal belt', but that is also usually accompanied by limited cooling options. The Tomahawk has the former (66% of the SATA ports are vertical), but has more than most motherboards when it comes to fan headers. We're big fans. We don't like vertical ports, obviously, but if they are the price we pay to not be limited in the significantly more important cooling options then bring it on.

The MSI MAG Z690 Tomahawk is a very solid performing motherboard with a lot of carefully thought out features on an all-black platform. It's perfect for those of you without infinite resources and wins our OC3D Gamers Choice Award. We will say as we close though that with the market the way it is at the minute - buy the DDR4 model. Youre welcome.

MSI MAG Z690 Tomahawk Review  

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