MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk

Adding to its gaming range, the MSI MAG series is designed to offer a lower entry point for users to aim for which look to benefit from Z490 features including overclocking, but at a lower cost to the end-user. The MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk includes two full-length PCIe 3.0 slots, two PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, and six SATA ports Also featured is dual Ethernet with a 2.5 G and Gigabit pair of controllers, but drops Wi-Fi 6 support as featured on the MPG Z490 series.

Dropping the red and black color scheme seen from previous Tomahawk models, the MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk has opted for a more subtle black and grey theme throughout including the heatsinks, and PCB. It consists of some integrated RGB LEDs underneath the chipset heatsink, with Tomahawk branding and straight diagonal lines across the PCB amalgamating into the design of the heatsinks. It uses an 8-pin and 4-pin 12 V ATX power input pairing for CPU power, with a 24-pin motherboard 12 V ATX power input to power the motherboard. Both of the two PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots include its heatsink, with six SATA ports with support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays. The board does have two full-length PCIe 3.0 slots which run at x16+4, with an additional two PCIe 3.0 x1 slots.

On the rear panel is one USB 3.2 G2 20 Gbps Type-C, one USB 3.2 G2 10 Gbps Type-A, four USB 3.2 G1 Type-A, and two USB 2.0 ports. Featured is a pair of Ethernet ports, one controlled by a Realtek RTL8125B 2.5 G, and the other by an Intel I219-V Gigabit controller. For users using onboard graphics, there's an HDMI and DisplayPort video output. In contrast, the five 3.5 mm audio jacks and S/PDIF optical output are controlled by a Realtek ALC1220 HD audio codec. Finishing off the rear panel is a single PS/2 keyboard and mouse port.

Despite the MSI MAG series targeting the lower-end of the Z490 gaming market, it does include a 2.5 G Ethernet controller which does bump the pricing up a little. The MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk hasn't been given a price yet, but is plenty enough for users looking to build a single NVIDIA based graphical powerhouse, or even opt for two-way AMD Crossfire support, on supported Radeon models. 

MSI MPG Z490M Gaming Edge WIFI MSI Z490-A Pro
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  • Andrew LB - Saturday, May 9, 2020 - link

    So these boards bring Wifi6, PCI-Express 4.0, gigabit 2.5, and for people like myself who are upgrading from a Z87 board.... just about everything is a huge leap.... yet you think there is just 'more of the same'? I guess if you're one of those idiots who buys a new CPU every year, then clearly this is not the release for you. Nor would AMD's latest offerings if that same metric is applied.
    So what's your problem with Capitalism? Do incremental design improvements offend you? Or is it profit that does? Hate to break it to you, but its profit motive that fuels innovation. Collectivism is a cancer and by its very nature hinders progress due to it not rewarding exceptionalism. It's why countries like China don't innovate. Otherwise they wouldn't need forced technology transfers from those who manufacture goods in their country.
    Reply
  • Zenzdeluxe - Wednesday, September 2, 2020 - link

    Thanks for that. The hypocrisy of these people. Imagine imbibing in the fruits of the capitalist system which besides continuing innovation, provides more spoils at lower price points for everyone than ever before. The audacity of such entitlement and seemingly collectivist / marxist based criticism is mind boggling. Cognitive dissonance off the scale indeed. Reply
  • ilkhan - Friday, May 1, 2020 - link

    Details page for GIGABYTE Z490 Aorus Pro AX (copy and paste because who can keep them straight otherwise) makes a big deal of no usb-C, but it's there in the picture... Reply
  • ecjp - Friday, May 1, 2020 - link

    Yeah, I noticed that too. Gigabytes site shows same picture and lists "1 x USB Type-C™ port on the back panel, with USB 3.2 Gen 2 support" in the specs, so I assume its an error in the article. Reply
  • gavbon - Friday, May 1, 2020 - link

    Thanks for picking that up. I must have been writing about the wrong board. Apologies, it's updated Reply
  • regsEx - Friday, May 1, 2020 - link

    "Integrated into the Z490 chipset is an Intel Wi-Fi 6 CNVi which allows motherboard vendors to integrate its AX200 wireless solutions directly from the chipset with a CRF module."

    CNVi is an old generation 802.11ac controller. Here it is CNVio2. CRF module is AX201. AX200 is a standalone controller that can work on any system. X570 motherboards with 802.11ax support, for example, packs with AX200 card.
    Reply
  • lunaticbunny - Friday, May 1, 2020 - link

    There are no boards under $200. Seems like this Z490 chipset got the X570 inflation treatment as well. Reply
  • drexnx - Friday, May 1, 2020 - link

    just like the X570 boards, they've all got seriously beefed up VRMs

    and maybe the pcie4 tax wasn't just a cash grab? we'll really see when AMD B550 comes out, where those board prices land
    Reply
  • Andrew LB - Saturday, May 9, 2020 - link

    Plenty of boards under $200.
    ASUS Prime Z490M-PLUS
    GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS Elite
    ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-Plus
    ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-Plus wifi
    GIGABYTE Z490 UD
    MSI Z490-A PRO ProSeries

    A bunch of Asrock boards will be under $200 as well. You can see many prices already on Amazon.
    Reply
  • dgingeri - Friday, May 1, 2020 - link

    It looks like, potentially, at least Gigabyte has decided to include a decent number of USB ports. I can't tell with the Asus board, but all the rest look to have only 6 USB ports, an annoyingly small number. I have been really annoyed with the lack of USB ports on boards for the last 5 years. Heck, with the old 440BX boards, we had 2 ps2, 4 or 6 USB, 1 or 2 serial, and a parallel port. We've lost the other ports, and internal drives in most computers, and not gained USB ports to compensate for it. External hubs aren't going to do it, either, as those stupid things keep dying in a matter of months. Reply

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