The Intel Z690 Motherboard Overview (DDR4): Over 30+ New Modelsby Gavin Bonshor on November 24, 2021 2:00 PM EST
MSI MAG Z690 Tomahawk WIFI (DDR4)
Perhaps one of the most bang for buck motherboard series in recent times is back for Z690, the Tomahawk. The MSI MAG Z690 Tomahawk WIFI DDR4 includes a fairly premium feature set, but at a very reasonable price point, which puts it firmly in the mid-range of models. Looking at the aesthetics, the Tomahawk features an all-black design with matte and metallic contrasts throughout the rear panel cover, M.2 heatsinks, and the chipset heatsink for a two-toned look. Much like its Unify series, the Tomahawk drops integrated RGB LED lighting, but there's plenty of scope for users to add their own through the use of internal headers.
Focusing on PCIe support, the MSI MAG Z690 Tomahawk WIFI DDR4 has one full-length PCIe 5.0 x16 slot, one full-length PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, and one full-length PCIe 3.0 x4 slot, as well as one PCIe 3.0 x1 slot. Storage on the Tomahawk consists of three PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots, one PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slot, and six SATA ports capable of supporting Intel RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays. For memory, MSI includes four memory slots capable of supporting up to DDR4-5200, with a total capacity of up to 128 GB.
On the rear panel of the MSI MAG Z690 Tomahawk WIFI DDR4 is one USB 3.2 G2x2 Type-C, three USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, two USB 3.2 G1 Type-A, and two USB 2.0 ports. Focusing on networking, MSI is using an Intel I225-V 2.5 GbE controller, with an unspecified Wi-Fi 6 CNVi offering both wireless and BT 5.2 compatibility. Users will find an HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4 video output pairing, as well as five 3.5 mm audio jacks and S/PDIF optical output, and a small BIOS Flashback button.
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ikjadoon - Wednesday, November 24, 2021 - linkGigabyte has done a better job this time around with mini-ITX DDR4. $290 for a very well-rounded board—shame HiCookie lied so blatantly in all their 8 GHz marketing.
ASRock mini-ITX: people still use type-A ports. 5x ports only?!
Windows 11, DDR5 availability & perf-price, and hybrid quirks make ADL a much better 2022 purchase for me. DDR4 price-perf + availability are nice, but not enough to overcome Panos’ major missteps on his first (and hopefully last) Windows launch.
DigitalFreak - Wednesday, November 24, 2021 - linkWhy does anyone pay attention to these "extreme overclockers"? He hit (or didn't in this case) 8Ghz. Big deal. You can't actually do anything with the CPU at that speed aside from run an e-peen benchmark.
ikjadoon - Wednesday, November 24, 2021 - linkNobody paid attention until.... Gigabyte plastered his faked validations all over their Z690 marketing material. Nobody cares what any "overclocker" does these days and that's why they got jobs with motherboard vendors: the only people that can still sell a motherboard for $$$ with exaggerated hardware.
0ldman79 - Tuesday, December 14, 2021 - link5 ports is a bad idea but type-A?
Yeah, like 99% of USB accessories use type-A. That is still the *primary* interface for USB devices.
StormyParis - Wednesday, November 24, 2021 - linkThat last page is very useful, thank you. Wish I had a table to sum up the info ;-p
FordGT550 - Wednesday, November 24, 2021 - linkI can't find the Z690 Aorus Pro DDR4 in stock anywhere.
bug77 - Friday, November 26, 2021 - linkI don't think it's available yet. Notice there's no price listed for it either (yeah, I've got my eyes on the same board).
HLuna52180 - Friday, November 26, 2021 - linkAgreed! This is the model mobo that I want. It best fits my needs yet it's currently only available in Australia. Hope they make it into the states. I have all the other parts on order or with me already to make my Alder Lake build. Frustrating!
MatarM0 - Saturday, November 27, 2021 - linki see it in stock but it seems like it cant run any memory with 1.42v or higher depending on what newegg reviewer said and some others in the internet so hopefully they can fix it and it will be a good deal
meacupla - Wednesday, November 24, 2021 - linkI can understand mobo makers not wanting to allocate too many resources into the dead end DDR4 platform, but these lineups seem excessively weak to me.
Like, really? there's not a single Z690 DDR4 mobo with thunderbolt?
And then with Z690 DDR5 mobos, there's way too much overlap in features and functionalities.