MSI MAG B560 Tomahawk WiFi – Your go-to VFM motherboard

The MSI MAG B560 Tomahawk WiFi is the first motherboard that we ever received for a review, and for that, we would like to thank MSI as well as Infoquest.

What were the main things we would check for our new motherboard so far? To match our CPU socket, to have the appropriate PCI ports and maybe some RGB lightning. The MSI MAG B560 Tomahawk has it all and even more at a price that crushes the competition. We will talk about all this below.

Overview

MSI’s TOMAHAWK series motherboards is a popular model that offers high performance at a relatively low price and, of course, with the design of MSI. This specific one comes with a B560 chipset and was designed for LGA 1200 socket Intel processors. It also comes with an onboard Wi-Fi network card which is a pleasant surprise, especially for its price.

Unboxing

The box has the same design as the rest of the MAG series. The only difference with the previous Z590 TORPEDO model is the lettering, making it difficult to find significant changes. Opening the gray box of the MSI MAG B560 Tomahawk we find:

  • The well protected motherboard
  • Two SATA cables
  • Two antennas for the wireless network card
  • Screws for the M.2 standoff
  • Stickers for the motherboard and the case
  • One drivers CD
  • And finally the manuals
Package contents

The contents of the package

Design

The design of the B560 TOMAHAWK is very similar to the MAG B560 TORPEDO, having the same B560 chipset of the same MAG series. The MAG B560 TOMAHAWK WiFi is equipped with a Wi-Fi card getting rid of the dual LAN, and the number of M.2 heat sinks has increased from one to two. Apart from that, the basic configuration such as the shape of the heat sink does not change. For anyone interested in using Wi-Fi, the MAG B560 TOMAHAWK WiFi is their best choice.

The shape of the heat sink is exactly the same as the previous MAG Z590 TORPEDO. It consists of 2 layers reaching the I / O panel and its size and volume are more than sufficient. This heat sink weighs almost 297g. Definitely not a light and cheap construction.

The heat sink just above the CPU is smaller but has many notches, making the surface area large enough and the cooling efficiency is adequate. It weighs almost half as much as the previous one with a weight of 131g.

Heatsinks

The heat sinks are designed with incredible detail

The back I / O panel is already part of the motherboard. We do not need to swear at the end of the build when we will find out that we forgot to put it on the motherboard. From left to right, there are 4x USB 2.0 ports, DisplayPort, HDMI, 4x USB 3.2 Gen1 ports, 1x 2.5G LAN port, 1x USB 3.2 Gen2 x2 port, (Type-C), Wi-Fi antennas and 5.1 audio jacks (as well as microphone input).

Back ports

I almost forgot one of the most basic (and useful) features of the motherboard which is nothing less than the RGB lighting. Is gaming possible without RGB? Of course not! MSI knows this and has placed somme “hidden” lighting under the heat sink where TOMAHAWK is written.

RGB lighting

Specification

The CPU socket is LGA1200 manufactured by LOTES and is compatible with the 10th and 11th generation of Intel. The RAM slots are a total of four dual channels, with the ability to install up to 128GB and support OC up to 5066MHz. OC memory is possible with the B560 chipset from the Intel 500 series chipset.

The RAM slots

The RAM slots are four in total and of course dual channel

The MAG B560 TOMAHAWK WIFI is also equipped with LED EZ Debug that can check for errors when the computer boots. In the case that everything is connected, but the computer won’t start, just take a look at that LED and you will definitely find the problem.

The number of phases of the power supply circuit is 15 phases (12 + 2 + 1), which is a common number in motherboards with low budget chipsets.

The auxiliary power supply of the CPU has an 8 + 4 pin configuration. While many motherboards with a B560 chipset typically have 8pin x 1, the MAG B560 TOMAHAWK WIFI comes with 8 + 4pin, so it can power the i7 or i9 core efficiently. The PWM controller uses Renesas RAA 229001 with maximum efficiency of 6 + 2 phases.

The top M.2 slot can support 11th generation Core i5 or later. It is not compatible with 10th generation CPUs. This slot supports PCIe 4.0, which means you can achieve higher speeds by installing a Gen4 SSD. On top of this slot you’ll find a heat sink, big enough to keep the temperatures low.

M.2 and CPU socket

The main M.2 socket and the CPU socket

There is also a second M.2 slot below, which comes with a smaller heat sink. The size may seem very small, but it is enough to absorb the heat of the graphics card located right next to it. There are a total of three M.2 slots available. Since the second M.2 socket receives all the heat of the graphics card, it is advisable to prefer either the top or bottom slot.

The top PCIe slot is specially made to “hold” heavy graphics cards. For this reason it is equipped with a metal reinforcement that MSI named “the PCI Express Steel Armor slot“. This way our GPU slot will not bend due to the weight of the graphics card.

Six SATA ports are enough for storage needs. Everything is connected to the controller of the B560 chipset and supports RAID 0/1/5/10.

In the center of the bottom of the MAG B560 TOMAHAWK WIFI there is a PCIe auxiliary power supply and right next to it a switch that turns off all the motherboard LEDs. These days, the graphics cards are energy consuming beasts, but this particular power supply can improve stability.

The onboard sound card is the Realtek ALC897 which may not offer high end sound quality, but it sure does its job. It is equipped with an optical output where you can connect your amplifier and make the sound even better.

CPU (MAX SUPPORT)i9
SOCKET1200
CHIPSETIntel® B560 Chipset
DDR4 MEMORY5066(OC)/ 5000(OC)/ 4800(OC)/ 4600(OC)/ 4533(OC)/ 4400(OC)/ 4300(OC)/ 4266(OC)/ 4200(OC)/ 4133(OC)/ 4000(OC)/ 3866(OC)/ 3733(OC)/ 3600(OC)/ 3466(OC)/ 3400(OC)/ 3333(OC)/ 3300(OC)/ 3200(OC)/ 3000(OC)/ 2933(JEDEC)/ 2666(JEDEC)/ 2400(JEDEC)/ 2133(JEDEC) MHz
MEMORY CHANNELDual
DIMM SLOTS4
MAX MEMORY (GB)128
PCI-E X162
PCI-E X11
SATAIII6
M.2 SLOT3
LAN1x Realtek® 8125B 2.5G LAN
WIFI & BLUETOOTHIntel® Wi-Fi 6E AX210
USB 3.2 PORTS (FRONT)1(Gen 2, Type C), 2(Gen 1, Type A)
USB 3.2 PORTS (REAR)1(Gen 2×2, Type C), 4(Gen 1, Type A)
USB 2.0 PORTS (FRONT)4
USB 2.0 PORTS (REAR)4
AUDIO PORTS (REAR)Realtek® ALC897 Codec
DISPLAYPORT1
HDMI1
FORM FACTORATX
CROSSFIREYes
OPERATING SYSTEMSupport for Windows® 10 64-bit
General characteristics

Conclusion

The MSI MAG B560 TOMAHAWK WIFI is true value for money. At the same time it’s an efficient 11th gen motherboard equipped with B560. It may not be comparable to the Z590 technology as it does not support CPU overclocking, but it is a must for the everyday gamer who wants to enjoy some challenging games. As the name implies, it also supports Wi-Fi technology. In the end, who wants cables in their office?

However, if you want to use a bigger processor, it would be best to use a motherboard with a Z590 chipset. For a mid-range gaming computer though, the MSI MAG B560 TOMAHAWK WIFI is definitely one of your best choices.

The generic picture of the motherboard

The epitome of beauty and austerity

The MSI MAG B560 TOMAHAWK WIFI can be found in the Greek market for something less than 130 euros (there is an offer) and is definitely your only choice at this price.

In case you did not know, MSI also has top tier graphics cards and mice!

I would like to thank once again MSI as well as Infoquest for providing the review unit in order to write this article.

Michail Papadopoulos

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