Following the junior model from MAG’s launch family of gaming motherboards, we’ll take a look at the older solution and evaluate the additions that made the product become such. The emphasis on the implementation of support for wireless networks is made immediately in the title. At the same time, in the MAG series, MSI makes a number of compromises, which allows older MPGs and especially MEGs to offer the buyer more.
The main characteristics are summarized in the table below. There is no division of sixteen lines from the CPU between a pair of PCI-E, there is no older audio codec or even an op-amp, but USB support of various generations is all-encompassing here. Other details will be discussed in the course of the review further.
|Model||MSI MAG B560 Tomahawk WiFi (MS-7D15 VER:1.3)|
|Official product page on the Web||MAG B560 Tomahawk WiFi|
|Processor socket||Socket 1200|
|Processors||Core i9, Core i7, Core i5, Core i3, Pentium Gold, Celeron (Rocket Lake-S, Comet Lake-S)|
|Memory||4 DIMM DDR4 SDRAM, 128 GB maximum:
2133–3200 — JEDEC
3200–5066 — OC
|PCI slots||1 x PCI Express 4.0 x16 — CPU
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x4) — B560
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x1 — B560
|M.2||1 x PCI Express 4.0 x4 (Key M, 2242/2260/2280/22110) — 11th Gen CPU
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x4, SATA 6Gb/s (Key M, 2242/2260/2280) — B560
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x4 (Key M, 2242/2260/2280) — B560
|Integrated video core (in the processor)||Intel UHD 750/730/630/610|
|Video connectors||DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0b|
|Number of connected fans||7x 4pin|
|The port is USB||1 x 3.2 Gen 2×2 (1 connector on the rear panel (Type-C), B560)
1 x 3.2 Gen 2 (no connectors on the rear panel, B560)
6 x 3.2 Gen 1 (4 connectors on the rear panel, B560)
8 x 2.0 (4 connectors on the rear panel, B560 + GL850G)
|Serial ATA||6 x SATA 6 Gb/s (B560)|
|Built-in sound||Audio Boost:
Codec — Realtek ALC897 (7.1, HDA)
|Networking||Realtek RTL8125B (2.5 Gigabit Ethernet)
Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX210 (Wi-Fi 2.4/5/6GHz (802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax), Bluetooth 5.2)
|LED Addressable Header||2x Rainbow|
|LED RGB Header||2|
|TPM||1x SPI (12 pin)|
|UEFI||UEFI AMI BIOS, 256 Mb Flash ROM (25Q256JWEQ)|
|Dimensions, mm||305 x 244|
|Additional features||EZ Debug LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, BOOT LED), EZ LED Control switch, M.2 Shield Frozr, Mystic Light Sync + Ambient Link, Thunderbolt header, Tuning Controller Connector, package contents: a pair of detachable Wi-Fi antennas; Support: AMD 2-Way CrossFireX|
|retail price||UAH 6015|
Two of the three M.2 slots support exclusively PCI-E lines, and therefore no resource intersections with classic SATA will occur there, which cannot be said about the middle one, under the second number. Thus, the maximum number of drives in the system can be nine.
Packaging and equipment
A box of ordinary sizes, nothing like a pen is burdened. On the front side, they considered it necessary to emphasize the support of Mystic Light.
There is a photo of the device on the back, along with a schematic layout of the sockets on the rear panel. In a small plate, the capabilities of the model were displayed. The manufacturer directly indicates the use of ordinary transistors in the power circuit of the processor, although you already expect something more modern from a product of this level. But there is no doubt about the massiveness of the radiator. Also at the disposal of the buyer will be the fastest symmetrical USB port.
- user manual (in English);
- multilingual quick installation guide;
- buyer registration card;
- a small promotional booklet with MSI products;
- MSI Shout Out promo flyer;
- MSI Reward Program promotional flyer shares;
- disk with drivers and proprietary software;
- two compact external antennas with the possibility of fixation in three positions;
- three stands and three mounting screws for M.2 devices;
- MSI Gaming Series logo sticker (not shown in photo);
- three MAG-themed stickers for the case or radiator, five for batteries and fans, two with a branded dragon (not shown in the photo);
- two SATA 6Gb / s cables, one of which has an L-shaped connector on one of the ends (not all are shown in the photo).
Unfortunately, part of the package did not reach us, in general, it is equivalent to what was in the box from MSI MAG B560M Bazooka, only the number of racks and bolts was increased — according to the number of M.2 sockets (there are three of them), and also the addition of compact antennas.
Design solutions are played with monochrome colors. The product is designed for a one-time assembly, so there is no question of any buttons and indicators of POST codes. The battery will be located under the VK, and it’s good that the contact pair for resetting the settings was moved a little lower — most modern accelerators will not block it, but it would be nice to completely eliminate problems and choose a more comfortable place.
The radiators of the power subsystem are massive and fixed with bolts, and for the hub cooler, simpler plastic nails were used.
Six LEDs under the latter act as illumination of the system components. For the rest of the equipment, four diverse platforms are provided.
Each radiator is removed separately, the bottom M.2 slot can be supplemented with the one located in the middle position, such a move can help improve heat dissipation from the video accelerator.
The cooler for the Intel B560 is an unpretentious cast blank, but it copes with its functions properly.
For the first M.2 slot from the top, lines are drawn exclusively from the CPU, you can put any length SSD here, including the 22110 form factor.
We talked about the lines for the second in a row in the introduction, it is the only universal on the board, that is, here it will be possible to mount a product with a SATA interface. The length will be limited to eight centimeters.
On the bottom slot, as we remember, only PCI-E lanes from the chipset are available. Each port is carefully labeled with an easy-to-understand support label.
Four longitudinal SATA outputs are shifted closer to the bottom of the product.
Another pair of transverse SATA soldered directly below. Support for all types of case USB outputs has been implemented, there are four pads on the board in total, however, the fastest ones will interact with transverse pin sockets, which will not improve the wiring in the case.
The main PCI-E x16 processor slot is shielded, but for massive VCs you will need to use a support, as indicated in the manual.
The only switch on the board is responsible for the instant deactivation of the backlight.
The diagnostic corner of four multi-colored LEDs is located just above the 24-pin power socket. It will help in case of problems with the hardware interrogation stage, which can be especially useful during overclocking events.
The entry-level audio subsystem is the ALC897 codec and a handful of auxiliary capacitors.
There are absolutely no decorative plastic elements in the CPU stabilizer zone, only heatsinks, the profiles of which are thought out and should not create problems when installing massive coolers.
Let’s take a closer look at the organization of VRM. Here, one “phase” of processor power supply is more than a relatively simpler model, and the number of chokes in the same group has been doubled, thereby reducing heat generation on each. In addition, another PWM controller is used — RAA229001 from Renesas Electronics, and the SA Voltage is also formed with the participation of the assembly (Smart Power Stage (SPS) Module) FDMF3035 from ON Semiconductor. Transistor pairs — Sinopower SM4503NHKP and SM4337NSKP, similar to those used before. IO and IO 2 Voltage shaping has been slightly affected by cheaper chokes. It is extremely curious how all this will affect the performance of the product in tests. The chip marked IDT6V4 1821BN broadcasts about the presence of overclocking at the base frequency, since it is an external clock generator.
On the reverse side of the board, four Renesas RAA220002 dual drivers are soldered, which determine the operation scheme according to the typical Intel Application 6 + 2 with Dual Driver (CPU + iGPU Voltage).
There are no comments on the dimensions of the radiators themselves. But the implementation of the stabilizer leaves many questions. It turned out that the lower-side transistors (where the highest efficiency is required) are soldered very close to the chokes and therefore a criminal indent was made on two radiators at once in order to avoid a short circuit, all this led to the fact that heat removal from those elements does not go completely and no gasket replacement will help. Moreover, the assembly for SA Voltage is completely “hanging” in the air! At the same time, there are all conditions for full (!) Contact of chokes with heat sinks. Very strange technical implementation, in my opinion.
Even before we met, one of the screws for the M.2 radiators, as you could already understand, turned out to be lost, but now it’s clear that a regular screw from the kit from the PC case fits there.
A large number of various outputs on the rear panel cuts off all sorts of complaints about this unit of the product.