MSI Z270 Tomahawk Motherboard Review

Updated on August 14, 2017
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I'm just a small time guy working a normal job as a physician assistant. My passion is building PCs and testing/reviewing PC hardware.

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MSI Z270 Tomahawk Motherboard

Hi everyone. Will here. Today, I am going to review the MSI Z270 motherboard, which I purchased and installed into my budget PC that I built for the upcoming Destiny 2. This was probably the most difficult decision I made in my build. I wanted the Arctic variety, but I could never get a good deal on it. I eventually got a great deal, in my opinion, on the regular Tomahawk and I pulled the trigger. I purchased it from Amazon for $119.99, $10 less than the MSRP. Also, there was a $10 mail-in rebate which brought the cost down to $109.99.

MSI Z270 Tomahawk Specifications

The MSI Z270 Tomahawk motherboard sports the Intel Z270 chipset which allows the board to support processors capable of overclocking. The Tomahawk supports 6th (Skylake) and 7th (Kabylake) intel processors from the Intel Core i3, i5, i7, Pentiums, and Celeron processors within the LGA 1151 socket. The Tomahawk supports DDR4 RAM at speeds of 2133 MHz to 3800+ MHz and also supports overclocking the RAM as well as DDR Boost. The boar offers gaming LEDS, is VR ready with audio boost and also sports twin turbo M.2 slots with steel armor. It is Intel Optain memory read with lightning USB 3.1 Gen 2 being supported.

The Tomahawk is Windows 10 ready and has an EZ Debug LED which allows you to troubleshoot with ease, problems with the board. For example, when I first tried to boot up my PC after building it, it would not boot up. After looking at the EZ Debug LED, I noticed the RAM LED was flashing. I removed the RAM from the 1st DIMM slot and moved it to the 2nd DIM slot and viola, the PC booted.

To continue with specifications, this board gives you dual channel RAM support across 4 DIMM slots for a maximum of 64GB of DDR4 RAM. You will also get 3 PCI-E 16 Gen 3 slots and 3 PCI-E 1 slots. There are 6 SATA III slots and 2 M.2 slots. There are 4 USB 3.1 (Gen1, type A) ports on the front of the board with 1 USB 3.1 (Gen2, type A), 1 USB 3.1 (Gen2, type C), and 4 USB 3.1 (Gen1, type A) ports on the rear of the board. You will also get 4 front USB 2.0 ports and 2 rear USB 2.0 ports. For audio, you get surround sound supported audio ports in the rear I/O supported by the Realtek ALC892 codec. For video output, if using the onboard integrated graphics of supported CPUs, you will have 1 DVI-D and 1 HDMI outputs. The board supports DirectX 12 and is a standard ATX form factor

What You Get

My Thoughts

This is by far more of a board than I need but man, it packs a punch and is very easy to use and navigate when building. The EZ debug mode is fantastic and helps any beginner builder. The black and dark gray coloring offers a nice aesthetic, especially within a black case. The red LEDs, to me, are okay but I feel red and black builds are way overdone. So, when I combine the red LEDs of the MSI board with the blue LEDs of the case fans, it becomes a very appealing look and something different from the norm. The overclocking tool within the UEFI/BIOS is extremely easy to use and will allow for anyone, or any skill level, to overclock with confidence. The board is fast and allows you to boot quick, even without an SSD. This is an absolute beast of a board and is one I highly recommend, especially for the low cost. It is ideal for the budget gaming PC that will be upgraded in the future.

MSI Z270 Tomahawk Unboxing Video

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