MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk Preview
Published: 14th May 2020 | Source: MSI | Price: |
Up Close - In Detail
Up the top left we have a 8+4 CPU power connectors. Unlike many of the other Z490 motherboards we've seen, including the MSI ones, there isn't a fan header tucked away here. Great for those of us with sausage fingers.
At the top right we have three fan headers, in CPU, AIO pump and regular case fan types. Between those are two of the RGB LED Strip headers which help integrate your lighting into the MSI Mystic Light system.
Connecting the front of your chassis USB ports up saves a massive amount of faffing about in the dark at the back, so we are always pleased to see a choice of both the Type-A and Type-C USB headers available on all the Z490 motherboards.
If there is one thing an ATX motherboard isn't short of it's space, so why the SATA ports are split into four here, as two individual stacks, and then two below, we're unsure of. There must be a reason but we can't think of it.
At the bottom right we have front panel headers, two vertical (!) SATA ports as well as a pair of fan headers below the four SATA ports we mentioned above.
Moving along the bottom we find the two USB 2.0 headers that help you control your external USB devices, or simply the front panel ports on an older chassis. Next to that two RGB headers for the Mystic Light ecosystem bookend two more system fan headers. Lastly the audio is on a separate trace, as has been the norm for a few years now and grateful we are too.
Lastly another fan header is nestled between the top-most M.2 heatspreader and the bottom of the power heatsink.
Another motherboard that has a PS/2 socket on it. Do Intel know something we don't? Otherwise we find the usual selection of USB ports in Type-A and Type-C styles with 2.0, Gen 1 and Gen 2 bandwidth potential. Those of you who run iGPU will like the HDMI and DisplayPort outputs, whilst those with beefy home networking will enjoy having two LAN ports, in 1G and 2.5G types.