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MSI Z370 Tomahawk Motherboard Review

How We Test

Our growing collection of ATX-form-factor Z370 boards has allowed us to focus our comparative efforts on models at lower prices with less-divergent feature sets.

SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
Graphics DriverGeForce 382.53

Back during the Intel X299 launch, we upgraded our test bed to handle the tremendous heat produced by the Core i9-7900X. Our award-winning Fractal Design S24 liquid cooler system sample serves the same purpose for the newer, lower-heat Core i7-8700K. Cooler Master’s HAF-XB provides an optimal layout to blow the S24’s fans sufficiently over each motherboard’s voltage regulator.

Comparison Products

The Z370 Tomahawk has a lower CPU core voltage limit than the more-expensive samples, but it still pushes beyond the thermal limits of our CPU. The only workaround for our CPU would be to remove its heat spreader, and that type of risk is far beyond the desires of most budget builders.

Benchmark Settings

Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
PCMark 8Version 2.7.613Home, Creative, Work, Storage, Applications (Adobe & Microsoft)
3DMark 13Version 4.47.597.0Skydiver, Firestrike, Firestrike Extreme Default Presets
SiSoftware SandraVersion 2016.03.22.21CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Cryptography, Memory Bandwidth
DiskSPD4k Random Read, 4k Random Write128k Sequential Read, 128k Sequential Write
Cinebench R15Build RC83328DEMOOpenGL Benchmark
CompuBenchVersion 1.5.8Face Detection, Optical Flow, Ocean Surface, Ray Tracing
Application Tests and Settings
LAME MP3Version 3.98.3Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3: Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.9.9Sintel Open Movie Project: 4.19 GB 4k mkv to x265 mp4
BlenderVersion 2.68aBMW 27 CPU Render Benchmark, BMW 27 GPU Render Benchmark
7-ZipVersion 16.02THG-Workload (7.6 GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=9"
Adobe After Effects CCRelease 2015.3.0, Version 13.8.0.144PCMark driven routine
Adobe Photoshop CCRelease 2015.5.0. 20160603.r.88 x64PCMark driven routine (light and heavy)
Adobe InDesign CCRelease 2015.4, Build 11.4.0.90 x64PCMark driven routine
Adobe IllustratorRelease 2015.3.0, Version 20.0.0 (64-bit)PCMark driven routine
Game Tests & Settings
Ashes of the SingularityVersion 1.31.21360High Preset - 1920x1080, Mid Shadow Quality, 1x MSAACrazy Preset - 1920x1090, High Shadow Quality, 2x MSAA
F1 20152015 Season, Abu Dhabi Track, RainMedium Preset, No AFxUltra High Preset, 16x AF
Metro Last Light ReduxVersion 3.00 x64High Quality, 1920x1080, High Tesselation, 16x AFVery High Quality, 1920x1080, Very High Tesselation, 16x AF
The Talos PrincipleVersion 267252Medium Preset, High Quality, High Tesselation, 4x AFUltra Preset, Very High Quality, Very High Tesselation, 16x AF

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  • Dark Lord of Tech
    Thanks , nice review.
    Reply
  • mcbawbagg
    would this motherboard be suitable for a setup with a core i5 8400, a MSI GTX1060 6G gaming X and 2x 8GM memory?

    Thanx for all your reviews. I would be lost without them
    Reply
  • Crashman
    20934839 said:
    would this motherboard be suitable for a setup with a core i5 8400, a MSI GTX1060 6G gaming X and 2x 8GM memory?

    Thanx for all your reviews. I would be lost without them
    It would work fine, but given the limits of your CPU, maybe you'd get more value from H370 or B360?

    Reply
  • mcbawbagg
    oh ok, I had read here somewhere that the z370 series was the only mobo series which supported the i5 8400 at the moment
    Reply
  • Crashman
    20935255 said:
    oh ok, I had read here somewhere that the z370 series was the only mobo series which supported the i5 8400 at the moment
    It was, until the H370 and B360 launched a few weeks ago.
    Reply
  • mcbawbagg
    awesome info, thanx very much :D
    Reply