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It’s fair to say that the launch of the 11th Generation Rocket Lake CPUs has been a very mixed bag. On the one hand we have the incredible Core i5-11600K, a six core processor that has enough power to handle the majority of tasks you’ll do on a daily basis whilst also being a great gaming platform. The Core i5-11400F was a blinding gaming processor even if it was a little behind the curve on rendering and encoding tasks, whilst the flagship Core i9-11900K was a big disappointment, particularly in light of the excellent Core i9-10900K it replaced. We haven’t tested the Core i7 models in the Rocket Lake range yet, but we’ve heard nothing but positive things too.,All of which means that if you’re in the market for an Intel platform that will give you the benefits of PCI Express 4.0 but don’t want to go for the Core i9 and its toasty performance then the Core i7 or Core i5 is the way to go. Whilst you’re saving money it would be behoove you to take a closer look at the B560 chipset which has all the benefits of the Z590 platform but at a more affordable price point. We’ve got a few to bring you in time but today we’re looking at one which, price wise, sits at the upper echelon of the B560 selection, the MSI MAG B560 Tomahawk WiFi. It has everything you want from the new Intel chipset and more than enough high end component selection to power a Core i7 or Core i5 11th Gen CPU. Let’s take a look.,

Technical Specifications,

Despite being the chipset below the Z590 in the Intel range, the B560 – at least here in MSI MAG Tomahawk guise – doesn’t appear to want for anything. We have the PCI Express 4.0 slot for your graphics card as well as one for your NVMe that are the hallmarks of the newest Rocket Lake hardware and a big part of why you might move to this platform. We’ve still got the 2.5G LAN and all the USB ports you could realistically need. It’s a very fully featured motherboard considering its price tag.,unnamed file 2795  unnamed file 2794,

Up Close,

As model higher up in the price range than some of the other B560 models on the market it’s no surprise to see the back of the box showing off a raft of features than you might expect to find on the Z590 chipset.,


,Inside the box there is all you need and nothing you don’t. It might not always be as impressive as getting 50 different tiny packets in your box, but how many of us have motherboard boxes in the loft stuffed full of esoteric accessories we never used? Exactly. Far better to just give you what you need and keep the price low.,
unnamed file 2798  ,Despite being a B560 instead of the Z590 the looks of the Tomahawk are very nice, with silver heatsinks contrasting well against the black PCB. You can also get a feel for the intentions of the designers. This is not a pair of VRM heatsinks that look like those you used to get on a P55 motherboard. Purposeful to say the least. This is backed up by having a 6 layer 2oz copper PCB, which helps with the smoothness of your system under loading and also helps manage any heat generated. It’s a premium feature and great to see on a B560 motherboard.,
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The bottom end of the PCB is where the real interest lays with all the newest Intel range, PCI Express 4.0 NVMe. Tasty. The benefits of fast storage cannot be underestimated and with PCI Express 4.0 it goes as hitherto undreamt of speeds. Properly fast.,
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,Beginning our tour at the top left as always we find a 8+4pin CPU 12V input ticked between some sharp cornered heatsinks.,
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,Moving along and the regular features of the top right corner of a PCB threw us for a loop at first, as they face sideways rather than straight on. We can’t recall another PCB that did this, although we’re sure there must be some. Still you have a header for the CPU fan as well as a dedicated Pump/fan header. For those who take advantage of the MSI Mystic Light system there are two RGB LED Strip headers, one of each type.,
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Up Close Continued,

Carrying on around the PCB the front panel USB ports are in both Type-A and Type-C styles for those of you with more recent chassis that have a Type-C on the front of the case.,unnamed file 2804  ,

Continuing around we have four SATA ports – thankfully horizontal – a system fan header, two more SATA ports vertically mounted for those of you with plenty of drives on hand, the USB 2.0 headers which control many of our RGB devices and a PCI Express 6 pin power input should you require a little more juice.,
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At the bottom left after the PCIe power input is an onboard LED toggle, a couple of fan headers and the Mystic Light RGB headers in both regular and addressable types.,
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,Tucked away below the rear panel heatsink is another system fan header, perfect for your case exhaust.,
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,From top to bottom we have 4 USB 2.0 ports, a Displayport and HDMI for those with integrated graphics, 2.5G LAN port sitting alongside 4 USB 3.2G1 Type-A connections, which themselves are above the USB 3.2 G2x2 Type-C for all your 20G speed needs. Lastly the WiFi antenna ports and audio jacks complete the back panel.,
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,Lastly the girth of the heatsink should give you a clue as to the level of power phases lurking beneath. In the case of the B560 Tomahawk WiFi that is a 12+2+1 setup with the core phase consisting of 6 parallel Sinopower SM4337NSKPC-TRG 55A and SM4503NHKPC-TRG 80A MOSFETs. The GT is one of each to make up the two phase power, whilst the SA is a A&O AOZ5516 55A DrMOS arrangement. Controlling all this is the Renesas RAA2290001 controller for the Core and GT phases, whilst the Richtek 3651EF handles the SA.,
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作者 frank