The Intel motherboards with their B series chipsets quality have taken a sincere step toward advancing since the overview of the last-generation B560. Now here lot of them, like the MSI MAG B660 Tomahawk WIFI DDR4 we are studying here, transmit structure sets that were going to be controlled to high-end boards just a couple of years ago.
Economics has played a critical role in comparison to anything else. Furthermore, there are still cheap and basic B660 boards that you cannot dream of coupling with an Intel Core i9 12900K but assuming the steep cost of high-end Z690 boards, a slit has opened up the in the lower mid-range that’s now taken up by premium B660 boards and low-cost Z690 boards.
It is very easy to take a good quality B660 board with a robust VRM, wild networking, inclusive connectivity selections, and cooling that does not create any issues with a high-end processor. Enhances all-important high-speed memory support, and you have pretty much got everything a gamer needs apart from CPU overclocking support that is not admirable by anyone.
Except you need four or more M.2 slots, or you can run numerous add-in cards, the B660 chipset is well-intentioned of serious reflection.
At approximately $190 now you cannot say that the B660 Tomahawk DDR4 is the cheap motherboard, but it is a little overpriced in Z690 selections; it certainly is far more reasonable than some. But is the B660 Tomahawk DDR4 a board you should study to power your 2022 gaming rig?
The B660 Tomahawk easily takes some visual stimulus from MSI’s Unify range. Both share a black, RGB-less plan that will easily merge within most of the systems. There are four RGB cards, counting two that are addressable, so RGB is there if you need it. The Tomahawk arises with three PCIe slots. The primary slot is an x16 slot that favors PCIe 4.0, the second is an x16 slot that supports a PCIe 3.0, and lastly, there’s a PCIe 3.0 x1 slot.
PCIe 5.0 backing for the primary slot is nice, though that is not likely to transport any physical benefit for GPUs for the predictable future.
As per the review, the Tomahawk will receive up to three M.2 determinations, all of which are cooled by a heatsink. Two of them favor PCIe 4.0 x4. The third slit aids PCIe 4.0 x2. For most users, three slots are sufficient, but if you are looking for four or more slots, you have to go with Z690. Don’t forget about the six SATA ports too.
The entire structure seems solid. The area below the primary PCIe slot is interestingly free of M.2 slots ripe to get heated. SSDs are getting hot more than enough under a GPU. There is a USB Type-C case shot, and we tally five fan shots plus two more for the CPU and AIO pump. So, it is not a budget-friendly set, and it ranges into power sections.
MSI’s Tomahawk motherboards were well-recognized due to their strong VRM solutions, and the B660 access endures this tradition. It comprises a 12+2 phase VRM motorized by dual 8-pin power connections. Considering that overclocking is not permitted on B660 boards, all it has to grip is the extreme turbo load of a 12900K. We will not have any problem with that, we guarantee you. It is all cooled by rough black heat sinks. For our evaluation, we have considered Intel Core i5 12600K, a chip coupling with the mid-range chipset. Due to it, the outcomes are a VRM load temperature of just 47°C. However, we use an open test seat; even if you add 30 degrees or more, that is still well inside the range.
There is the additional positive highlight of the board is the rear l/o. You get Realtek 2.5G LAN and Intel Wi-Fi 6 that will be capable of managing the networking requirements of most typical users. Nine USB ports are made up of four USB 2.0, four 3.2 Gen 2 ports, and a 3.2 Gen 2×2 20Gbps Type-C port. It is good to see 20Gbps USB activate to filter down the market. You can find a full set of audio ports with S/PDIF. A Realtek ALC1220 chip supports audio duties. At last, there are HDMI 2.1 and DP 1.4 ports. Would you wish to use Intel’s Xe joined graphics?
In the case of excellent performance, the MSI B660 Tomahawk entered successfully beyond the expectation of users. Its gaming performance is right together with other DDR4 boards. A pair of the system levels were a miniature bit behind, but these are typically within a boundary of error and might come down to a pair of diverse memory sub-timings.
As a positive point, we also took the chance to retest the 12600K with a fast set of DDR5-6000, and well-known that performance has enhanced compared to early BIOS. But still, if you have found a decent set of DDR4 from your last build, you will secure numerous hundred dollars that you can prevent in the direction of a better GPU. In the comparative study, you can observe the performance difference more than you would the few percent between DDR4-3600 and DDR5-6000.
Usually, we will give the board a test with a bit of overclocking, but since you cannot go with a B660 board, that is controversial. Still, Intel lastly permitted memory overclocking on B560, and obviously, it is also unlocked on B660. It is possible to run well over DDR4-4000 but doing so needs you to set the board to Gear 2, which splits the memory supervisor speed and disproves the potential benefit that DDR4 enjoys. Running memory in the DDR4-3200 to 3600 range or a little more while setting the board Gear 1 will bring the best gaming performance.
The study shows that the MSI B660 Tomahawk DDR4 is absolutely a board value for your Alder Lake setup. It will be worth buying for a typical gamer who runs a single GPU, XMP memory, an SSD, or two, and the user will be happy to know that a 12th Gen processor will improve turbo without manual overclocking.
It may be costly to 95% of the market or maybe higher. At $190, we cannot say what a cheap motherboard is, but in a market where a good mid-range Z690 board charges more than the B660, Tomahawk provides many features while not losing sight of the value that’s typically offered by B660 boards.
Why you should buy MSI Mag B660 Tomahawk WiFi DDR4
- Strong VRM
- Excellent I/O
- Good value for money
- Excellent build quality
Why you should avoid MSI Mag B660 Tomahawk WiFi DDR4
- There’s plenty of Z690 competition at this price
- No PCIe 5.0 support
MSI Mag B660 Tomahawk WiFi DDR4 Specifications
Socket: Intel LGA 1700
Form factor: ATX
Memory support: 128GB | Up to DDR4-4800
Storage: 3x M.2; 6x SATA
USB: Up to 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2×2, 5x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 2x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 8x USB 2.0
Video out: 1x HDMI 2.1; 1x DP 1.4
Networking: Intel Wi-Fi 6; Realtek 2.5G LAN
Audio: Realtek ALC1220P 7.1 channel HD Audio
Price: $190 | £186
|Supports 12th Gen Intel® Core™, Pentium® Gold, and Celeron® processors 1
Processor socket LGA1700
|Intel® B660 Chipset
|4x DDR4 memory slots, support up to 128GB
Supports 1R 2133 / 2666 / 3200 MHz (by JEDEC & POR)
Max overclocking frequency:
1DPC 1R Max speed up to 4800+ MHz
1DPC 2R Max speed up to 4000+ MHz
2DPC 1R Max speed up to 4000+ MHz
2DPC 2R Max speed up to 3600+ MHz
Supports Dual-Channel mode
Supports non-ECC, un-buffered memory
Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
|2x PCIe x16 slots
– PCI_E1 (From CPU)
– – Support up to PCIe 4.0
– PCI_E2 (From B660 chipset)
– – Support up to PCIe 3.0 x4
1x PCIe 3.0 x1 slot (From B660 chipset)
|Supports AMD® CrossFire™ Technology
|1x HDMI 2.1 with HDR port, supports a maximum resolution of 4K 60Hz
1x DisplayPort 1.4 port with HBR3, supports a maximum resolution of 4K 60Hz
|6x SATA 6Gb/s ports
– SATA5~8 (From B660 chipset)
– SATAA~B (From ASM1061)
3x M.2 slots (Key M)
– M2_1 slot (From CPU)
– – Supports up to PCIe 4.0 x4
– – Supports 2242/ 2260/ 2280/ 22110 storage devices
– M2_2 & M2_3 slots (From B660 chipset)
– – M2_2 supports up to PCIe 4.0 x4
– – M2_3 supports up to PCIe 4.0 x2
– – Supports SATA up to 6Gb/s
– – Supports 2242/ 2260/ 2280 storage devices
– – Intel® Optane™ Memory
Supports Intel® Smart Response Technology for Intel Core™ processors
|Supports RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10 for SATA storage devices
|Intel® B660 Chipset
1x USB3.2 Gen 2×2 20Gbps port (Type-C port on the back panel)
5x USB 3.2 Gen 2 10Gbps ports (4 Type-A ports on the back panel, 1 Type-C available through the internal connector)
2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 5Gbps Type-A ports available through the internal connector
8x USB 2.0 ports (4 Type-A ports on the back panel, 4 Type-A ports available through the internal connectors)
|Realtek® ALC1220P Codec
7.1-Channel High Definition Audio
Supports S/PDIF output
|1x Realtek® RTL8125B-CG 2.5Gbps LAN controller
|WIRELESS LAN & BLUETOOTH®
|Intel® Wi-Fi 6
The Wireless module is pre-installed in the M.2 (Key-E) slot
Supports MU-MIMO TX/RX, 2.4GHz/ 5GHz/ up to 2.4Gbps
Supports 802.11 a/ b/ g/ n/ ac/ ax
Supports Bluetooth® 5.2
|1x 24-pin ATX main power connector
2x 8-pin ATX 12V power connectors
6x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
3x M.2 slots (M-Key)
1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 10Gbps Type-C port
1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 5Gbps connector (supports additional 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 5Gbps ports)
2x USB 2.0 connectors (supports additional 4 USB 2.0 ports)
1x 4-pin CPU fan connector
1x 4-pin water-pump fan connector
5x 4-pin system fan connectors
1x Front panel audio connector
2x System panel connectors
1x Chassis Intrusion connector
1x Clear CMOS jumper
1x TPM module connector
1x TBT connector (supports RTD3)
1x Tuning Controller connector
|2x 4-pin RGB LED connectors
2x 3-pin RAINBOW LED connectors
4x EZ Debug LED
|BACK PANEL PORTS
|USB 2.0 Port
2.5G LAN Por
Wi-Fi / Bluetooth Antenna
HD Audio Connectors
HDMI 2.1 Port
USB 3.2 Gen 2 10Gbps Type-A
USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 20Gbps Type-C
Optical S/PDIF OUT
|ATX Form Factor
12 in. x 9.6 in. (30.5 cm x 24.4 cm)
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