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 2.7.613
Home, Creative, Work, Storage, Applications (Adobe & Microsoft)
3DMark 13Version 4.47.597.0
Skydiver, Firestrike, Firestrike Extreme Default Presets
SiSoftware SandraVersion 2016.03.22.21
CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Cryptography, Memory Bandwidth
DiskSPD4k Random Read, 4k Random Write
128k Sequential Read, 128k Sequential Write
Cinebench R15Build RC83328DEMO
OpenGL Benchmark
CompuBenchVersion 1.5.8
Face Detection, Optical Flow, Ocean Surface, Ray Tracing
Application Tests and Settings
LAME MP3Version 3.98.3
Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3: Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.9.9
Sintel Open Movie Project: 4.19 GB 4k mkv to x265 mp4
BlenderVersion 2.68a
BMW 27 CPU Render Benchmark, BMW 27 GPU Render Benchmark
7-ZipVersion 16.02
THG-Workload (7.6 GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=9"
Adobe After Effects CCRelease 2015.3.0, Version
PCMark driven routine
Adobe Photoshop CCRelease 2015.5.0. 20160603.r.88 x64
PCMark driven routine (light and heavy)
Adobe InDesign CCRelease 2015.4, Build x64
PCMark driven routine
Adobe IllustratorRelease 2015.3.0, Version 20.0.0 (64-bit)
PCMark driven routine
Game Tests & Settings
Ashes of the SingularityVersion 1.31.21360
High Preset - 1920x1080, Mid Shadow Quality, 1x MSAA
Crazy Preset - 1920x1090, High Shadow Quality, 2x MSAA
F1 20152015 Season, Abu Dhabi Track, Rain
Medium Preset, No AF
xUltra High Preset, 16x AF
Metro Last Light ReduxVersion 3.00 x64
High Quality, 1920x1080, High Tesselation, 16x AF
Very High Quality, 1920x1080, Very High Tesselation, 16x AF
The Talos PrincipleVersion 267252
Medium Preset, High Quality, High Tesselation, 4x AF
Ultra Preset, Very High Quality, Very High Tesselation, 16x AF

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