So, I shall start by saying, MSI have to be one of, if not the best for motherboards. The features and build quality are next to none for the price point. I recently upgraded from my i5 6600k to an i5 12600k and as almost always with intel, that requires a socket change. But given the 7-year gap I didn't mind so much.
Given that the i5 12600k is a mid to high end CPU, I also wanted to reflect a similar price point in the motherboard, while keeping the same quality. I wanted something stylish, stealthy and no compromise on the features. The tomahawk z690 ticked all those boxes. Showing a true premium look to the motherboard with the black PCB board, large metal heatsinks, IO shroud and M.2 heatsinks (which help keep the drives unbelievably cool!), all in a black steel look. Meaning this will fit into virtually any build or style.
The motherboard features plenty of USB connections, with 8 on the rear of the board (USB 3.2 : 1(Gen 2x2, Type C), 3(Gen 2, Type A), 2(Gen 1, Type A) & 2 USB 2.0 ports.) so if you have plenty of peripherals then that shouldnt be a problem, not to mention the additional headers to connect the ports already on the case itself. Now this is the DDR4 version of the board which at this point in time is the more sensible option at this price point as DDR5 is incredibly expensive and personally isnt really warranted for my current use of the hardware, as with gaming the difference is very minimal.
There is plenty of ARGB (3 rainbow headers 1 RGB header) and fan headers located on the motherboard itself, being 1x 4 pin CPU header, 1x AIO pump header & 6 x system fan headers! Plenty of room for cooling! Storage is also something this board isnt short of as it features 4 M.2 slots, 2 of them being PCIE gen 4 and 6 Sata 6gb connections, so no need to worry about future and current storage options.
All in all, I truly love this piece of kit and would recommend to anyone looking to build a mid to high end system without the compromises.