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MSI X99A TOMAHAWK Motherboard Review (Page 3)

By: Steven Bassiri from Nov 11, 2016 @ 11:48 CST
TweakTown Rating: 90%Manufacturer: MSI

Circuit Analysis


The nude motherboard reveals a lot about its inner workings.


The VRM for the CPU input voltage (main CPU voltage) consists of eight phases. The VRM is a true four phase VRM doubled to eight phases through phase doublers. Each phase gets two low-side and two high-side MOSFETs. Half of the MOSFETs are on the rear of the PCB. The use of double the FETs per phase is impressive since the same MOSFET count can be found on 16 phase VRMs. MSI is using their signature "Ti" branded inductors and 10x 560uF solid polymer capacitors. A lot of the VRM components abide by MIL-SPEC.


MSI uses the Intersil ISL6388 advanced linear EAPP digital 6-phase green PWM controller, which features solid phase shedding to save power at idle and NVM memory onboard for different profiles. To get the 8 phases, MSI uses four PWM phases and doubles them with four ISL6611A phase doubler/dual-driver chips. The low RDS(ON) MOSFETs are from NIKOS and are PK616BA and PK632BA. The VRM found on the X99A-TOMAHAWK is identical to that of the more expensive X99A-Gaming Pro Carbon.


Each set of four memory DIMMs utilizes a ROHM Semiconductor PV3203 digital 2-phase PWM. Each of the two phases uses NIKOS PK632BA for the low-side and a NIKOS PK616BA for the high-side.

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