Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
ASRock is the first of our Z490 boards we will be covering for the new Comet Lake desktop series of processors. We are starting with the top dogs from each lineup, and during launch from ASRock, the Taichi is the top dog. Since the launch, ASRock has released the Z490 Aqua, which I look forward to reviewing soon.
The Taichi is a quite subtle entry with needed features, but not a ton of crazy features piled on to inflate the price. ASRock has an engineered simplicity in its Taichi models, which is usually topped by a robust VRM and tuning combo with a feature stack that will make sense for most users, both mainstream and enthusiasts. Although I would say that the Taichi is a more enthusiast-focused product with other models, which we will look at in the following reviews that fill in the more gamer-focused markets.
The Taichi supports DDR4 memory and has a claimed overclock capability of 4600MHz+, which of course, means you can overclock and tweak the memory to the limits of your IMC, DIMMs, or even the board.
The Taichi comes with the newest USB 3.2 Gen 2x2, which is via a Type-C port on the rear I/O. This port is capable of up to 20Gb/s speeds, which we will test later in the review. The Taichi also offers the newest Wi-Fi 6/AX and 2.5G Dragon/Realtek LAN along with a 1Gb Intel-powered LAN port.
The VRM cooler is sizable and has three active fans, which we will look it when we take a look at the board.
PCIe support is PCIe 3.0 for Comet Lake, but many board vendors have stated that their boards are built for PCIe 4.0 spec as the next-gen LGA1200 compatible CPU from Intel is rumored to support PCIe 4.0 and should be a drop-in compatible CPU for the Z490 boards.
The Z490 Taichi comes to the market at $369.99 at the time of writing. This is quite reasonable for a flagship board, and much less expensive than the top-end offerings from the competition.
With the intro out of the way, let's start digging in to see if the price is justified and if the Taichi can battle on the same level as the boards, which are 2x the cost.
Last updated: May 28, 2020 at 11:38 am CDT
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Motherboard Features and Marketing]
- Page 3 [Packaging and Accessories]
- Page 4 [ASRock Z490 Taichi Overview]
- Page 5 [PCB and Circuit Analysis]
- Page 6 [BIOS/UEFI and Software]
- Page 7 [Test System and Configuration]
- Page 8 [WPrime, SuperPi, Cinebench, and AIDA64]
- Page 9 [Handbrake, Blender, POV-Ray, CoronaRender, 7-Zip, and WebXPRT]
- Page 10 [Unigine and UL Benchmarks]
- Page 11 [System I/O Benchmarks]
- Page 12 [Clocks, Overclocking, Thermals, and Power Consumption]
- Page 13 [Final Thoughts]