Review: ASRock X99 Taichi Motherboard

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30th May 2016 marked the launch of Intel’s Broadwell-E lineup of desktop processors based around 14nm manufacturing node. Immediately after the launch event, various motherboard vendors have also unleashed their refreshed range of X99 motherboards to complement the new CPU architecture. ASRock was one of the first companies to have unveiled their new X99 motherboards. They have introduced the Fatal1ty X99 Professional Gaming i7 and the X99 Taichi that we are going to take a look at in today’s review.

Taichi is an effective Chinese martial art which goes back thousands of years. It has inspired ASRock to design the motherboard with high flexibility for any kind of situation and fulfill today’s computing tasks without comprising the style. Thus, we have the all-rounder X99 Taichi motherboard here. In case you’re not aware, the motherboard has recently won the prestigious 2017 Taiwan Excellence Award for its perfect balance between the cost-effective price and premium features.

The X99 Taichi comes equipped with a strong 12-phase power delivery design, dual blistering-fast Ultra M.2 sockets, one M.2 port (Key E for Wi-Fi), dual USB 3.1 ports (Type-A & Type-C), dual Intel Gigabit LAN ports, dual-band  1×1 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Realtek’s most-advanced audio solution, and a dedicated water pump header to connect and control your AIO cooler.

How does it stack up against the competitions? Let’s find out now.

Product Link: http://www.asrock.com/mb/intel/X99%20Taichi/

Suggested Retail Price: RM 1,035


 

Specifications

specs

The ASRock X99 Taichi motherboard features Intel’s X99 chipset and LGA2011-v3 socket, supporting the latest Broadwell-E as well as last-gen Haswell-E CPUs. The eight DIMM slots support up 128GB of memory capacity in quad channel with maximum frequency of up to DDR4-3300 MHz under overclocking. They also support Intel’s Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) 2.0 to ensure problem-free system when it comes to memory issues.

For storage needs, ASRock provides a total of ten SATA 6Gb/s ports and a pair of M.2 sockets running off PCIe 3.0 x4 lane for a blistering-fast 32Gb/s data transferring speed. Besides that, you also get two USB 3.1 ports in the form of two Type-C and two Type-A connectors capable of delivering a 10Gb/s data transfer speed, five USB 3.0, and seven USB 2.0 ports.

layout

In terms of PCIe expansion slots, the ASRock X99 Taichi received three full-length PCIe 3.0 x16 slots alongside two PCIe 2.0 x1 slots. There’s no PLX bridge chip provided which means that the graphics cards take PCIe lanes totally from the CPU itself. In this case, if you have a 40-lane CPU, you can run x16 lanes for single card solution, x16/x16 for dual cards, x16/x8/x8 for triple cards. For a 28-lane CPU, a single card runs at x16 lanes, 2-way at x16/x8, and 3-way at x8/x8/x8.

For the best gaming experience, you get 7.1-channel HD audio powered by Realtek’s most advanced ALC1150 audio codec and supports Purity Sound 3 and DTS Connect technologies. Besides that, ASRock also provides not just one, but two Gigabit LAN ports running off Intel’s I218-V and I211-AT controllers, respectively. In addition, for uninterrupted gaming session the motherboard features a dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi offering 433 Mb/s transfer speeds alongside the latest Bluetooth V4.0.

Featuring an ATX form factor, the ASRock X99 Taichi measures 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm in length and width, respectively. For sure it will fit well in most standard PC chassis available on the market today.

 

Product Features

All-Rounder

“Taichi” represents the philosophical state of undifferentiated absolute and infinite potential. It’s ASRock’s biggest offering in the easy-to-use, rock-solidly stable line of motherboards that fulfills every task – with style! Specially designed for the all-round PC user who wants a motherboard packed with premium features.

Armor Your VR Machine1

Prepare yourself well to enjoy the impressive world of Virtual Reality. Before that, you have to make sure everything is qualified, including hardware, software and drivers. Motherboard is the key to connect every critical components and ASRock’s VR Ready motherboards are definitely the one you’re looking for. The premium qualify is assured by rigorous testing during development. The sturdy components and rock-slid performance makes you completely immersive in the VR scenario. Users can be assured to experience VR enjoyments without any compatibility problems.

 

 

Modding PC Simulation

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Bitspower Water Block (Optional)

Specially designed for ASRock X99 Taichi motherboard, Bitspower water block is a high performance water cooling solution that also includes RGB LED lighting, thus players can select the color and lighting effect they like. The kit is able to cool Intel LGA 2011-v3 socket CPU and power regulation (VRM / MOSFETs) module. Unlike the high-end CPU tower cooler’s fans always run at a very high RPM with annoying noise. Users are allowed to choose a quieter fan for their water cooling solution.

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*Water block not included in motherboard package. For more information, please visit Bitspower.

 

12 Power Phase Design

Designed with a 12 Power Phase design, this motherboard features sturdy components and completely smooth power delivery to the CPU. Plus, it offers unmatched overclocking capabilities and enhanced performance with the lowest temperature for advanced gamers as well.

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8 Layer PCB (4 x 2oz Copper) & DDR4 3300+(OC)

The 8 Layer PCB comes with 4 sets of 2 ounce copper inner layers, providing stable signal traces and power shapes and delivering lower temperature and higher energy efficiency for overclocking! Thus, it’s able to support the latest DDR4 memory modules with most extreme memory performance!

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3 PCI-E Steel Slots

Adopts three PCIe Steel Slots, which are built with more solder points on the PCB for better performance and preventing any signal interference with graphics cards. Allows your graphics cards with enhanced signals and to be well-installed in the PCIe slots.

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Dual Ultra M.2

The PCIe Gen3 x4 Ultra M.2 interface pushes data transfer speeds up to 32Gb/s. In addition, it also supports SATA3 6Gb/s M.2 modules, and is compatible with ASRock’s U.2 Kit for installing some of the world’s fastest U.2 PCIe Gen3 x4 SSDs.

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Dual Band 802.11ac WiFi

No one has time for weak WiFi signals and sluggish internet! That’s why this motherboard comes with a 802.11ac WiFi (2.4G / 5G WiFi) module which supports wireless networks and Bluetooth v4.0.

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Dual Intel LAN

Users are able to connect two LAN cables to this motherboard’s rear I/O. Dual LAN with Teaming function enabled on this motherboard allows two single connections to act as one single connection for twice the transmission bandwidth, making data transmission more effective.

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* Teaming is not supported with Windows 10.

 

Dual USB 3.1 (Type-A + Type-C)

This motherboard has a pair of onboard Type-A and Type-C USB 3.1 ports built on the rear i/o for supporting next generation USB 3.1 devices and to deliver up to 10 Gbps data transfer rates.

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Water Pump Header11

This is not only a standard CPU fan header, but also supports water pumps! This header provides a maximum of 1.5A power for supporting the most popular water pumps. User also can adjust the voltage of water pump to get higher cooling performance with lower noise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

S12LI HB Bridge Free Bundled

The free bundled ASRock’s new SLI HB Bridge is compatible with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 and 1070 graphics cards that doubles the available transfer bandwidth, thus delivering rock stable gameplay and experiencing surround gaming in the best way.

 

 

 

 

XXL Aluminum Alloy Heatsink13

Extra large aluminum alloy heat sinks that effectively take away heat from the MOSFET and chipset so that your whole system may perform more stable.

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I/O Armor

A new designed protective cover for all of the crucial parts near the motherboard’s rear I/O, so that they won’t easily be damaged by static electricity.

 

 

 

 

Premium 60A Power Choke15

Compared to traditional chokes, ASRock’s premium 60A power chokes effectively make the saturation current up to three times better, thus providing enhanced and improved Vcore voltage to the motherboard.

 

 

 

 

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Nichicon 12K Platinum Caps

A combination of 820uF and 100uF capacitors. Together these capacitors provide clearer, efficient and more responsive CPU Vcore power, and overclockers may achieve higher scores.

 

 

 

 

Ultra Dual-N MOSFET (UDM)17

Combining two silicon dies into one MOSFET, Ultra Dual-N MOSFET provides larger die area and lower Rds(on), so the power supply for the CPU Vcore is more efficient.

 

 

 

18Sapphire Black PCB

Pure black PCB appearance. The new Sapphire Black PCB represents rock-solid quality and gives the motherboard a more mysterious touch.

 

 

 

 

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High Density Glass Fabric PCB

High Density Glass Fabric PCB design that reduces the gaps between the PCB layers to protect the motherboard against electrical shorts caused by humidity.

 

 

 

 

User friendly UEFI & EZ Mode

ASRock UEFI is the smoothest, slickest mouse-controlled BIOS has been improved to make it even more friendly. Advanced mode provides a more comprehensive environment that is designed for overclockers and power users who want maximum control over their PC’s hardware. EZ mode is a dashboard which contains multiple readings of the system’s current status. You can check the most crucial information of your system, such as CPU speed, DRAM frequency, SATA information, fan speed, etc.

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21Digi Power

Unlike traditional motherboards that use analog power, this motherboard uses a next generation digital PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation) design, which provides CPU Vcore voltage more efficiently and smoothly, so that the stability and lifespan of the motherboard is greatly enhanced.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supports DDR4 ECC / RDIMM Memory Modules22

This motherboard is capable of supporting DDR4 ECC and RDIMM (Registered DIMM) memory modules which deliver server-grade performance and durability for high-powered computing systems.

* ECC is supported with Intel Xeon processors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Live Update & APP Shop

ASRock Live Update & APP Shop is designed for your convenience. We provide various apps and support software for users to download. You can also easily optimize your system and keep your motherboard up to date with ASRock Live Update & APP Shop.more

 

 

 

 

 

 

A-Tuning24

A-Tuning is ASRock’s multi purpose software suite with a new interface, more new features and improved utilities.

 

owikh84

owikh84

OverClocker, Reviewer at OCDrift.com
A humble guy born in a town called "Mache", loves technologies, willing to learn new stuffs and share latest product updates to all readers in OCDrift.com
owikh84