AMD Ryzen 2700 CPU Review – The Zen+ Refresh and 400-Series Platform Featuring ASRock X470 Taichi Ultimate and ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero
ASRock X470 Taichi Ultimate Motherboard - Close Up
The ASRock X470 Taichi Ultimate is styled in silver and black. The motherboard comes with the standard ATX form factor so compatibility won't be an issue on a wide range of PCs. The Taichi theme looks absolutely brilliant and eye-catching on the motherboard as well as the overall design layout which has been upped from the past Taichi variants.
The ASRock X370 Killer SLI AC is designed for the high-end and enthusiast user. The board packs a better overall design scheme that allows for faster connectivity, memory support and storage options compared to X370 motherboards. The PCB is of matte black color with a Taichi specific gear design printed all over the board. The PCB itself is made of a high-density glass fabric and uses 2oz Copper layout.
The board uses the AM4 socket to support AMD CPUs and APUs. The socket is compatible with both AMD Ryzen processors and APUs. There's no chance of error while installing a CPU since the socket is keyed, has a 1331 pin layout and won't support any other chips aside from the ones mentioned by AMD and AIB partners.
Next to the socket are four DDR4 DIMM slots which can support up to 64 GB (dual channel) memory. These slots are rated to support DDR4 DIMMs with frequencies all the way up to 3466 MHz (OC+).
The motherboard packs a 16 phase IR Digital PWM power supply which powers the socket. The PCB is outfitted with a long lifespan, durable black solid state capacitors that have an endurance rating of over 12,000 hours. The powerful VRM design allows overclockers to get the most from this motherboard. ASRock is listing this motherboard with the support of up to 300W EX OC and full water cooling support on Ryzen processors rated up to 105W. ASRock is also featuring 60A power chokes, Premium memory Alloy chokes, Dual-Stack MOSFET (DSM) and a solid PCB layout.
The VRMs are covered by two sets of heatsinks which are made of aluminum and part of the XXL Aluminum Alloy heatsink design. Both sets are colored in metallic silver and have cuts within them to add to the aesthetics.
On closer inspection, you can note that the XXL Aluminum alloy heatsink design incorporates full copper heat pipes which is a must on this high-end motherboard for stable operation on the VRM front.
The top I/O cover has an ASRock logo which is a nice touch to the AMD setup. The shield covers the entire I/O panel and looks great on this motherboard.
The ASRock X470 Taichi Ultimate motherboard cover on the I/O panel looks decent. There’s no cooling mechanism involved with the cover as it’s just for visuals and mostly hollow from the inside, but it does add to the overall looks of the product and that’s its main purpose here.
The CPU is supplied with power through an 8 + 4 power connector. This will feed the CPU with up to 225W (300W EX OC) of power. Most AMD CPUs will be shipping with TDPs of up to 105W but that changes when users overclock since that changes the power limit based on applied voltages and clock speeds.
Expansion slots include three PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16/x8/x4 electrical), two PCI Express 3.0 x1 and two Ultra M.2 slots. The board can support 3-way multi-GPU (CrossFireX / SLI). The M.2 slots are rated to support NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4 SSD.
ASRock’s X470 Taichi Ultimate adopts two PCIe steel slots, which are built with more solder points on the PCB for better performance and preventing any signal interference with graphics cards. This allows your graphics cards to be fed with better quality signals and to be safely and securely installed in the PCIe slots.
There are two Ultra M.2 slots on the motherboard that operate through PCI Express 3.0 x4 link at speeds of 32 GB/s. Both slots are ideally placed. One of them is located at the top of the first PCIe 3.0 x16 slot while the other is situated under the second PCI-e 3.0 x16 slot with ample room for up to 110mm M.2 drive/memory support.
The topmost M.2 slot is covered by a full coverage M.2 heatsink which has grey and silver accents. The heatsink itself is useful as M.2 SSDs are now widely used within PCs and extra cooling can deliver better stability.
The X470 PCH is housed beneath a large heatsink with the Taichi Ultimate logo embedded on it. The PCH heatsink is designed to look like a Taichi emblem with several small and large metal gears. It additionally features the new Polychrome RGB LEDs which looks stunning.
Storage options include eight SATA III ports rated to operate at 6 Gb/s. These can support a total of 8 different storage devices at the same time.
ASRock is using the ALC 1220 audio codec audio system on this motherboard that has its own audio PCB isolated from the rest of the board. This is part of the Purity Sound 4 system which includes a combination of hardware and software audio solutions such as the use of Nichicon Fine Gold Series Audio Caps, 120dB SNR DAC with Differential Amplifier, NE5532 Premium Headset Amplifier for Front Panel Audio Connector (Supports up to 600 Ohm headsets), Impedance Sensing on Line Out port, Gold Audio Jacks and 15μ Gold Audio Connector.
The motherboard has two onboard USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports which can be used to connect the front panel. There's also a single USB 3.1 Gen 2 front panel header which can allow for up to two USB 3.1 Gen two ports. A list of connectors available internally on the motherboard include:
- 1 x TPM Header
- 1 x Power LED and Speaker Header
- 1 x AMD Fan LED Header
- 1 x RGB LED Header
- 1 x Addressable LED Header
- 1 x CPU Fan Connector (4-pin)
- 1 x CPU/Water Pump Fan Connector (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)
- 3 x Chassis/Water Pump Fan Connectors (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)
- 1 x 24 pin ATX Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
- 1 x 8 pin 12V Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
- 1 x 4 pin 12V Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
- 1 x Front Panel Audio Connector (15μ Gold Audio Connector)
- 1 x AMD LED Fan USB Header
- 2 x USB 2.0 Headers (Support 4 USB 2.0 ports) (Supports ESD Protection)
- 2 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Headers (Support 4 USB 3.1 Gen1 ports) (Supports ESD Protection)
- 1 x Front Panel Type C USB 3.1 Gen2 Header (ASMedia ASM3142)
- 1 x Clear CMOS Button
- 1 x Dr. Debug with LED
- 1 x Power Button with LED
- 1 x Reset Button with LED
The I/O on the motherboard includes a WiFi module with 2 antenna ports, 1 PS/2 port, 1 HDMI port, 1 optical SPDIF out port, 1 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A port, 1 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port, 6 USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, 2 RJ 45 LAN ports (AQUANTIA 10Gb/s / Intel Gigabit LAN), 1 Clear CMOS button and a 7.1 channel audio jack.