ASRock X299 Taichi CLX ‘$400 US’ Motherboard Review With Intel Core i9-10980XE CPU – Taichi Rebuilt For 10th Gen X-Series

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PRODUCT INFO

ASRock X299 Tacihi CLX

November, 2019
Type Motherboard
Price $399.99 US

ASRock X299 Taichi CLX- Close Up

The ASRock X299 Taichi CLX is the third iteration of Taichi and is ready for the new X-series CPUs. Everything about this board feels very premium and the design choice used here is solid from top to bottom. Even for the number of features, it packs, the board still rocks an ATX form factor which is impressive.

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ASRock's X299 Taichi CLX is a solid board on the first inspection. The design and layout have been vastly improved by ASRock from the second iteration of Taichi. The design scheme is also updated to the latest Taichi design which we first saw on the new X570 Taichi motherboard but can now be seen on their TRX40 lineup too.

The board uses the LGA 2066 socket to support the Intel Core-X series processors. The socket is compatible with both Intel Skylake-X and Cascade Lake-X processors. The socket LGA 2066 is super-easy to use. You open two latches as pointed on the socket itself, align the processor with the two notches on the sides while facing the triangle marking with the one on the socket and that's it. Then proceed to close the two latches, starting with the one you previously opened and you have successfully installed the processor.

The motherboard comes in at a price point of $400 US price and has a ton of features to talk about so let's get started.

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The motherboard packs a 13 phase Digi Power phase design to power the CPU. The motherboard is outfitted with ASRock's DR.MOS design that features the latest SPS (Smart Power Stage) technology. It’s optimized for monitoring current and temperature of each phase, thus delivering smoother and neater power to the CPU with enhanced performance and OC capability.

The CPU is supplied power through dual 8 pin power connectors. This will feed the CPU with up to 300 Watts of power. Most Intel CPUs will be shipping with TDP’s of 140W but that changes when users overclock, which changes the power limit based on applied voltages and clock speeds. This was a much-needed change that was highlighted on the initial X299 motherboards that had stability and power issues when it came to supporting the higher-end Core-X processors.

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. Other quality features include Premium 65A power chokes, Nichicon 12,000 black capacitors, and a high-density glass fabric PCB. The power design allows for up to 720A and 1300W support.

The VRMs are cooled by an updated XXL Aluminum Alloy heatsink. The heatsink is colored silver and is very beefy and has a metallic silver "X299" logo etched in the middle. The heatsink is fitted with a heat pipe design that ensures effective heat dissipation from the MOSFETs. It is one of the biggest changes alongside the power system compared to the older X299 Taichi.

The motherboard has a total of eight DDR4 DIMM slots which can support up to 256 GB (Quad Channel) memory. These slots are rated to support XMP profiles up to 4200 MHz (O.C) MHz. Each slot is labeled, making it easier to install DIMMs in the proper orientation. ASRock has a new BIOS update rolling out soon which will enable support for up to 1 TB RDIMM.

Expansion slots include four PCI-Express 3.0 x16, a single PCI-Express 3.0 x1, and triple M.2 slots. The board can support 4-Way multi-GPU (CrossfireX / SLI). The M.2 slots are rated to support NVMe PCI-e Gen3 x4 and Intel Optane series memory. Only a CPU that offers 48 or 44 lanes can deliver full x16 operation on two SLI or Crossfire configured discrete GPUs.

  • If you install CPU with 48 lanes, PCIE1/PCIE2/PCIE3/PCIE5 will run at x16/x8/x16/x8. If an M.2 PCI Express module is installed on M2_1 or M2_2, PCIE2 will downgrade to x4 mode. If M.2 PCI Express modules are installed on M2_1 and M2_2, PCIE2 will be disabled.
  • If you install CPU with 44 lanes, PCIE1/PCIE2/PCIE3/PCIE5 will run at x16/x4/x16/x8. If an M.2 PCI Express module is installed on M2_1, PCIE2 will be disabled.
  • If you install CPU with 28 lanes, PCIE1/PCIE2/PCIE3/PCIE5 will run at x16/x4/x8/x0. If an M.2 PCI Express module is installed on M2_1, PCIE2 will be disabled.

ASRock has featured their Steel Slot technology on the expansion slots. Not only do these slots offer a solid cover plate for high-end cards but it also prevents from any sort of signal interference.

The supported types for the M.2 socket are 22110, 2280, 2260, 2242 and 2230. M.2 slots offer up to 32 GB/s link speed compared to just 6 GB/s on SATA 3 bus. All M.2 slots can operate at full x4 (32 GB/s) speeds, provided that enough PCIe lanes are available. Otherwise, users will have the choice to select from PCIe and SATA 3 modes.

  • If M2_3 is occupied by a SATA-type M.2 device, SATA3_7 will be disabled.
  • M2_2 is only supported with CPU with 48 lanes.

All M.2 slots can operate at full x4 (32 GB/s) speeds, provided that enough PCIe lanes are available. Otherwise, users will have the choice to select from PCIe and SATA 3 modes. All three slots are featured under a front cover which acts as an aluminum heatsink with thermal pads located underneath it.

The X299 PCH is housed beneath a metallic heatsink with ASRock logo and label embedded on it. There are some key features of this heatsink when it comes to design. It is reminiscent of a mech gear and blends in nicely with the PCB theme. The PCH heatsink also emits RGB LED which can be controlled manually through ASRock's RGB LED software.

Storage options include 10 SATA III ports rated to operate at 6 GB/s. These can support 10 different storage devices at a single time.

Following is a list of all internal connectors on the motherboard:

  • - 1 x Virtual RAID On CPU Header
  • - 1 x SPI TPM Header
  • - 1 x Power LED and Speaker Header
  • - 2 x RGB LED Headers
  • - 2 x Addressable LED Headers
  • - 1 x CPU Fan Connector (4-pin)
  • - 1 x CPU/Water Pump Fan Connector (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)
  • - 5 x Chassis/Water Pump Fan Connectors (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)
  • - 1 x 24 pin ATX Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
  • - 2 x 8 pin 12V Power Connectors (Hi-Density Power Connector)
  • - 1 x Front Panel Audio Connector (15μ Gold Audio Connector)
  • - 1 x Thunderbolt AIC Connector (5-pin)
  • - 2 x USB 2.0 Headers (Support 4 USB 2.0 ports) (Supports ESD Protection)
  • - 1 x USB 3.2 Gen1 Header (Supports 2 USB 3.2 Gen1 ports) (Supports ESD Protection)
  • - 1 x Front Panel Type C USB 3.2 Gen2 Header (ASMedia ASM3142)
  • - 1 x Dr. Debug with LED
  • - 1 x Power Button with LED
  • - 1 x Reset Button

In terms of audio, the ASRock X299 Taichi CLX is equipped with the latest Purity Sound 4 system that comes with the Realtek ALC1220 Audio Codec offering 7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection. Features of the Purity Sound 4 include Nichicon Fine Gold Series Audio Caps, 120dB SNR DAC with Differential Amplifier, TI NE5532 Premium Headset Amplifier for Front Panel Audio Connector (Supports up to 600 Ohm headsets), Pure Power-In, Direct Drive Technology, PCB Isolate Shielding, Impedance Sensing on Front Out port, Individual PCB Layers for R/L Audio Channel, Gold Audio Jacks, and 15μ Gold Audio Connector.

One thing you will note is that the X299 Taichi CLX has a plastic cover over the audio PCB which was excluded from the X299 Taichi XE but once again featured on the X299 CLX.

The motherboard comes with a single USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C and USB 3.2 Gen 1 front panel headers. The CMOS battery is situated right above the SATA ports.

The I/O on the motherboard includes the following ports:

  • - 2 x Antenna Ports
  • - 1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
  • - 2 x USB 2.0 Ports (Supports ESD Protection)
  • - 1 x USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C Port (20 Gb/s) (ASMedia ASM3242) (Supports ESD Protection)
  • - 4 x USB 3.2 Gen1 Ports (Supports ESD Protection)
  • - 2 x RJ-45 LAN Ports with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
  • - 1 x Clear CMOS Button
  • - HD Audio Jacks: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone (Gold Audio Jacks)

ASRock X299 Taichi CLX Polychrome SYNC Gallery:

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