Intel “Core-X” Core i7-7900X, Core i7-7820X, Core i7-7800X, Core i7-7740X, Core i5-7640X HEDT CPU Review on ASRock X299 Taichi Motherboard
ASRock X299 Taichi Motherboard26th June 2017
ASRock X299 Taichi Motherboard- Close Up
As stated earlier, the Taichi theme that ASRock is going with for the last couple of years is a very unique design. The motherboard looks absolutely fantastic in terms of design and build quality. The motherboard comes styled in a silver and black color scheme which doesn't fails to impress.
It's a very expensive motherboard and so far, it doesn't comprise on the package and its looks so we are hopeful it delivers a great impression in terms of performance too. The board comes in the standard ATX form factor and there are a lots of features to talk about so let’s get started.
The board uses the LGA 2066 socket to support Intel Core-X series processors. The socket is compatible with both Intel Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X processors. You can note that while the total pin count has increased, the socket dimensions remain largely similar to the previous LGA 2011 socket. The socket has a protective cover out of box which can easily be removed when installing the processor.
The motherboard packs a 13 Power phase design to power the socket. 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 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 CPU is supplied power through a single 8 pin power connector. This will feed the CPU with up to 150 Watts of power. Most Intel CPU’s will be shipping with TDP’s of 140W but that changes when users overclock, that changes power limit based on applied voltages and clock speeds. So we will see if that single 8 pin connector is enough to support the high-end Core-X series processors.
The VRMs are covered by a single, dense aluminum alloy heatsink . The heatsink is colored black and is very beefy but there are reports that some manufacturers have not tested the heatsinks during the qualification process, resulting in higher VRM temperatures. We will test this in the power and thermal tests, if the VRM is able to provide stable operation under load scenarios. The heatsink is featuring a black color scheme and has a metallic silver "X299" logo etched in the middle.
The motherboard has a total of eight DDR4 DIMM slots which can support up to 128 GB (Quad Channel) and 64 GB (Dual Channel) Non-ECC, un-buffered memory. These slots are rated to support XMP profiles up to 4400+ (O.C) MHz. Each slot is labeled, making it easier to install DIMMs in the proper orientation. Unlike other motherboard manufacturers, ASUS is sticking with the normal DIMM design and not implementing steel shielding or RGB LEDs which may seem like a down side.
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 44 lanes can deliver full x16 operation on two SLI or Crossfire configured discrete GPUs.
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. Such slots are ideal for modern generation of graphics cards such as the MSI GTX 1080 Ti Lightning X which takes up three slots and puts a lot of weight on the PCIe slot.
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.
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 eight SATA III ports rated to operate at 6 GB/s. These can support 8 different storage devices at a single time. There is also a single U.2 port. The motherboard supports RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 configurations but to enable that, you have to buy a separate RAID key from Intel and supported only on Core i9 series processors that can address up to 20 bootable drives.
In terms of audio, the ASRock X299 Taichi 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.
The motherboard comes with dual USB 3.0 front panel headers, dual USB 2.0 front panel headers, a RGB LED strip header and a single Debug LED that's placed right below the CMOS battery port.
ASRock has also included a Rear Panel I/O cover that reads the "Intel Gigabit Ethernet" like all other ASRock boards do. 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 it’s main purpose over here.
The I/O on the motherboard includes dual antennas ports for Wi-Fi (wireless + bluetooth) connect, 1 PS/2 port, 1 SPDIF out port, two USB 2.0 ports, 1 USB 3.1 Type-A port, 1 USB 3.1 Type-C port, four USB 3.0 ports, 2 RJ-45 LAN ports with LED, 1 BIOS Flashback switch, 1 clear CMOS switch and a 7.1 channel HD audio jack. All USB ports come with ESD protection out of box.
ASRock X299 Taichi Motherboard Picture Gallery:
Source: ASRock X299 Taichi Official Page