ASRock Z690 Taichi & Z690 Taichi Razer Edition

Kicking off our Z690 overview in alphabetical order, we'll start with ASRock. ASRock includes its patent-pending ASRock Graphics Card Holder with all of its Z690 models. This is designed to help prevent sagging when used with heavier and long graphics cards.

As it currently stands, the most premium model in ASRock's arsenal for Z690 is from one of its most successful motherboards series, the Taichi. The ASRock Z690 Taichi has a variety of premium features including an advertised 20-phase power delivery with the latest 105 A power stages, as well as a slightly redefined look for 2021. Touching on the design, ASRock includes its mechanical cogwheel effect built into the rear panel cover, which includes RGB LED backlighting, with more RGB built into the cleverly designed cogwheel inspired chipset heatsink.

Looking at the lower portion of the Z690 Taichi, it includes three full-length PCIe slots, including the top two operating at PCIe 5.0 x16 and x8/x8, a third full-length PCIe 4.0 x4 slot, and one PCIe 3.0 x1 slot. Focusing on storage, the ASRock Z690 Taichi includes two PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots, with a third M.2 slot that has support for both PCIe 3.0 x4 and SATA drives. The board also features seven SATA ports in total, with six of these supporting Intel RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays. Located in the top right-hand corner are four memory slots that can support DDR5-6400, with a combined capacity of up to 128 GB.

The ASRock Z690 Taichi Razer Edition shares the same feature set as the regular Z690 Taichi, but with a Razer-inspired twist. This includes a funky Razer Edition logo on the rear panel cover, with Razer Chroma RGB LED lighting which from the image above, pops really nicely. It drops the cogwheel theme of the Taichi and essentially replaces it with Razer branding.

On the rear panel of the ASRock Z690 Taichi is a pair of Thunderbolt 4 Type-C ports, with two USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, and four USB 3.2 G1 Type-A ports. Onboard audio is handled by a Realtek ALC1220 HD audio codec and ESS Sabre 9218 DAC pairing and consists of five 3.5 mm audio jacks and one S/PDIF optical output. Interestingly, ASRock has put the audio connectors in the middle of the rear panel, as opposed to the end. For networking, ASRock is using a Killer E3100G 2.5 GbE controller, with an additional Intel I219-V Gigabit controller, with a Killer AX1675 Wi-Fi 6E CNVi. Finishing off the rear panel is a single HDMI 2.1 video output and a small BIOS Flashback button.

The Intel Z690 Chipset, What's New? ASRock Z690 PG Velocita (DDR5)
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  • GeoffreyA - Saturday, November 13, 2021 - link

    Certainly, there are tradeoffs, keeping a socket; but, as Mr. Tuvok would say, "Ryzen, you are an unending source of astonishment." There was a time when sockets even took CPUs from different manufacturers. I remember my Socket 7 motherboard, though I never tried it, could take a K5 and some Cyrix CPUs as well. Those 5x something, something. How things have changed.

    A short-lived socket can be a pain in the behind too. I was one of those unlucky folk who ended up with Socket 754 and missed out on dual-channel DDR and a long upgrade path. In any case, that computer went kaput after four years.
  • Oxford Guy - Wednesday, November 10, 2021 - link

    Overclocking is for employees of motherboard companies.

    ECC RAM support should have been a standard feature from the beginning. Apple offered it on the Lisa in ‘83 and consumer computing has gone backward since.

    Doublers, though... aren’t a bad thing as long as they’re implemented well — as I understand it. Better to have a good doubler implementation than a weak individual phase system. The main thing is to have a board meet the minimum spec for reliable (i.e. not overheating and/or failing) long-term support of its supported CPUs. Anything beyond that is unnecessary.
  • GeoffreyA - Saturday, November 13, 2021 - link

    The problem with doublers is, they over-use it as a marketing technique to give the impression that a certain board has a large amount of phases.
  • Oxford Guy - Saturday, November 13, 2021 - link

    Weak phases with a mediocre/poor regulator aren’t necessarily better than ‘marketing phases’ via the use of doublers. That’s the case when the doublers are used a correctly.

    There are a lot of shenanigans, though — like not even utilizing the doubler fully but counting it as the doubling of phases. I also recall that one of the big tricks was putting extra chokes on the board to make it look like there are more phases.
  • GeoffreyA - Sunday, November 14, 2021 - link

    Quite right, and one of the reasons why people have got to read a proper analysis of the VRM, or take a look at the lists on hardwareluxx for example.
  • t.s - Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - link

    Wish Intel go with their atv12vo. Or like business lines from HP, Dell, Lenovo, etc. 6 or 8 pin.
  • shabby - Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - link

    Mobo prices will go up even more, screw that.
  • meacupla - Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - link

    In the long term, I think the cost for ATX12VO will be cheaper.
    ATX12VO PSU will be cheaper than a comparable quality ATX PSU.
    The BoM for 12V to 5V and 12V to 3.3V converters would go down, if mobo makers decide to stick to a single, standardized design.

    With the way things are looking, electricity prices are unlikely to go down and continue to go up.
  • DigitalFreak - Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - link

    All ATX12VO is doing is shifting the cost from the PSU to the motherboard.
  • Wrs - Wednesday, November 10, 2021 - link

    If mobo makers can stick to one design why can't PSU makers? They already conform to ATX.

    ATX 12 VO increases costs for piecemeal upgraders because of the simple observation that PSUs outlive motherboards. The question would be whether the power savings are worth it. For prebuilts they're comparing power savings to 0 net component cost so 12VO is already the norm.

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