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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  • mode_13h - Sunday, November 14, 2021 - link

    I don't mind "leverage", so long as it's an apt analogy. I think its modern roots might've been in the world of finance, where a "leveraged buyout" is one where a small amount of assets are used as collateral for taking on a greater amount of debt to fund the bulk of the buyout price.

    IMO, one of the more annoying abuses is substitution of "learning" for "a lesson learned". People talking about "learnings" sound to me like business-school idiots, who seem to have invented their own jargon out of jealousy of real professions.
  • GeoffreyA - Sunday, November 14, 2021 - link

    Yes, leverage works well when tied to the proper sense, but I see it being "leveraged" more and more as a high-flown synonym of use, much the same way that highly intellectual folk of an earlier era found that "utilise" was shinier than the plain, homely "use." In short, substituting cardboard for a brick.

    Watch out, talking about the esteemed language of business school. Mr. B. Swan might be an avid reader of Anandtech.
  • Oxford Guy - Sunday, November 14, 2021 - link

    Do you wear a suit and tie ever? Do you think men who do look more respectable than those wearing ‘casual’ clothes?

    Prestige dialects are about maintaining one’s social status — a barrier for competition. They’re not primarily about concision.

    Similarly, overly-elaborate clothing like penguin suits with ties aren’t about keeping one’s body suitably regulated when it comes to temperature, protected from sun damage, and protecting others from the horrors of nudity. Overly-elaborate clothing is about maintaining social status.
  • Oxford Guy - Sunday, November 14, 2021 - link

    It’s the unnecessary complexity that’s considered a boon rather than a drawback.
  • GeoffreyA - Monday, November 15, 2021 - link

    I agree with your argument, Oxford Guy, and no, I don't use a suit and tie. Having said that, you've caught me on a weak point, because while I don't use them, I think certain styles of the past were fantastic. Just think of James Stewart or Cary Grant. Or, on the side of the ladies, Ingrid Bergman, Grace Kelly, or any classic actress really. Truly, they give the dressers of today a run for their money.
  • Oxford Guy - Sunday, November 14, 2021 - link

    ‘Unfortunately, the English language is on a downgrade, and it's just going to get worse and worse.’

    No and yes.

    Languages are always changing. The worst language is one that remains static, increasingly less able to meet the needs of its speakers.

    The prestige dialect of a language is arbitrary and also changing. While a high school textbook from 1920 may impress with its diction there was a lot less competing for energy/time then and ignorance was hardly less. It does, though, make for the illusion that high school students have become less intelligent. IQ is actually up due to, for instance, reductions in lead exposure and improved prenatal nutrition.

    Neologisms often enrich languages rather than degrade them (not always). Even when the new terminology is redundant (which it frequently is) — speakers tend to simply abandon the older words/phrases. English is absolutely rife with abandoned words and phrases. Poets trot them out to impress but even they usually don’t bother with what dictionaries label ‘archaic’.

    One thing that seems to be increasing in English is a reduction in working vocabulary, due to globalization. Being monolingual has drawbacks but having to learn 5 ways to talk about a cat (to express the same idea) has a price. This ‘global speak’ is one of the reasons listening to tennis players is often painful. It’s vacuous corporatism plus a limited vocabulary (one not merely limited by a lack of humanities education). However, respect for the humanities continues to decline.

    Working vocabulary is a bit like the RISC vs. CISC debate. It takes more time/energy to develop a large working vocabulary (CISC instructions) — and it’s more difficult to keep it all in one’s working vocabulary. The benefit is that it takes fewer words to express an idea. We’re generally trained to see the use of a ‘more accurate’ special word as the mark of intellect, versus using more more common words to get the same idea across. If the same amount of energy is involved then it’s arbitrary to prefer one over another. The reduction in the attractiveness of monolingualism should lead to a reduction in the prestigiousness of ‘50-cent words’.

    Euphemism is also perhaps an increasing problem. Orwell wrote an essay about it in the 50s or so so it’s not new. However, buzzword labels and euphemism seem to be growing in importance. Again, though, calling someone a communist or homosexual was enough to shut down all rational discourse. Prior to that there were witches, homosexuals, and heretics. So, perhaps the overall level of this hasn’t changed much.

    Languages other than English and Chinese are under threat in terms of degradation, though, from loss of speakers and usage. In Salzburg, university physics is now taught in English.

    I wouldn’t worry, at all, about the degradation of English and Chinese. I’d be more concerned about the ability to use the languages in the face of increasing censorship, censorship AI (the growing tech power divide) increasingly facilitates. Not being able to speak a language fully, due to that, is a path to greater diminishment.
  • mode_13h - Monday, November 15, 2021 - link

    > One thing that seems to be increasing in English is a reduction in working vocabulary

    In terms of importance, I've found clarity of expression to be second only to clarity of thought, in software design. One needs to be clear about semantics not only in one's own mind, but also capable of clearly and concisely expressing them in the form of names and documentation.

    So often, bugs are the consequence of confusion. Either on the part of the original author or by maintainers or API users. That's why clear conception of ideas must be paired with clear communication, if an API is to be correctly implemented, used, and maintained.

    This point of view has been shaped by decades of experience. I can often tell the difference between someone muddling concepts together in their head vs. simply lacking the vocabulary to express the finer distinctions.

    > This ‘global speak’ is one of the reasons listening to tennis players is often painful.

    Probably true of pro athletes, in most sports. They're selected for their aptitude on the court or field, and honing those skills is where they spend the bulk of their time & energy. It doesn't help that pro athletes are increasingly deferring college to extend the potential length of their athletic careers.
  • GeoffreyA - Monday, November 15, 2021 - link

    Quite true. I'm no expert at programming, more of a hobbyist, but I've found that thinking about something beforehand often leads to better code. Writing it "on-the-fly" usually results in a mess, which can persist. I'd like to add to my comment on English that there's an analogy in programming languages. Just like updating English, there's been a constant trend to come up with new languages that address "weaknesses" in C and C++.
  • GeoffreyA - Monday, November 15, 2021 - link

    Quite right that languages are always changing, but the change may be for the worse as well as better. Despite being a lover of all that is old, I feel that English has actually gone nearer to its roots in the past two decades. People appear to be writing plain, concise English, comparable to the simplicity of Elizabethan prose, I would contend.

    People say that a language has to be brought up to date to express new ideas: that may be so in the fields of science and technology, but certainly not in human nature and relations. When I look at the 18th-century writers, it's evident that our distinctions have been blurred and watered down. The way they expressed life was precise, but unfortunately more Latinate, compared with our crude analogues of today. Apart from science and technology, that language isn't lacking at all to express present life (and was much more CISC, to use your example). In fact, there are distinctions that are seemingly lost; and lacking the language, our view on those points is cruder or non-existent. So much for increasing civilisation. Going further back, the Elizabethan English of that fellow from the Globe, or Bacon in prose, if one clears away the archaic usages, all the thous and the eths, is about as "modern" as English can get. I believe there is a true centre, "that mode of phraseology so analogous to the principles of a language," which English has sometimes strayed away from (particularly the 17th and 19th centuries), and I'd argue that the 20th and 21st centuries have seen a return to it in many ways. Unfortunately, there are some frightfully ugly inventions as well, that any true lover of good English will wince when looking at. Selfie, anyone? Hashtags? Upskilling the staff? There are many others but memory, as usual, is failing me on the spot.

    Euphemism is a big problem (and I believe you're referring to "Politics and the English Language"), simply because it goes contrary to truth and has an effect on the mind, where the false, blurry idea becomes the thing itself. At its worst, people are able to commit criminal or unjust acts because they're sheltered beneath a euphemistic, polite phraseology. And it spills over into censorship, too, and only the warm, fuzzy forms are acceptable. Again, the important of being simple, direct, and exact in one's language and "telling it like it is."
  • Oxford Guy - Monday, November 15, 2021 - link

    I can’t be sure but I believe Orwell critiqued heavy use of Latin derivatives along with passive voice and other strategies as a method for being less clear — a form of euphemism/doublespeak. I think Orwell would have responded to your crudeness point with the opposite point of view — that simplicity and concision are superior. Personally, I think irregularity in grammar and English’s terrible spelling (which can be easily fixed) are vestiges of the past that are ‘degradation’ inefficiencies.

    ‘but the change may be for the worse as well as better.’

    The only changes I can think of that would be for the worse would be having a language lose speakers (a dying language) and a language declining in expressiveness from increasing AI-based censorship. Language change generally favors increasing efficiency, although substituting half-pidgin ‘global speak’ due to polylingualism being more important is also an issue.

    All human (non-synthetic/artificial) languages are sorely in need of more change than their speakers are willing to allow in the short term. That’s the main problem — the opposite of degradation from change. English spelling, for instance, is utterly preposterous and one linguist’s reform scheme is very easy to get used to. Stubborn nostalgia, though, is extremely difficult to overcome in the short term. Gender in languages like German and French is also very stupid. It’s a massive waste of energy to ascribe sexual characteristics to clouds, trees, and soup.

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