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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  • Oxford Guy - Monday, November 15, 2021 - link

    It should also be noted that English and Chinese are languages that are strongly characterized by density of meaning per syllable. That’s the opposite of Japanese. It uses a lot of syllables from a small palette of sounds to get meaning across — which calls for rapidity of speech. This is also like the RISC vs. CISC dichotomy. (On the flip side, Japanese has the most complex writing system.)

    The demand of English to pack as much meaning as one can into a syllable seems that it would favor short ‘simple’ words. So, calls to use lengthy ‘ornate’ Latin derivatives may miss the mark. Lengthy words are more attractive in certain other languages. (There is jargon for all of these things but I’m trying to minimize that here.)
  • GeoffreyA - Monday, November 15, 2021 - link

    Perhaps I contradicted myself or wasn't clear, but I am not calling for Latinate English. Not at all. On the contrary, I am a proponent of plain and simple "Saxon" English, and repudiate the Latin style with a passion. I am going to write "get the job done," never "accomplish the task," and use and buy, instead of utilise and purchase. I always try to write using the simplest words to get the sense across. And that extends to syntax too, condensing a sentence to its shortest form. At the end of the day, it comes down to clear thinking. Do that, and one's style becomes more lucid.

    18th-century prose was elegant but its chief defect was overly Latinate words and sentences (exemplified by Dr. Johnson). I am actually praising 20th and 21st century prose---can't believe I'm doing that---when I say it's a return to Elizabethan plainess, to my eyes at any rate. If ever there was a golden age of English, it's undoubtedly that of the late 16th and early 17th centuries.
  • GeoffreyA - Tuesday, November 16, 2021 - link

    Being simple doesn't mean being crude or vulgar. One can be elegant as well as simple---after all, true beauty, as the ladies will point out, is simplicity. I feel that while there's a return to plainness in our times, there's been loss of decorum and good taste. Many of today's made-up words are ugly or distasteful, and I feel there's a twisting of the language away from its grain.Upskill? Even clickbait titles are a symptom of something amiss. Could it just be bad taste, or a reflection of the mind of the age?

    You are calling for reform to the language. Here our views depart; for I am more of a conservative and believe in preserving English in all its messiness, spelling and all. One of the beauties of language is that it's an irregular growth, much like a tree, lovely as a whole but messy in detail. (Same goes for programming: I'd take messy C++ any day, instead of the new, slick stuff of the present.)

    A contradiction again, where I'm talking about preservation but criticising current English? Not really. I'd say: there's a model of good style already in the language, shaped by some of the greatest writers that ever lived. At its best, it's plain, simple, and elegant, and most of all, easy to understand. Orwell would be one example.There are many others.
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, November 16, 2021 - link

    > I ... believe in preserving English in all its messiness, spelling and all.

    Consider that its messiness isn't free. English speakers, especially those coming to it later in life, waste significant amounts of time, energy, and mental capacity learning some of its unnecessary complexity. Without it, they could be putting those resources towards improving their overall mastery of the language.

    As English speakers, we derive numerous and diverse benefits from more people being able to speak it, and from them being able to do so with better aptitude. It's in our interest to lessen the learning curve, particularly given that it's eroding anyhow -- and in ways that have more detrimental consequences.
  • GeoffreyA - Wednesday, November 17, 2021 - link

    I agree there are a lot of silly points in English that hinder learning. And yes, we are apt to forget that so many people speaking it makes life easier for us. How many more centuries this will go on for, we can only wonder.

    On the other hand, Oxford Guy's comment about globalisation is also true. While asymmetric communication is causing simplification, some beautiful usages are lost along the way. The same happens between American and non-American speakers. Sadly, whom is dying, as well as the first-person, colourless "should," and others. Many a time, one possesses a usage that one feels is idiomatic but is forced to use another because of misunderstanding. And for my part, personally, there appears to be greater misunderstanding between cross-country, native English speakers, than between a native and non-native one. I find it easier speaking with people who are using English as a second language; but so often there's a barrier when talking with a native speaker from another country (or even different culture).

    In any case, I'm often disappointed with English, and see features in other languages that are attractive, particularly Afrikaans and French. When I hear Afrikaans in my country, with the classic inflexion, it has a magical effect on me, and I almost sense something that English lost earlier in its history. And then, like most languages, the verb's going to the end is beautiful, whereas we aren't allowed to do that outside of poetry. Taking Afrikaans again, it's astonishing how direct and clear a speaker is when talking in English, whereas we English speakers are lost in a maze of many, empty words. So, increasing CISC expressiveness may not be all it's cut out to be. After all, the stuff of life is simple and needs only a few words for expression. It's only idle sophistication that comes up with imaginary nonsense. Let our words be few and choice, and our actions many and noble! Silent cinema shows us that words are empty.
  • mode_13h - Thursday, November 18, 2021 - link

    > Oxford Guy's comment about globalisation is also true. While asymmetric
    > communication is causing simplification, some beautiful usages are lost along the way.

    That's basically my point. If those invested in the language don't make the easier and more painless simplifications, the new speakers are going to make much more detrimental ones.

    > the stuff of life is simple and needs only a few words for expression.

    More like a fractal, I think. From a distance, it seems relatively simple. Yet, the closer you look, the more complexity you see.

    > It's only idle sophistication that comes up with imaginary nonsense.

    If your needs and thoughts are simple, then a simple language will suffice. Language is a conceptual tool, as much as a means of communication. Comparative language studies have shown people have difficulty grasping concepts for which they lack words.

    I prefer to inhabit a world of richness, complexity, and big ideas. I'm grateful not to live in a sparse realm, where anything beyond simplicity of language and simplicity of thought would seem excessive or burdensome.
  • GeoffreyA - Thursday, November 18, 2021 - link

    Good points (and nice one about the fractal of life). Lack of words can lead to poverty of thought. Take a look at older writers, and one realises we've lost many distinctions, expressed admirably. Or worse: similar concepts have been born again under ugly language. Or delete democracy. Then we ask, what, what's that? I suppose there's an ambivalence in me regarding simple vs. complex language---and that's where the apparent contradiction is coming from. Part of me longs for the older speech, and part of me for simplicity. The best model, I think, steers a course between these two whirlpools. And I think people would begin to think more soundly if the bias were towards simplicity. Let one's treasure be buried in the garden and go abroad in plain clothing.

    I don't like it, but change is inevitable, especially when a language comes into contact with secondary speakers. In the Middle English era, when it was Saxon against Norman, English lost most of its cases, was simplified, and word order became critical. Doubtless, the same process will happen again, and likely is already happening. Let's keep our fingers crossed that hashtag language doesn't take over. Then we'll get Postmodern English.
  • mode_13h - Friday, November 19, 2021 - link

    > I think people would begin to think more soundly if the bias were towards simplicity.

    I fear false simplicity and superficiality.

    > Let's keep our fingers crossed that hashtag language doesn't take over.

    I'd certainly rather not dwell on the long-term implications of texting on the English language.
  • GeoffreyA - Friday, November 19, 2021 - link

    In the spirit of science, as simple as is consistent with the data but no simpler.
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, November 16, 2021 - link

    > Language change generally favors increasing efficiency

    Perhaps, but dialect formation often emphasizes or devises devices to distinguish its speakers from neighbors, outsiders, or newcomers. Here, we see the goals of language in tension with the goals of its speakers. Perhaps you're alluding to that, at the start of the following paragraph.

    > English spelling, for instance, is utterly preposterous

    I don't mind eliminating exceptions and irregularities from English, so long as nothing substantial is lost in the process.

    > Gender in languages like German and French is also very stupid.

    Were it expunged, maybe people wouldn't try to import gendering of asexual objects into English, such as the way some refer to ships as female.

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