We have been a fan of ASRock motherboards for some time and checking back, I see our first official Test Bench motherboard reviewed way back in 2011 with the ASRock Z68 Extreme 4. Things have definitely come a long way. There are consistent features about ASRock that aren’t present in many other motherboards, things such as a Dr. Debug LED along with power and reset switched on the board. There has also been switchable dual BIOS’ onboard, BIOS Flashback Button on the rear plate as well as a Clear CMOS button on the motherboard.
These few things are key to me as there is nothing more frustrating than a motherboard that won’t boot correctly and not being able to quickly and easily tackle the reason why. better yet, ASRock has always been the first to incorporate new technologies in their boards which has been a major factor in The SSD Review getting things out well ahead of the crowd throughout the years.
The ASRock Z490 Taichi supports 10th and 11th Gen Intel Core Processors, has 3 x PCIe 3.0 x16 and 2 x PCIe 3.0 x1 slots, 2 x PCIe 3.0 M.2 that support SATA 3, along with yet another Ultra M.2 that is PCIe Gen 3×4. It supports up to DDR4 4666MhZ+ OC memory, has 15 phase Dr. MOS power design, 7.1 channel HD audio vbia Realtec ALC1220 Audio Codec to include Nahmic audio, as well as NVIDIA SLI and AMD 3-Way CrossfireX.
There are eight SATA 3 connectors and we can see the metal connector for the USB 3.2 Gen 2 10Gbps connector along with the two USB 3.2 Gen 1 connectors. These connectors are the perfect example of what I speak of with respect to ASRock putting alot of thought into their boards as one is traight up and one is side mounted for your best fit.
Looking at the top, we see yet another first from ASRock which is their XXL Aluminum Alloy Heatsink design with active fans. At first, we thought there might be a clearance concern with respect to our liquid cooling but, as you can see here, there was none whatsoever.
Looking at the layout of the ASRock Taichi motherboards, we can see that M.2 SSD cooling has become standards as three aluminum heatsinks cover all M.2 drives completely.
Last but not least, we have the ASRock Z490 backplate which contains the BIOS Flashback Button, dual antenna connectors for the Intel® Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax adapter, Display Port, HDMI port, and dual USB 3.2 gen 1 ports along with a long outdated PS2 keyboard/mouse port.
From there, we have the audio ports to include SPDIF, 2.5G LAN above dual USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, your RJ-45 LAN above a USB 3.2 gen 2×2 Type-A and Type-C ports, and finally two more USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports. Probably the most interesting aspect of this combination is the inclusion of USB 3,2 Gen 2×2 which will provide transfer up to 2GB/s for compatible storage drives. This motherboard also accommodates Thunderbolt 3 and there is a connector on the base of the board, however the separate ASRock Gen 2 Tbt3 PCIe card must be purchased separately.
Checking Amazon, we are seeing the ASRock Z490 Taichi motherboard at a price of $640US which seems a bit high, but for the feature set and future proof characteristics of this board.