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ASRock B550 Taichi Razer Edition Review

Introduction:

Last year around July 2020, we reviewed the ASRock B550 Taichi. Although slightly on the expensive side, it was a very strong, feature-packed, and compelling package for a B550 Chipset-based motherboard.

Fast forward to 2021 and we have with us the same board albeit in a slightly different flavor. Razer is a name that needs no introduction, extremely popular and having a cult following when it comes to gaming peripherals. In recent times, when RGB/ARGB has become an integral part of almost all PC components and Peripherals, many brands have developed their own software to control the lighting. Razer is no different and offers their version called Razer Chroma which offers very granular control over these lighting effects.

Razer seems to have decided to take things a bit further and has collaborated with ASRock to launch the Razer Edition motherboard which is modified to accommodate Razer Chroma Support. So let’s check out this brand new Razer Edition variant of the already proven ASRock B550 Taichi motherboard.


Unboxing:
The Typical Razer color scheme on the packaging looks pretty good.
All Black look gives the overall aesthetics a very classy touch.
Specifications:
Closer Look :
The overall layout is very similar to the original Taichi apart from changes to the color scheme. The basic design of the motherboard itself hasn’t been changed much.
The backplate includes thick thermal pads under the VRM section on the underside of the PCB to help dissipate heat efficiently through the aluminium backplate. In addition, the backplate acts as a brace to avoid flexing of the PCB.
This board sports 2.5G Killer E3100 and Killer WIFI AX1650 networking whereas the original Taichi features Intel 2.5G LAN and WIFI AX networking solution. Rear I/O Panel features WIFI antenna connectors, Clear CMOS, BIOS Flashback buttons, Display Port and HDMI ports, USB Type A ports, USB Type C Port and the regular 7.1 Channel Audio ports.
RGB and ARGB Headers on the top of the board.
Front USB Type-C Header as well as USB3.0 Header.
One more USB3.0 Header! And 8 SATA Ports.
Provision for TB Header on the PCB but not used. Would have sweetened the overall package if they included it. Not a deal breaker though as this board is targeted towards gamers who usually do not require Thunderbolt connectivity.
RGB and ARGB Headers at the bottom of the board.
Debug LED, Power and Reset Buttons, Clear CMOS jumpers as well as button. 2 x USB2.0 Headers.
Disassembly:
As mentioned earlier, a very similar package and design as the original Taichi.
Extremely feature packed for a B550 Board we must say!
Vishay SiC654 50A Power Stages
Renesas RAA 229004 (7+2) PWM Controller.
AMD B550 Chipset
Thermal pads for MOSFETS as well as Chokes to dissipate heat efficiently through this heatpipe based chunky heatsink.
BIOS:
The basic BIOS layout is typical ASRock but gets a fancy background. Maybe it is to maintain the overall Razor Chroma theme. Whatever it is, we are not a big fan of it. Call us old school but we prefer cleaner BIOS interfaces. They could consider giving an option to switch the background in future updates.
BIOS - OC Section :
The board sports an external clock generator which allows for BCLK increments to fine tune the OC. Our experience tells us; it doesn’t make a huge difference to regular users or enthusiasts but can help extreme overclockers when they are aiming for records with Liquid Nitrogen Cooling.
There are 10 slots to save different profiles in the BIOS. An extremely useful feature for people like us who tend to test at various different settings, permutations, and combinations. It can be cumbersome to change all those settings all over again if at all there is a need to clear CMOS when all the applied settings are reset to defaults. Very useful if someone wishes to save different tweaked settings for different applications.

The BIOS allows a lot of flexibility when it comes to OC but use these settings with caution.

The Memory OC potential of this board is extremely good just like the original Taichi. ASRock engineers have paid a lot of attention towards tweaking this aspect. Whether it is the memory topology or bios tweaks and optimization, the end result is very good.
Memory Dividers go way upto DDR4 6000. Perfect for Memory modules that are capable of doing high frequency.
The same stands true for Infinity Fabric dividers. 3000MHz is way too much considering what the current generation CPUs can manage as far as Infinity Fabric Clock speeds are concerned.
Voltage settings allow choosing between Normal or OC Mode. OC Mode obviously unlocks certain hidden voltage settings which are useful for overclocking but not always required for normal usage.
There is also a small section that allows SPD information for the Memory modules being used.
Gives information as to what all SPD tables are present on a specific Module. How many of them are JEDEC spec and how many are XMP profiles and what all timings they affect if profiles are used.
BIOS - HW Monitoring:
Fan Headers let you choose presets for fan curves.
Test System:
  • AMD Ryzen 9 5900X (12Core/24Thread) Processor

  • Asrock B550 Taichi Razer Edition Motherboard

  • HyperX Predator RGB 4000MHz 8GBx2 Dual Channel Memory Kit

  • Custom Water Cooling for CPU

  • Galax Low Profile Twin Fan Geforce GTX1650 4GB Graphics Card

  • Super Flower Leadex Gold 1600W Full Modular PSU

Benchmarks:
Notice how Stock PBO offers the highest Single-Core performance. This means that the inbuilt algorithms for boosting are so efficient and smart, they extract the best possible balance between performance and power efficiency.
Similar observation can be made for Geekbench 5 Single-Core benchmark. Stock PBO offers better performance instead of manual OC.
Similar observation can be made for Geekbench 5 Single-Core benchmark. Stock PBO offers better performance instead of manual OC.
VRM Testing:

PWM Controller - Renesas RAA 229004 (7+2) 14 + 2 (This board uses Phase doublers hence 7x2 = 14 Phases) Power Stages = Vishay SiC654 50A Power Stages


Passive Cooling for VRM:
  • K-Type Thermocouple stuck to the PCB backside just under the VRM Section + Infrared Thermometer to monitor VRM Heatsink, Chokes, Capacitors.

  • These temperatures are after running the Full load Aida64 Stress test with AVX Workload with the CPU running @ 4.4 GHz on all cores for the entire duration of the test.

  • The test was run for a period of 1 Hr.

  • 120mm fan running at full RPM was placed directly over the VRM heatsink.

  • VRM temperature reached up to 37-40c Max.

Overclocking:
  • The motherboard has an extremely capable VRM design that can handle even the 16 core CPUs at extremely high clocks provided the CPU cooling is good enough.

  • On our specific Ryzen 9 5900X we managed to bench stable at 4.7GHz on all cores throughout the CPU and memory bench suite. Do not expect such high clocks with regular AIO cooling though. A very good water cooling setup is more or less mandatory. Beyond 4.7GHz, it was the heat that stopped us from going further. It was too much for even the custom water cooling to handle. To proceed further, we need to look beyond water cooling.

  • The above graphs do include the performance numbers @ 4.7GHz all core speeds. Handling a 12 core CPU @ 4.7GHz across all cores under a variety of torcher load tests speaks volumes about what the board is capable of.

  • Since the board shows so much promise in terms of memory OC potential, we spent more time playing around on that front and boy is it impressive. Please bear in mind that this is a 4 RAM Slot board and conventionally such boards are not known for achieving high clocks or super tight timings. The below graphs speak for themselves.

In terms of max frequency, we managed to pull off 4600MHz at loose timings and a maximum of 4000MHz at extremely tight timings. These are some extremely impressive numbers. Only the best of the best boards will manage to do such things.

We shall be testing a few more different modules which have different IC and PCB Layout to see how they perform or behave. Should be quite interesting.

Closing Thoughts:
  • The ASRock B550 Taichi Razer Edition shines just like the original Taichi which isn’t a surprise since it is essentially the same board with few changes without affecting the basic design of this board.

  • Strong VRM Design is more than capable of handling HCC CPUs like the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X & 5950X. We used the 5900X Model for this review and the board handled this CPU very easily, the results above are proof of that.

  • Killer AX1650 WIFI, Killer 2.5G LAN, USB Type C is a few of the cutting-edge features found on this board.

  • Memory overclocking potential is also extremely strong on this board. Usually, 4 DIMM boards do not showcase a massive potential in terms of sheer Memory OC capability. It could happily clock to speeds up to 4600MHz and also really tight timings while at it. Not many boards can do 12-12-12-24 1T with Tight sub-timings very easily. The fact that this board was able to do it, speaks a lot about the effort ASRock has taken.

  • The official list price of this board is around 32,000/- (Including GST). Yes, it is on the higher side but not too much if we consider the price of the original Taichi. Razer-specific optimizations and support also have a small premium attached to it. The price is a bit hard to swallow for a B550 board but then it is jam-packed in terms of features, connectivity options, etc. Whether to spend this kind of money on a B550 board is an individual choice but this is a top-tier B550 board and there should be no doubts about that.

The overall impression is not drastically different from the original Taichi. The strong, feature-rich, capable, and potent board now with official support for one of the most favored PC Gaming Peripheral brands and their RGB Software.


Apart from minor adjustments, the board essentially is the same and that reflects in how it performed in our testing. The perfect option for someone looking to build his/her gaming setup around the Razer ecosystem. Price still remains a debatable topic though. Apart from that, there is nothing to complain about and that is why just like the original Taichi, this also wins a well-deserved Silver Award.


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