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Asrock Z490 Taichi Motherboard Review


Introduction :

In 2017, Asrock first introduced its unique looking Taichi series motherboards on the Intel X99 HEDT Chipset with an impressive price-to-performance ratio. Fast forward to 2020, Asrock launched the Z490 Taichi motherboard for the Intel 10th Generation CPUs with the newly introduced socket LGA 1200. The Z490 Taichi is an ATX sized model catering to the High-End segment.

Inspired by the Taichi clockwork design, the Taichi series has evolved significantly over the years. The Z490 Taichi is the most premium revision to date. The clockwork design complements the black & copper theme beautifully. Featuring a 14-phase VRM with an actively cooled, finned VRM heatsink, the Z490 Taichi delivers excellent performance. The two M.2 Slots are covered by heatsinks designed to keep up the clockwork theme.

What we have with us today is Asrock Z490 Taichi Motherboard based on the Intel Z490 Chipset for the new LGA 1200 CPUs, paired with Intel Core i9 10850K CPU.

Unboxing :





Closer Look :
CPU Socket, Massive Heatsinks for VRMs. All Z490 boards have beefed up VRM designs, a clear sign of the increased power requirements for the 10th Gen CPUs.

Chunky Aluminium Alloy VRM Heatsink design with 2 x Fans for active Cooling. Active cooling is good but these tiny fans can tend to make a racket when the VRM heats up a lot under load and fans work at full speed. Let's see in our testing if that happens with this board.

ARGB Header.

ARGB Header.
  • Display Port

  • HDMI Por

  • BIOS Flashback Switch

  • USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C Port

  • USB 3.2 Gen2 10Gb/s Type-A Ports

  • USB 3.2 Gen1 Ports

  • Dragon 2.5 Gigabit LAN

  • Intel Gigabit LAN

  • Intel Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax (2.4Gbps) + Bluetooth 5.1

Memory Slot layout is clearly demarcated on the PCB near the slots. The user manual has a table explaining slot priority with different module combinations. Very useful info.

Front Panel USB 3.0 Headers.

Front Panel Type C USB 3.2 Gen2 Header.

8 x SATA Ports.

Hyper M.2 Socket with an aluminum alloy heatsink.

WIMA Audio Caps, Front panel audio ports header.

4 pin Programmable PWM Fan headers, RGB Header, Clear CMOS Jumper.

PCH Heatsink Shroud with a thermal pad.

Massive VRM Heatsinks with thermal pads for MOSFETS and Chokes. Finned heatsink will ensure better heat dissipation.

VRM, M.2 Heatsinks, Metal Backplate with thermal pads. The thermal pads on the backplate are directly under the VRM section, facilitating heat transfer from the PCB also. Nice!

Stripped down, without any heatsinks, shrouds.

Intel Z490 Chipset.

Vishay SiC654 50A Power Stages.

T

ISL 69269 VRM Controller.
Test System:

  • Intel Core i9 10850K (10Core/20Thread) Processor

  • Asrock Z490 Taichi Motherboard

  • Galax HOF 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 :





VRM Testing :

PWM Controller - Intersil ISL69269 6+1 PWM Controller Power Stages = Vishay SIC654 50A Power Stages

  • 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 Full load Aida64 Stress test with AVX Workload with the CPU running @ 5.0 GHz on all cores for the entire duration of the test.

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

  • This test was performed on an open test bench, there was no airflow over the VRM heatsink to simulate minimal or bad airflow in case to cool the 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 Full load Aida64 Stress test with AVX Workload with the CPU running @ 5.0 GHz on all cores for the entire duration of the test.

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

  • This test was performed on an open test bench, there was airflow over the VRM heatsink with the help of a 120mm Fan. Active cooling was used to simulate optimal or excellent airflow in case to cool the VRM.

Overclocking :

5.1GHz @ 4000MHz XMP Memory Timings



5.1GHz @ 4266MHz XMP Memory Timings



Closing Thoughts:

  • Asrock Z490 Taichi is a Higher End model in the Z490 chipset line-up from Asrock.

  • The board employs a powerful and efficient VRM design that can easily handle the Intel Core i9 10850K. In our previous review, we had used an Intel Core i9 10900K CPU which clocked easily to 5.3GHz but during this review, we used an Intel Core i9 10850K CPU which was not exactly a great CPU when it comes to overclocking potential. This board is more than capable of handling heavy CPU overclocks so don't let the lackluster 5.0~5.1GHz clock speeds fool you. The CPU is to blame more than the board here.

  • We were using the latest publicly available BIOS from the Asrock website and it performed absolutely fine without any weird behavior and instability even while overclocking. Very thorough and feature-rich BIOS for the enthusiast which was stable and mature enough to inspire confidence even in the most demanding of users.

  • The price of this board is around 38,000/- (Including GST). Newer features, reinforced VRM design to handle increased power draw, and higher core count CPU has maybe led to an increase in the cost. Make no mistake, the board is filled to the brim with features but we honestly feel that at almost 40,000/- it is a bit on the expensive side.

  • All said and done, a good solid board with a rich feature set and trouble-free user experience earns it a nice Silver Award! Thanks!




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