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ASRock X99 Taichi (Intel X99) Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 2011 in Motherboards | Posted: Jul 12, 2016 6:11 pm
TweakTown Rating: 91%Manufacturer: ASRock

Packaging and Overview

 

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The X99 Taichi's box mirrors the motherboard's color theme. The black and white remind me of the Yin and Yang symbol. Packaging is done well; the motherboard is zip tied to a foam container and then put in an antistatic bag. ASRock has increased their packaging quality compared to some of their other X99 offerings.

 

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Accessories include a 2-way SLI bridge, 2-way SLI HB Bridge (for GTX 1000 series), IO shield, 3-way SLI bridge, four SATA6Gb/s cables, WIFI antennas, M.2 screws, case badge, manual, and driver DVD.

 

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The ASRock X99 Taichi features five fan headers circled in red. They are all 4-pin headers, but only the chassis fan headers will auto detect PWM or DC mode. All of the fan headers support a maximum of 1A output, except for the CPU Optional/Pump header, which supports 2A. The motherboard seems to have been designed to mirror the mixing of technology and spirituality.

 

Combining the gears that move technology and the philosophy of Chinese martial arts has produced a neat looking white and black motherboard, but I might just be getting too insightful. The silk-screened gears look cool if that's your thing, and it seems that ASRock has centered the battery on purpose to match the silk screen. ASRock also moved the PCI-E quick switches to the rear of the motherboard so they would not interfere with the large white gear. I find it interesting that they made design choices based on the aesthetic effect of the chips.

 

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The IO panel on the X99 Taichi features two 1Gbit LAN ports (both Intel), two WIFI antenna ports, clear CMOS button, USB 3.1 type-C, USB 3.1 type-A, three USB 3.0 ports, three USB 2.0 ports, PS/2 keyboard/mouse, and 7.1 audio jacks with TOSLINK.

 

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The X99 Taichi has three PCI-E 16x slots that support a maximum of 3-way SLI or CrossFireX. The slots are reinforced by a metal cover to ensure heavy GPUs don't damage them. The PCI-E layout for a 40-lane CPU is 16x/16x/0x or 16x/8x/8x for the three slots from top to bottom. For a 28-lane CPU, the layout is a bit different at 16x/0x/8x for two cards or 8x/8x/8x for three cards.

 

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There are two M.2 slots, but only with a 40-lane CPU will both work at x4 PCI-E 3.0. Systems with 28-lane CPUs will only get a single x4 PCI-E 3.0 M.2 slot; the other slot will only work in SATA mode. There are eight SATA6Gb/s ports at a 90-degree angle, the other two SATA6Gb/s ports are vertical. The two M.2 slots share bandwidth with SSATA3_2 and SSATA3_3.

 

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There is a USB 3.0 header located below the 24-pin connector. The two vertical SATA6Gb/s ports mentioned earlier are located below the memory DIMMs. The second M.2 slot is located right above the POST code display. Two USB 2.0 headers are located at the edge of the PCB near a COM header.

 

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The motherboard supports a TPM module. Case headers are located right below the lock on the last PCI-E 16x slot. The motherboard has two BIOS ROMs and a selector switch so you can choose which to use. A clear CMOS jumper is located near the switch.

 

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The heat sinks and shield are screwed to the motherboard. The heat sinks make great contact with the components they are tasked to cool down.

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