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ASRock Z390 Taichi (Intel Z390) Motherboard Preview

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 1150/1151 in Motherboards | Posted: 1 week, 5 days ago

Packaging and Overview

 

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The box is pretty much the same as the Z370 version, and packaging is very similar.

 

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The accessory package includes two SATA6Gb/s cables, SLI HB bridge, IO shield, WIFI antenna, M.2 screws, case badge, postcard, driver DVD, and manuals.

 

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Holy guacamole Batman, ASRock tossed in 60% more fan headers for a total of eight. One CPU fan header is circled in red, it offers up to 1A of power, and I think it's fixed in PWM mode. The seven other headers circled in blue offer up to 2A (they can all do pumps), and they all AUTO-DETECT if a 3-pin or 4-pin fan is installed, and that's a big deal. They are of course all hybrid and can be set to either mode, but autodetect on seven headers is why ASRock added a second SIO chip with a lot of GPIO pins. Yea, the motherboard looks great and is color neutral, and yea there are a bunch of components on the back, but the fan header thing is still exciting me.

 

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The rear IO panel features clear CMOS button, WIFI antenna connector, PS/2 keyboard/mouse, DisplayPort, HDMI, DisplayPort, 4x USB 3.1 type-A (They should have used red instead of blue), USB 3.1 type-C (Thunderbolt 3 capable), two USB 3.0 ports, Gbit LAN, and 7.1 gold-plated audio with S/PDIF out.

 

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The PCI-E layout is as follows, x16/x0/x0, x8/x8/x0, and x8/x4/x4. That means none of the slots share with the M.2 slots. We also have three M.2 slots, and they are all x4 PCI-E 3.0 and support SATA drives, but there is switching with SATA ports.

 

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M2_1, SATA3_0, and SATA3_1 share lanes, so even with a PCI-E M.2 drive you will disable SATA1 and 0. If there is a SATA device in M2_2, then SATA3_3 gets disabled. M2_3, SATA3_4, and SATA3_5 share lanes, so same deal with M2_1.

 

 

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There are eight SATA ports, two of them come from an ASMedia ASM1061. There are two USB 3.0 internal headers that come from an ASMedia ASM1074 hub, and the USB type-C header is USB 3.1 and not USB 3.0.

 

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We also find a POST code display right above both BIOS ROMs. You have one whole USB 3.0 header and one half. There are two RGB LED headers at the bottom of the motherboard as well as one addressable RGB LED header to the left of a Thunderbolt GPIO header.

 

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You get an 8+4 pin power plug. The heat sinks are all screwed into the motherboard.

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