ASRock Z690 Taichi Razer Edition Motherboard Review

The Razer Edition dresses up the ASRock Z690 Taichi motherboard with Chroma + Synapse. Join us as we take a close look at it.

@TylerBernath
Published Fri, May 27 2022 10:10 AM CDT
Rating: 93%Manufacturer: ASRock (Z690 Taichi Razer)

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

The Taichi is one of the best motherboards coming out of ASRock's current gen portfolio. That said, not everyone may be a fan of the latest aesthetic or the "gear" design used on the last two Z series platforms. For these consumers, ASRock has offered a Razer Edition solution built from their partnership with Razer for the previous few years. This "Razer Edition" shares the same hardware platform as the standard Taichi but changes the entire aesthetic of the motherboard, including all the motherboard heat sinks, rear I/O cover, and RGB layout.

With this motherboard sharing the same Taichi hardware platform, the Razer Edition has four slot DDR5 memory support and the Z690 chipset for Intel's 12th Generation Core CPUs. The base memory frequency is 4800MHz as determined by JEDEC, while the upper end includes support for DDR5 6600 via XMP.

The expansion includes three full-size PCIe slots, the top two using CPU lanes with the typical x16 or x8x8 split, depending on your use case. The third full-length slot pulls from the chipset, as does the x1 slot. Four m.2 slots allow for ample storage capacity for this platform, all slots supporting Gen4. Legacy storage is available with six SATA ports.

Networking on this platform uses the Killer Networking Suite from Intel. This includes the E3100G for 2.5GBE and AX1675 for WiFi6e. Audio is the Realtek ALC1220 paired with an ESS 9218 DAC.

Pricing

The ASRock Z690 Taichi RAZER carries an MSRP of $619.99 with a three-year warranty.

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ASRock Z690 PG Velocita Motherboard

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Packaging, Accessories, and Overview

Packaging and Accessories

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VIEW GALLERY - 34 IMAGES

ASRock has given the RAZER Edition its own box art denoting the partnership with Razer. Chipset and CPU support are listed at the top.

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On the back, things are quite simple, with an image of the board and features listed around it.

ASRock Z690 Taichi RAZER Edition Overview

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The Razer Edition offers an identical build and layout to the Taichi. Differences lie in the entire heat sink design, rear I/O cover, and chipset heatsink/armor.

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On the back of the board, we do have armor covering 75% of the board.

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Rear I/O starts with Wi-Fi at the top, followed by HDMI out. We then have two USB 3.2, audio in the middle followed by the networking stack, additional USB 3.2 support, and Thunderbolt 4.

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The board layout starts with the front panel audio connection and the WIMA audio caps in red. We have RGB ports, fan headers, and a lone SATA connection to the right.

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Further down, we have the DEBUG LED, power and reset button, and front panel connections.

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Around the corner, we run into SATA and USB 3.2 headers.

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Up towards the top of the board, we have the 24-pin power connection.

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Across the top, we have both 8-pin CPU power connections.

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Booting up this motherboard, you can see the RGB pattern on the heat sinks and rear I/O plate. The board also includes an RGB backlight that shines from the right side.

UEFI, Software and Test System

UEFI

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This BIOS should look familiar for anyone that has used an ASRock platform in the last few generations though this one does have a RAZER theme added to it. Starting with EZ Mode, we have CPU and memory information top left and temperatures to the right. Down below, the dashboard is split up into categories for DRAM, fans, and storage, with each having their own respective options. To the far right, we have quick access to boot priority.

OC Tweaker includes current CPU and memory clocks at the top, tuning for both down below. The Advanced menu includes options for SATA storage and PCH along with Thunderbolt and NVMe. CPU config includes the ability to enable/disable cores, including E cores and P cores, separately.

Monitoring is included alongside fan control, while the tool menu allows you to control RGB and Secure Erase storage devices.

Motherboard Software

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ASRock A-Tuning allows for quick access to performance profiles seen above.

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Users also can manually tune from the OC Tweaker menu.

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Additionally, with this platform using Killer for LAN and WLAN, you have access to Killer Intelligence Center.

Motherboard Testing Supporters

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Sabrent supports our storage testing with the Rocket 4 Plus.

TweakTown Intel Motherboard Test System

Cinebench R23 and AIDA64

Cinebench and AIDA64

Cinebench R23

Cinebench is a long-standing render benchmark that has been heavily relied upon by both Intel and AMD to highlight their newest platforms during unveils. The benchmark has two tests, a single-core workload that will utilize one thread or 1T. There is also a multi-threaded test that uses all threads or nT of a tested CPU.

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Single thread testing in R23 gave us a score of 2011 for the Taichi Razer.

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nT showed 27640.

AIDA64 Memory

AIDA was recently updated to version 6.6, which improved performance in both AES and SHA3 workloads for Alder Lake CPUs. You will notice this performance jump in the charts below compared to any earlier Z690 reviews.

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AES turned in a score of 207212 for the Razer Edition.

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SHA3 tapped in at 6038, on par with the standard Taichi.

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Memory throughput was good and on par with what we have seen from other DDR5 boards. The Razer Edition grabbed 81K for read, followed by 73K for write and 72K for copy.

PCMark10, 3DMark and CrossMark Benchmarks

UL Procyon Suite

The UL Procyon Office Productivity Benchmark uses Microsoft Office apps to measure PC performance for office productivity work.

The Photo Editing benchmark uses Adobe® Lightroom® to import, process, and modify a selection of images. In the second part of the test, multiple edits and layer effects are applied to a photograph in Adobe® Photoshop®.

The Video editing benchmark uses Adobe® Premiere® Pro to export video project files to common formats. Each video project includes various edits, adjustments, and effects. The benchmark score is based on the time taken to export the videos.

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New to our testing is UL Procyon, and this offers us the ability for more real-world testing in motherboard reviews. The Razer Edition did 9156 in office, 8029 in photography, and 2976 in video.

CrossMark

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Crossmark turned a score of 2383, one of the higher scores we have seen from a Z690.

3DMark

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CPU Profile gave us a 16 thread score of 10519, just as the standard Taichi did.

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Timespy showed the Razer on par with all other platforms. The score came in at 922 using the UHD graphics.

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Firestrike gave us 2738 with the Razer Ed.

Storage Benchmarks and Final Thoughts

3DMark Storage Benchmarks

UL's newest 3DMark SSD Gaming Test is the most comprehensive SSD gaming test ever devised. We consider it to be superior to testing against games themselves because, as a trace, it is much more consistent than variations that will occur between runs on the actual game itself. This test is, in fact, the same as running the actual game, just without the inconsistencies inherent to application testing.

In short, we believe that this is the world's best way to evaluate an SSDs gaming prowess and accurately compare it against competing SSDs. The 3DMark SSD Gaming Test measures and scores the following:

  • Loading Battlefield V from launch to the main menu.
  • Loading Call of Duty Black Ops 4 from launch to the main menu.
  • Loading Overwatch from launch to the main menu.
  • Recording a 1080p gameplay video at 60 FPS with OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) while playing Overwatch.
  • Installing The Outer Worlds from the Epic Games Launcher.
  • Saving game progress in The Outer Worlds.
  • Copying the Steam folder for Counter-Strike Global Offensive from an external SSD to the system drive.
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With several motherboards now evaluated under the new storage benchmark, we are starting to get a promising idea of where our Rocket Plus should run. In this test, we found the Taichi Razer to offer 512 MB/s.

Final Thoughts

As we said in the Z690 Taichi review, this platform is always one I look for when new boards are released. The Razer Edition makes that even better with a less "edgy" aesthetic, opting for a basic aluminum heat sink design across the board that takes advantage of Chroma RGB for its character.

Hardware design is top end and includes all versions of USB 2.0 and 3.2 living alongside Thunderbolt 4 and the Killer Networking Suite to push connectivity. Expansion is fantastic. Three full-length slots, two using PCIe Gen5, and to round things out, a stack of m2 connectors all support Gen4 speed.

Software is upgraded on this platform with the Razer integration. You will have support from A-Tuning and XTU for overclocking, while Killer Intelligence Center and Razer Synapse will manage configuration and support for this platform.

These additions add $30 to the cost of this platform over the standard Taichi. For me, it's excused because I gravitate towards this aesthetic, but it's something to consider when deciding on your next board.

Performance

90%

Quality

95%

Features

95%

Value

90%

Overall

93%

The Bottom Line

While the ASRock Z690 Taichi offers a fantastic hardware platform, the Razer Edition turns it up with a better aesthetic and more control over your build theme.

TweakTown award
93%

ASRock Z690 PG Velocita Motherboard

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$369.99$369.99$395.55
* Prices last scanned on 7/3/2022 at 2:43 pm CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Tyler joined the TweakTown team in 2013 and has since reviewed 100s of new techy items. Growing up in a small farm town, tech wasn't around, unless it was in a tractor. At an early age, Tyler's parents brought home their first PC. Tyler was hooked and learned what it meant to format a HDD, spending many nights reinstalling Windows 95. Tyler's love and enthusiast nature always kept his PC nearby. Eager to get deeper into tech, he started reviewing.

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