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ASRock X399 Taichi Threadripper TR4 Motherboard Review (Page 2)

By Steven Bassiri from Aug 15, 2017 @ 18:31 CDT
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: ASRock

Packaging and Overview

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The final retail box has a gray and black aesthetic to it; this was just the box our early sample arrived in. Packaging is done well, and the accessories and motherboard are all well protected.

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The accessory package includes four SATA6Gb/s cables, a 4-way SLI bridge, a 3-way SLI bridge, an SLI HB bridge, M.2 screws, WIFI antenna, IO shield, a Post Card, manuals, and driver DVD.

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There are five fan headers on the motherboard, and all of them are hybrid DC/PWM mode headers. All of the fan headers provide auto sensing of PWM/DC mode fans except for the CPU fan header; I believe it is PWM only. All the headers provide 1A of current, except the two headers circled in red that offer 1.5A for pumps and other high current fan header devices. UEFI and OS based fan control is present, and you get a GUI as well as manual input fields in the UEFI.

The motherboard's "gear" aesthetics are prominent, but I was surprised that ASRock didn't move a lot of the circuitry to the back of the motherboard to make the PCB look cleaner. The back of the PCB features many of the POSCAP capacitors used to filter out ripple for the CPU and memory VRMs.

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The rear IO panel features PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse, BIOS FlashBack button, eight USB 3.0 ports, USB 3.1 type-A, USB 3.1 type-C, two WIFI antenna, two Gbit LAN ports, and gold plated 7.1 channel audio outputs with S/PDIF optical.

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The PCI-E layout is quite simple as there are so many PCI-E lanes from the CPU that switching of bandwidth is almost nonexistent board-wide. The first and third metal reinforced x16 slots offers x16 PCI-E 3.0 full time, while the other two offers x8 PCI-E 3.0 all the time. The center PCI-E x1 slot is PCI-E 2.0 from the chipset. The motherboard also features three 32Gb/s M.2 slots that connect directly to the CPU. The topmost M.2 slot shares x4 PCI-E 3.0 with the U.2 connector.

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Eight SATA 6Gb/s ports connect to the chipset, the U.2 connects to the CPU and shares x4 PCI-E 3.0 with M2_1, and a 6-pin PCI-E port plug is used to provide more power for the PCI-E slots. A MOS_PROCHOT switch can enable or disable the PROCHOT signal for extreme overclocking scenarios. The motherboard has an 8-pin power plug for the CPU as well as a 4-pin plug used for extra CPU VRM power.

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One USB 3.0 internal header sits right below the 24-pin power connector, and behind it is an RGB LED header. The motherboard's front panel connectors are in the lower-right corner of the motherboard. A USB 3.0 internal header is located at the bottom of the motherboard near the POST Code display, Power button, Reset Button, and Clear CMOS button.

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The motherboard also features two USB 2.0 headers at the bottom of the motherboard. A second RGB LED header sits at the bottom of the motherboard near two HD audio headers. There are two HD audio headers, making it easy to plug in if you have a GPU in the bottom most slot or have a short case.

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The VRM heat sink cools the MOSFETs and inductors and connects to a larger heat sink through a heat pipe. The secondary heat sink cools the SoC VRM while also handling more heat from the CPU core VRM.

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