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ASRock X299 Taichi XE (Intel X299) Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 2066 in Motherboards | Posted: Jan 17, 2018 2:23 am
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: ASRock

Packaging and Overview

 

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The motherboard and box are well designed, and the motherboard is protected by its own foam tray and an anti-static bag.

 

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The accessory package includes four SATA6Gb/s cables, two WIFI Antenna, IO shield, SLI HB bridge, 3-way SLI bridge, case badge, manuals, postcard, and driver DVD.

 

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ASROCK put five fan headers on the X299 Taichi XE, all of them can operate in DC/PWM mode except for the CPU fan header which is a PWM fan header. There are two headers circled in blue, which are pump headers, so they operate at full speed by default. The motherboard uses ASRock's "gears" theme, which has become quite popular along with the Taichi motherboards. ASRock moved a lot of components to the rear of the motherboard to improve the look of the motherboard.

 

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The IO shield offers two USB 2.0 ports, PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse port, WIFI connectors, BIOS FlashBack button, Clear CMOS button, four USB 3.0 ports, USB 3.1 type-A, USB 3.1 type-C, two 1Gbit NICs, and 7.l1 gold plated audio with S/PDIF out.

 

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The PCI-E lane allotment isn't straightforward, so I will list the speeds according to PCI-E slots PCIE1/PCIE2/PCIE3/PCIE5 as per the manual. With a 44 lane CPU you get x16/x8/x16/x0 or x8/x8/x16/x8, with 28 lanes you get x16/x0/x8/x0 or x8/x0/x8/x8, and with 16 lanes you get x16/x0/x0/x0 or x8/x0/x4/x0. That means that the 16 lane CPUs won't support SLI, only CrossFireX. The three 32Gb/s M.2 slots all have one link to SATA ports 0,1, and 7, the manual will tell you which are shared. The M2_1 slot gets its bandwidth from the CPU, so with a 16 lane CPU, you will have to run your GPU at x8 if you want to use the slot. There is one PCI-E x1 slot routed to the PCH through an ASMedia hub, so it runs at PCI-E 2.0.

 

 

 

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There are ten SATA6Gb/s ports, two of them are from ASMedia controller. There is one right angled USB 3.0 header and one straight angled USB 3.0 header, both get their bandwidth from an ASMedia USB 3.0 hub.

 

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ASRock added a second 8-pin power connector to the motherboard so that it can better support the new 18-core Intel CPUs. There is an RGB LED header at the top right corner of the motherboard.

 

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We find a POST code display in the bottom right corner of the motherboard to the left of the front panel case header. There are two USB 2.0 internal headers to the right of a TPM header. A ThunderBolt 3 GPIO header is located to the left of a TPM header.

 

 

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We find a VROC header to the right of another RGB LED header.

 

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The motherboard features a new redesigned VRM heat sink that provides much better VRM cooling.

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