Strong VRM: The VRM on the Z390 Taichi is using Texas Instruments NexFETs, 60A inductors, and 12K capacitors. We found under thermal testing that while there was an increase in operating temperature, it wasn't more than 10C and maximum in our tests remained 20C below what we would consider the tipping point between excellent and above average. These tests are done in a controlled environment so results can be compared. We were very happy with the results.
Fan Headers and Amperage: ASRock added a secondary super IO controller just to increase the number of fan headers on their motherboard. They went from a standard five headers on their boards to a whopping eight, and seven of those eight support up to 2A. With so many people now using triple rads in their builds, they need more fan support than ever to cool that radiator that cools the toasty 9900K.
Feature Count: ASRock added in controllers to expand upon the number of features the motherboard can supply. For instance, they took a PCI-E hub and then attached three low bandwidth devices to it such as a controller to expand SATA count to eight, a 1x1 WIFI connector, and an extra x1 PCI-E slot. Internally they also added in a USB 3.0 hub, so you get two internal USB 3.0 headers. The use of the hub allows ASRock to route the better PCH native PCI-E for things such as dual Intel NICs.
Wi-Fi: The WIFI on the motherboard isn't the best, but that's because it's a 1x1 (433Mbps) instead of 2x2 (866Mbps) we find on some other motherboards.
Hovering just above $200, the Taichi fills a role that has been in high demand for a long time; a solid motherboard that is like a Swiss army knife. Much like its predecessors, it employs a well doubled VRM that utilizes dual N-Channel MOSFETs, and in this case, they are the high-quality Texas Instruments variant with extremely high efficiency compared to other dual N-Channel MOSFETs at higher switching frequencies.
We like seeing ASRock provide a motherboard in this price range with those features, as the new CPUs use a decent amount of power and will strain VRMs. Feature-wise we really like how ASRock loaded a motherboard at this price point with so much extra stuff. We aren't sure why the color of two USB 3.1 ports isn't light blue and is instead dark blue like normal USB 3.0 ports. The aesthetics of the motherboard also remain quite solid, and the motherboard is on the more color neutral side of things. If you are looking for a motherboard in the $220 area for your $500+ CPU, give the Z390 Taichi a look.
|Overall TweakTown Rating||92%|
The Bottom Line: Chiming in at a reasonable price point with a strong VRM and a healthy set of features, the Z390 Taichi fill its predecessors' shoes quite well, and it's a solid choice for a mid-high-end motherboard.
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