The Taichi, when I first had it offered, was an exciting prospect based on the ASRock Taichi lineage of performance and optimizations. I felt like it was unfair to include it in the first round of benchmarks against boards double its value. However, ASrock and the Taichi proved my assumptions incorrect by muscling its way past the much higher cost boards in several tests.
What we like
Thermals: The Z490 Taichi may not be the highest featured board in the bunch. The ASRock engineering team went to work making sure the VRM could handle whatever you threw at it, and stay cool while doing so.
PCIe 4.0: While the PCIe 4 is not here, for Intel at least, we know that by the time it is, there will be even more GPUs and SSD's available that can utilize the faster interface.
Value: The Z490 Taichi has several of the right feature appointments to make it deserving of an enthusiast-class board at a much more palatable price point.
What do we think could be better?
SATA performance: The Taichi is a top performer in many respects, but the board I have on hand seems to run a fair bit slower via SATA than I would expect.
10Gb Network: The Taichi needs a 10Gb network as a flagship model. If ASRock hopes to match spec for spec or the best possible, the network needs a bump. This is more of a splitting hairs gripe, but even with the 10G NIC and traces added to the design/BOM, the cost difference to the consumer should be negligible.
The Z490 Taichi is something that I hope the ASRock team is proud of. It is a real competitor with the chops to take on boards far beyond its price range, and that's not something that can be easily dismissed.
Stay tuned as there are many more Intel Z490 motherboard reviews coming to TweakTown soon!
Last updated: May 28, 2020 at 11:38 am CDT
The Bottom Line
ASRock has something special with the Z490 Taichi. The price point, performance, and overall capability is going to be a tough combination to beat!
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Motherboard Features and Marketing]
- Page 3 [Packaging and Accessories]
- Page 4 [ASRock Z490 Taichi Overview]
- Page 5 [PCB and Circuit Analysis]
- Page 6 [BIOS/UEFI and Software]
- Page 7 [Test System and Configuration]
- Page 8 [WPrime, SuperPi, Cinebench, and AIDA64]
- Page 9 [Handbrake, Blender, POV-Ray, CoronaRender, 7-Zip, and WebXPRT]
- Page 10 [Unigine and UL Benchmarks]
- Page 11 [System I/O Benchmarks]
- Page 12 [Clocks, Overclocking, Thermals, and Power Consumption]
- Page 13 [Final Thoughts]