ASRock Z690 Taichi & Z690 Taichi Razer Edition

Kicking off our Z690 overview in alphabetical order, we'll start with ASRock. ASRock includes its patent-pending ASRock Graphics Card Holder with all of its Z690 models. This is designed to help prevent sagging when used with heavier and long graphics cards.

As it currently stands, the most premium model in ASRock's arsenal for Z690 is from one of its most successful motherboards series, the Taichi. The ASRock Z690 Taichi has a variety of premium features including an advertised 20-phase power delivery with the latest 105 A power stages, as well as a slightly redefined look for 2021. Touching on the design, ASRock includes its mechanical cogwheel effect built into the rear panel cover, which includes RGB LED backlighting, with more RGB built into the cleverly designed cogwheel inspired chipset heatsink.

Looking at the lower portion of the Z690 Taichi, it includes three full-length PCIe slots, including the top two operating at PCIe 5.0 x16 and x8/x8, a third full-length PCIe 4.0 x4 slot, and one PCIe 3.0 x1 slot. Focusing on storage, the ASRock Z690 Taichi includes two PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots, with a third M.2 slot that has support for both PCIe 3.0 x4 and SATA drives. The board also features seven SATA ports in total, with six of these supporting Intel RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays. Located in the top right-hand corner are four memory slots that can support DDR5-6400, with a combined capacity of up to 128 GB.

The ASRock Z690 Taichi Razer Edition shares the same feature set as the regular Z690 Taichi, but with a Razer-inspired twist. This includes a funky Razer Edition logo on the rear panel cover, with Razer Chroma RGB LED lighting which from the image above, pops really nicely. It drops the cogwheel theme of the Taichi and essentially replaces it with Razer branding.

On the rear panel of the ASRock Z690 Taichi is a pair of Thunderbolt 4 Type-C ports, with two USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, and four USB 3.2 G1 Type-A ports. Onboard audio is handled by a Realtek ALC1220 HD audio codec and ESS Sabre 9218 DAC pairing and consists of five 3.5 mm audio jacks and one S/PDIF optical output. Interestingly, ASRock has put the audio connectors in the middle of the rear panel, as opposed to the end. For networking, ASRock is using a Killer E3100G 2.5 GbE controller, with an additional Intel I219-V Gigabit controller, with a Killer AX1675 Wi-Fi 6E CNVi. Finishing off the rear panel is a single HDMI 2.1 video output and a small BIOS Flashback button.

The Intel Z690 Chipset, What's New? ASRock Z690 PG Velocita (DDR5)
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  • mode_13h - Friday, November 12, 2021 - link

    I was really disappointed not to see more discussion of costs and why the price distribution of these boards tends to skew so high.

    However, I was most surprised to see how much lower some of the entry-level models are priced. Do we think these will be produced in sufficient volume, or are they primarily there as a means of upselling would-be buyers who, out of frustration at seeing them always out-of-stock eventually end up buying one of the more expensive models?
  • mikk - Saturday, November 13, 2021 - link

    MSI Pro Z690-A WIFI, MSI Pro Z690-A and many more have the cheaper Realtek ALC897 Codec, the audio table is not accurate and it says Z490 instead of Z690.
  • ajollylife - Sunday, November 14, 2021 - link

    Wtf is with the PCIe 3.0 slots? I'm looking at the Gigabyte Aorus Master, has 10gig onboard, great, but then the other two pcie slots are pcie 3.0 So confused.
  • mode_13h - Sunday, November 14, 2021 - link

    From what I've read, PCIe 4.0 tends to require retimers, which adds cost and takes space. Those could be reasons why we don't see more PCIe 4.0 slots.
  • back2future - Monday, November 15, 2021 - link

    maybe mainboards start getting reshaped/redesigned (vertical m.2, backside slots/connectors, ?) instead of using retimers (chipset TDP includes retimer power?, cooling power for peripherals on PCIe 5.x speeds on 4GB/(s*lane)=~2 lanes sufficient for fastest available (2021, consumer) SSDs )?
  • ecclesiastes121314 - Wednesday, February 23, 2022 - link

    2 ram slots? I've seen this on a few of these new DDR5 boards. Most people here are talking about Thunderbolt 4 and USB4. Yes these are very useful to a select group of people yet these can be achieved with add on cards. Then you can pay for the devices to take advantage of these technologies. Reducing ram slots from 4 to 2. Wow. Yes you can buy high density ram. But this is forcing you that direction. What is wrong with 4x16 or 4x32 ram kits? If you (me) are interested in high performance video then affordable and available ram is a huge consideration. Is it just me?

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