ASRock recently revealed its Z690 motherboards for the latest 12th Generation Alder Lake processors from Intel. As spotted by hardware detective momomo_us (opens in new tab), ASRock cooperated with Razer on the Z690 Taichi Razer Edition, which was missing from the motherboard vendor's announced lineup.
Ther Z690 Taichi Razer Edition marks the third time that ASRock and Razer have gotten together. The two companies previously worked on the B550 Taichi Razer Edition and X570 Taichi Razer Edition, so it was only fitting to give the Z690 Taichi the same attention. On a hardware level, the Z690 Taichi Razer Edition should be identical to the vanilla Z690 Taichi. The difference resides in the Razer Chroma-inspired aesthetics. It's easy to see that ASRock has revamped the passive heatsinks on the motherboard to blend into Razer's ecosystem. Obviously, the Z690 Taichi Razer Edition comes with full Razer Chroma support right out of the box.
Assuming that there are no surprises under the hood, the Z690 Taichi Razer Edition should sport the same 20-phase power delivery subsystem on an eight-layer PCB with 105A SPS (smart power stages) and premium 90A power chokes. In addition, the motherboard comes with two 8-pin EPS power connectors to ensure your Alder Lake chip gets enough juice during your overclocking journey. In terms of memory support, the motherboard has four DDR5 memory slots, offering support for DDR5-6400+ memory modules, XMP 3.0 and up to 128GB of memory.
The Z690 Taichi Razer Edition has plenty of storage options. You get six standard SATA III ports and three M.2 2280 slots where two are PCIe 4.0 x4 and the remaining one conforming to SATA III speeds. RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5 and RAID 10 are supported on the SATA ports, while only RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 5 are doable on the M.2 slots.
As for expansion slots, the motherboard features three PCIe 5.0 x16 expansion slots and one PCIe 3.0 x1 expansion slot. Due to the bandwidth limitation on Alder Lake processors, the PCIe 16 slots function differently, depending on how many PCIe devices you have on the motherboard. For example, the primary expansion slot runs at PCIe 5.0 x16 with a single graphics card, while two will drop both expansion slots to PCIe 5.0 x8. With a third device installed, the expansion slots operate at PCIe 5.0 x8, PCIe 5.0 x8 and PCIe 4.0 x4.
The Z690 Taichi Razer Edition has one HDMI 2.1 port and two Intel Thunderbolt 4 ports if you plan to use Alder Lake's iGPU. Gigabit Ethernet support comes from Intel's I219V controller, while 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet is possible thanks to Killer's E3100G. If you prefer wireless, the motherboard also offers Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth connectivity.
The audio codec on the Z690 Taichi Razer Edition is based on Realtek's ALC1220 solution and boasts 7.1-channel HD audio. The audio system also leverages an ESS Sabre ES9218 DAC and gold-plated audio jacks. In addition, there are five 3.5mm audio connectors with LED lighting and one optical S/PDIF output.
The motherboard isn't short on connectivity, either. The rear panel has two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, four USB 4.0 Thunderbolt 4 Type-C ports and four USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports. Additional USB ports are available through the internal headers, including two USB 2.0 headers, one USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A connector, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 headers and a front-panel USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C header.
Scan, a retailer in the U.K., has listed the Z690 Taichi Razer Edition for £559.99 (~$766.359). For comparison, the shop has the regular Z690 Taichi up for £539.99 (~$738.98); therefore, the Razer Edition seems to carry a slight 3.7% premium.