Last, but certainly not least in our B650E flagship tour is the ASRock B650E Taichi. We’ve looked at other Taichi’s on different platforms, including the Carrara version, with its black-and-white marbled appearance, and generally liked what they had to offer. You can find the B650E Taichi for $369.99, making it currently the most-expensive B650-based motherboard. For the price, it comes with all the platform has to offer, including a PCIe 5.0 M.2 socket, a USB4 (40 Gbps) Type-C port, flagship-class audio, overbuilt power delivery. The premium Taichi appearance rounds out some of the major features.
ASRock has a total of ten B650-based motherboards listed on its website. You’ll find familiar sub-brands, including the Steel Legend, Riptide, and Lightning SKUs, along with the more basic Pro RS. New to the mix is the LiveMixer SKU, which sports a unique bright orange aesthetic designed to catch your eye. The product stack ranges from under $200 to $369.99 (the Taichi), including Micro ATX and Mini-ITX options, so there’s something for everyone in this lineup
As far as features go, the Taichi is loaded, sporting a beefy 8-layer PCB, and has similar specs compared to the much more expensive X670E Taichi. The USB count on the rear IO is different THOUGH, with the B650E version implementing more USB on the rear IO (12 versus 10). The X670E Taichi has two USB4 (40 Gbps) ports, but that’s one of only a few differences between them. They use the same overbuilt power delivery with 105A SPS MOSFETs, Killer-based networking, one PCIe 5.0 x4 M.2 socket, and the same Realtek ALC4082 audio codec. For under $370, this board is jammed with features, just like the other boards it competes with here at the top of the B650 space.
The B650E Taichi doesn’t make our best motherboards list (we prefer the Gigabyte B650E Aorus Master) but that’s solely because of price. That said, if you need the USB4 port and don’t need four M.2 sockets (or more than one 128 Gbps-capable slot), ASRock’s board might be worth paying a bit more for. Before we get into all the details, here is a complete list of the B650E Taichi’s specifications, direct from ASRock.
Specifications: ASRock B650E Taichi
|Voltage Regulator||27 Phase (24x 105A SPS MOSFETs for Vcore)|
|Video Ports||(1) HDMI (v2.1)|
|USB Ports||(1) USB 4 (40 Gbps) Type-C|
|(3) USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps)|
|(8) USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)|
|Network Jacks||(1) 2.5 GbE|
|Audio Jacks||(2) Analog + SPDIF|
|PCIe x16||(1) v5.0 (x16, x8)|
|(1) v4.0 (x4)|
|DIMM Slots||(4) DDR5 6400+(OC), 128GB Capacity|
|M.2 Sockets||(1) PCIe 5.0 x4 (128 Gbps), up to 80 mm|
|(2) PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 gbps), up to 80 mm|
|Supports RAID 0/1/10|
|SATA Ports||(4) SATA3 6 Gbps|
|Supports RAID 0/1/10|
|USB Headers||(1) USB v3.2 Gen 2x2, Type-C (20 Gbps)|
|(1) USB v3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)|
|(2) USB v2.0 (480 Mbps)|
|Fan/Pump Headers||(8) 4-Pin (CPU, CPU/water pump, Chassis/Water pump)|
|RGB Headers||(3) aRGB (3-pin)|
|(1) RGB (4-pin)|
|Diagnostics Panel||(1) Dr. Debug, 2-digit LED|
|Internal Button/Switch||Power/Reset buttons|
|SATA Controllers||(1) ASMedia ASM1061|
|Ethernet Controller(s)||(1) Killer E3100 (2.5 GbE)|
|Wi-Fi / Bluetooth||Killer AX1765 Wi-Fi 6E (2x2 ax, MU-MIMO, 2.4/5/6 GHz, 160 MHz, BT 5.2)|
|USB Controllers||(2) ASMedia ASM1074|
|(1) Intel JHL8340|
|HD Audio Codec||Realtek ALC4082 w/ESS SABRE9218 DAC|
|DDL/DTS||✗ / ✗|
Inside the Box of the ASRock B650E Taichi
The B650E Taichi includes some basic accessories (and not much more) to help get you started and avoid another trip to the store. It includes SATA cables, a Wi-Fi antenna, and more. Not included in our sample was a disk or USB stick for drivers, byt you can download all drivers from the website if your retail Taichi doesn’t come with a disk/USB stick. Below is a complete list of the included accessories:
- User Manual
- (4) SATA Data cables
- Wireless dongle USB bracket
- ASRock Wi-Fi antenna
- (3) screws for M.2 sockets)
- Standoff for M.2 socket
Design of the ASRock B650E Taichi
ASRock’s B650E Taichi is based on an 8-layer matte-black PCB, with grey labels on some headers. The black VRM heatsinks are large and actively cooled, with a small fan hidden below the IO shroud. On the shroud is Taichi branding, which you’ll also see on the chipset area, along with the cogs/gears meant to represent its “infinite potential” mantra. The heatsinks covering the M.2 sockets have a wavy contour, with chrome accents to round out the ultra-premium appearance.
There are two RGB features, one lighting up a symbol on the chipset heatsink and another small strip below the SATA ports. Both RGB lighting areas are bright, and the colors are saturated, producing a nice glow inside your chassis. You can control the RGBs via the Polychrome application.
Along the top edge are two 8-pin EPS connectors (one required) to power the processor. Past the actively cooled and heatpipe-connected heatsinks and socket, we run into four reinforced DRAM slots with locking mechanisms on both sides. ASRock lists support for up to DDR5-6400+(OC), a common limit on most AM5 motherboards.
Above the DRAM slots, we run into the first three (of seven) 4-pin fan headers. All headers support PWM and DC modes for device control. Header output varies from 1A (CPU_FAN1), 2A/24W for CHA_FAN1-6, and CPU_FAN2/WP_3A outputs up to 3A/36W. There are plenty of headers with plenty of output available for all your fan and water cooling needs.
To the right of DRAM slots is the first M.2 socket. This unique location, under a sizeable heatsink, holds the only PCIe 5.0 x4 (128 Gbps) M.2 socket on the board. We’ll cover the rest of the slots and their breakdown below. We run into the first two (of four) RGB headers along the right edge. In this case, these are both 3-pin ARGB headers. You’ll also find another ARGB header and the sole 4-pin RGB header on the bottom edge of the board.
ASRock lists the power delivery on the B650E Taichi as a 24+2+1 configuration. Power moves from the 8-pin EPS connector(s) to the Renesas RAA229628 20-phase controller. From there, the signal is split into two for a ‘teamed’ configuration (no phase doublers) and sent to 24x 105A Renesas RAA22010540 SPS MOSFETs dedicated to Vcore. The 2,520A available for the processor matches the X670E Taichi and is one of, if not the highest output we’ve seen. Clearly, power delivery won’t get in the way of any overclocking, including using the flagship Ryzen 9 7950X. But at the same time, this level is clearly not necessary for anything available on AM5, at least for now.
Moving to the bottom half of the board and starting on the left side, we first run into the Realtek ALC 4082 audio codec hidden under the heatsink. Also hiding below the same heatsink are dedicated audio caps, along with four red WIMA caps you can see. The 4082 codec is the latest and greatest and, along with the ESS SABRE9218 DAC for the front panel, this is one of the better audio implementations for the platform, helped by Nahimic software.
In the middle of the board are two more M.2 sockets and two full-length reinforced PCIe slots. Starting with the M.2 sockets, both source their PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps) bandwidth from the chipset and hold up to 80mm modules. I would like to have seen a fourth M.2 socket, but I’m not convinced many people will be missing it, even in the enthusiast community. If you’d like to RAID the NVMe drives, the Taichi supports RAID0/1/10 modes, offering redundancy and insane (on paper) speeds.
Next, the PCIe sockets both use reinforcement to help prevent sagging or shearing from today’s heavy graphics cards. The top PCIe slot connects through the CPU and runs at PCIe 5.0 x16 speeds. The bottom socket, also reinforced, connects through the chipset and runs up to PCIe 4.0 x4. Multi-GPU support isn’t listed, but it theoretically has the minimum bandwidth to support AMD Crossfire.
Continuing right, over the cool gear/cog chipset design piece, on the edge of the board are the four SATA ports (also supporting RAID0/1/10). Hiding below the ports on the backside of the board is a small RGB LED strip that brightens up the inside of your case, along with the illuminated PG symbol on the chipset. Across the bottom of the board are several more exposed headers. You’ll find the typical connections here, including additional USB ports, RGB headers, 4-pin fan headers, and the power and reset buttons. Below is a complete list, from left to right:
- Front panel audio
- (2) 4-pin System fan headers
- 4-pin RGB header
- 3-pin ARGB header
- SPI TPM header
- (2) USB 2.0 ports
- Dr. Debug
- (2) 4-pin System fan headers
- Power and Reset buttons
- Front panel header
The rear IO on the B650E Taichi comes with a pre-installed shroud attached to the motherboard, just like its big brother. It has a black background with the ports labeled in grey. Starting on the left are the Clear CMOS and BIOS Flashback buttons and the Wi-Fi antenna connections. An HDMI port handles video output duties, while the 2.5 Killer-based GbE port is just to the right. The two yellow USB ports are ASRock Lightning Gaming ports (USB 3.2 Gen 2, 10 Gbps), while the eight blue ports stacked up next to them are 5 Gbps. There’s one more 10 Gbps Type-A here, as well as the single 40 Gbps Type-C port. Last is the 2-plug analog and SPDIF audio stack.
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