ASRock X370 Taichi AMD Ryzen Socket AM4 ATX Motherboard Review

X370 Taichi's UEFI: Growing Pains

For the Taichi line, ASRock abandons the familiar red-and-black clad UEFI in favor of the modern design of the motherboard. Along with the traditional text based feel, ASRock provides well documented descriptions for many options within the menu, which will come in handy in the overclocking segment.

CPU multipliers, DRAM frequency, voltage adjustments, and timing options cover the bulk of the OC Tweaker tab as usual. For Ryzen, though, plenty of new options adorn the OC Tweaker and Advanced tabs, tying into the new architecture. The Zen Commands menu enables various architecture controls and workarounds, while digging through the AMD CBS menu unfolds a huge tree of options that almost never end. The AMD PBS menu accesses Ryzen specific features like enabling the two x8 PCIe Gen 3 ports and SATA express options.

Having received this sample on day one of launch, it's no surprise that we'd be flashing various versions of firmware onto this board. Loading the appropriate BIOS binary onto our jump drive and selecting F11 then “UEFI: Built-in EFI Shell” took care of the process, where we would have preferred the simplicity of the network enabled options.

In time, we hope to see additional firmware updates that remove some of the superfluous options and enable some of the simpler solutions that a top tier motherboard would typically deploy. Given that ASRock has already released publicly three different BIOS versions leads us to believe that the company is on top of it.

Test Configuration

Pretty much our entire rig has been carried over from our C236 platform reviews, so there's nothing unique to talk about here. We were fortunate enough to reach Noctua in time for this article, resulting in three different heatsinks for use in our AM4 reviews. Today, we are deploying the monstrous NH-D15 SE-AM4 on our test bed for maximum cooling and awesomeness. This cooler is so large that getting thermal readings off the Taichi’s voltage regulators was nearly impossible. Compared to my dusty Sunbeamtech from the 990FX reviews, this cooler is more than adequate for cooling my CPU.

As with all of our AMD motherboard reviews, we did not change any settings through the OS or UEFI to alter our results. Our intent is to test the product as a typical user would deploy it. If you're comparing our data to those of other articles, please keep this in mind. If changing the SMT, HPET, or any other setting is desirable, let us know in the comments section.

The Corsair AX860 continues to supply our system with power. Gigabyte's GTX 970 G1 Gaming is deployed to compare this AMD's 1700X data to other platforms using the same GPU. We opted to plug the 250GB OCZ RD400 NVMe M.2 into the U.2 slot to utilize the 32 Gb/s connection rather than the PCIe 2.0 interface.

We are giving our Crucial 8GB UDIMMs a shot in this new platform despite their plain green color. Good thing the Noctua cooler dwarfs all four slots! 

If there are any other pieces of hardware that would be interesting to gather data on, feel free to let us know in the comments.

Benchmark Settings

Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings

PCMark 8

Version 2.7.613
Home, Creative, Work, Storage, Applications (Adobe & Microsoft)

SiSoftware Sandra

Version 2016.03.22.21
CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Cryptography
Memory Bandwidth

DiskSPD

4k Random Read, 4k Random Write
128k Sequential Read, 128k Sequential Write

Cinebench R15

Build RC83328DEMO
OpenGL Benchmark

CompuBench

Version 1.5.8
Face Detection, Optical Flow, Ocean Surface, Ray Tracing

3D Tests and Settings

3DMark 13

Version 4.47.597.0
Test Set 1: Skydiver, 1920x1080, Default Preset
Test Set 2: Firestrike, 1920x1080, Default Preset
Test Set 3: Firestrike Extreme, 2560x1440 Default Preset

Application Tests and Settings

HandBrake CLI

Version: 0.9.9
Sintel Open Movie Project
4.19 GB 4k mkv to x265 mp4

LAME MP3

Version 3.98.3
Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3
Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)

Adobe After Effects CC

Release 2015.3.0
Version 13.8.0.144
PCMark driven routine

Adobe Photoshop CC

Release 2015.5.0
20160603.r.88 x64
PCMark driven routine (light and heavy)

Adobe InDesign CC

Release 2015.4
Build 11.4.0.90 x64
PCMark driven routine

Adobe Illustrator

Release 2015.3.0
Version 20.0.0 (64-bit)
PCMark driven routine

Blender

 Version 2.68a
BMW 27 CPU Render Benchmark
BMW 27 GPU Render Benchmark

7-Zip

Version 16.02
THG-Workload (7.6 GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=9"

Game Tests and Settings

Ashes of Singularity

Version 1.31.21360
High Preset - 1920x1080, Mid Shadow Quality, 1x MSAA
Crazy Preset - 1920x1090, High Shadow Quality, 2x MSAA

F1 2015

2015 Season, Abu Dhabi Track, Rain
UltraHigh Preset, 16x AF

Metro Last Light Redux

Version 3.00 x64
High Quality, 1920x1080, High Tesselation
Very High Quality, 1920x1080, Very High Tesselation

The Talos Principle

Version 267252
Medium Preset, High Quality, High Tesselation, 4x AF
Ultra Preset, VeryHigh Quality, VeryHigh Tesselation, 16x AF

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31 comments
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  • elbert
    Fine motherboard with plenty of options for the average market. I've looked over ASRock's am4 lineup and think they skipped doing their customer wants. AMD customer aren't the same as Intel's. ASRock's am4 line is good but lacks a single model with old school PCI. My last two motherboard's were ASRock's a fine and very stable plateform to build off. Just hope the see AMD's customer's still desire atleast one old school slot.
  • tslot05qsljgo9ed
    No motherboard ECC support no buying.

    All Ryzen's have ECC available so to have motherboards purposely remove the ECC feature is disgraceful.

    24/7 systems like NAS and HTPC need ECC.
  • LiviuTM
    Where does it say "no ECC"? Have you checked ASRock's website?
    http://www.asrock.com/MB/AMD/X370%20Taichi/index.us.asp#Specification
  • eldragon0
    45049 said:
    Fine motherboard with plenty of options for the average market. I've looked over ASRock's am4 lineup and think they skipped doing their customer wants. AMD customer aren't the same as Intel's. ASRock's am4 line is good but lacks a single model with old school PCI. My last two motherboard's were ASRock's a fine and very stable plateform to build off. Just hope the see AMD's customer's still desire atleast one old school slot.


    Where in the world are you seeing customers want an oldschool PCI lane? You know you can put a pcie 1x 4x and 8x card in a 16x slot right? If you're talking about legacy PCI please go out and get new hardware. AMD's customers are the exact same as Intel's don't push your niche needs onto a consumer base as a whole.
  • epobirs
    The most interesting that I first notice is that AMD is first to have USB 3.1 Gen 2 as a native chip set feature. Kaby Lake was a disappointment in that regard.
  • elbert
    1438082 said:
    45049 said:
    Fine motherboard with plenty of options for the average market. I've looked over ASRock's am4 lineup and think they skipped doing their customer wants. AMD customer aren't the same as Intel's. ASRock's am4 line is good but lacks a single model with old school PCI. My last two motherboard's were ASRock's a fine and very stable plateform to build off. Just hope the see AMD's customer's still desire atleast one old school slot.
    Where in the world are you seeing customers want an oldschool PCI lane? You know you can put a pcie 1x 4x and 8x card in a 16x slot right? If you're talking about legacy PCI please go out and get new hardware. AMD's customers are the exact same as Intel's don't push your niche needs onto a consumer base as a whole.

    I'm talking about legacy PCI and I'm not pushing a niche. ASUS, MSI, and Gigabyte all three offer a motherboard with 2 PCI slots. I'm thinking tomahawk unless ASRock has one coming.
    https://pcpartpicker.com/product/fPDzK8/asus-prime-b350-plus-atx-am4-motherboard-prime-b350-plus
    https://pcpartpicker.com/product/Y4kwrH/msi-b350-tomahawk-atx-am4-motherboard-b350-tomahawk
    https://pcpartpicker.com/product/HQvZxr/gigabyte-ga-ab350m-d3h-micro-atx-am4-motherboard-ga-ab350m-d3h
  • pjgowtham
    why " could have done without the wifi " in the cons ?
    isnt it a good thing that AsRock added wireless 802.11ac and BT 4.2 on the board for people who are looking to purchase it seperately?
  • the nerd 389
    Regarding temperatures, Ryzen adds 20 C to the CPU diode temperature over what it physically measures on that CPU.

    See:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/amd-ryzen-7-1800x-update,33900.html
  • spdragoo
    2381346 said:
    why " could have done without the wifi " in the cons ? isnt it a good thing that AsRock added wireless 802.11ac and BT 4.2 on the board for people who are looking to purchase it seperately?


    Depends on how many people are using it. I think it's safe to say that the majority of desktop PC users don't have a need for Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth for their desktop PC. Personally, my desktop PC sits in the same room as my cable modem & router, with maybe 3 feet/1 meter separating the router & PC. So if I were to build a new PC, & had the choice between 2 motherboards that -- aside from Wi-Fi & Bluetooth had the same specs -- I would most likely pick the one without Wi-Fi & Bluetooth, as it would most likely a) cost less than the other board, or b) would have some additional feature because there was more room on the motherboard for other silicon (i.e. extra SATA/eSATA/M.2 slots, better onboard sound, etc.).
  • tslot05qsljgo9ed
    Quote: Where does it say "no ECC"? Have you checked ASRock's website?
    http://www.asrock.com/MB/AMD/X370%20Taichi/index.us.asp#Specification

    Nowhere does it say it supports ECC. If it does not state it supports then it does not support ECC.
  • tslot05qsljgo9ed
    Correction this board does in fact support ECC. Great job ASRock as they are the first to actually state support for ECC memory.
  • Dreuseff
    The specifications tab as linked AND the manual BOTH say: "Supports DDR4 3200+(OC)/2933(OC)/2667/2400/2133 ECC and non-ECC, un-buffered memory"
  • drajitsh
    Is there any ryzen motherboard released or planned that SKIPS the chipset completely. With 2 USB 3.1 gen 2 ports and 2 sata +1 m2 the 4 chipset pcie lanes can be used for things. E.G. a 10 GbE card or another FULL speed M2
  • Dreuseff
    "In time, we hope to see additional firmware updates that remove some of the superfluous options and enable some of the simpler solutions that a top tier motherboard would typically deploy."
    No. The kind of people that buy a 16 power phase motherboard are going to be enthusiast overclockers, the kind of people that believe having control over more options are a convenience. This is not a CON. And with all my heart, I really hope ASRock agrees with me and NOT you on this matter.
  • theterk
    @PJGOWTHAM - I had to put SOMETHING down as a con for this board. I believe this product would have done well without the wifi option, but as others have said this might be a selling point people want.
    @DREUSEFF - Having options is good, as long as you know what you're doing. The average user probably would not touch most of the AMD CBS or PBS menu. And, when the vendor clearly states "From a workaround for GCC/C......" it shouldn't be provided in the menu. It should be baked in.
  • Wisecracker
    I'm sure you guys had good reasons, but since most folks are more interested in gaming, why gimp the older mobo with an HD7970 ?? And then brag about how the new AM4 arch thumps it --- with a GTX 970 ??

    It's not even in the same zip code for an Apples-to-Apples comparison. It was poor decision, and kinda calls into question the efficacy of the rest of the article.

    If someone is interested in gaming, the bottom line, here, is that you can save $300+ to put toward your graphics (or other goodies) with an 8+2 970 AM3+ mobo (like the Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3P ?), a Vishera CPU (the FX-6350 ? ) and a CM T4 cooler (works great for me).

    Gosh ... you could add a Radeon R9 Fury 4GB HBM ($255 before $20 rebate) plus 8GB of DDR3 1866, and laugh and laugh and laugh at the gamers who spent 2X the cash for the same performance.
  • theterk
    117113 said:
    I'm sure you guys had good reasons, but since most folks are more interested in gaming, why gimp the older mobo with an HD7970 ?? And then brag about how the new AM4 arch thumps it --- with a GTX 970 ??
    feel free to ship me a gtx 1080ti and I'll re-run the suite.

    Interesting to note, a lot of the data out on the web is only testing Ryzen's with 1070s, 1080s, and higher end AMD GPUs. Providing this data point is useful for data continuities in my reviews as well as another data point for people to factor into their own purchases.
  • Olle P
    I'm a bit disappointed with this review. It's not very deep in its presentation and analysis of the board, but spend lots of effort comparing two very different, seemingly arbitrarily built, computers. That "test" doesn't show anything with regards to this motherboard.

    45049 said:
    Fine motherboard with plenty of options for the average market. ... Asrock ... lacks a single model with old school PCI.
    While I can't see this particular top end board being aimed at the "average market" I do agree that having a PCI-slot would be nice for those enthusiasts (like me) doing incremental upgrades to their computers.
    There's no reason to replace a fully functioning non-critical part just because it's old.

    587530 said:
    2381346 said:
    why " could have done without the wifi " in the cons?
    I think it's safe to say that the majority of desktop PC users don't have a need for Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth for their desktop PC.
    I beg to differ. In a family house with a couple of desktop computers most of them will use WiFi. I'll happily pay an additional $20 or so to get WiFi with the motherboard.
  • CTPAHHIK
    There is a Newegg review for this board claiming lack of RAM support above 2400Mhz, including modules from official compatibility list. Please test RAM overclocking as soon as possible. 2400Mhz restriction will render this board as junk as well as damage your credibility as reviewer.
  • theterk
    @CTPAHHIK - I successfully ran DDR4-2666 with my DDR4-2400 rated DIMMs. They were a carry over from my previous C236 articles though I do have some DDR4-3200 lined up for the next one. Net - Don't trust Newegg review, trust Terk!
  • Onus
    I would like to have seen the same graphics card used on the new system as the old. As is, you've introduced a major confounding element into many tests.

    In a hunt for "Cons" I'd have included lack of legacy PCI, price, and possibly that you might not be able to re-use an old CPU cooler on the new socket.

    I'm a little unclear on the Crossfire / SLI. The chart says "4x,4x," but then also says the PCIe3.0 slots run at either x16/x0 or x8/x8.
  • FinneousPJ
    Thanks, I've been waiting for this. I hope next is the other board I'm contemplating, the Asus Prime X370 Pro.
  • hurnii
    It's not just a reviewer at NewEgg, it's AMD.

    Ryzen CPU Memory Support MHz
    Dual-Channel/Dual-Rank/Four-DIMM1866
    Dual-Channel/Single-Rank/Four-DIMM2133
    Dual-Channel/Dual-Rank/Two-DIMM2400
    Dual-Channel/Single-Rank/Two-DIMM2667

    Unfortunately, many RAM providers do not publish which Rank their DIMMs are (at a guess, many 8G are single, but believe most (if not all) 16G or larger are double). Have heard of triple, but would guess not supported. CPU-Z's SPD tab will tell the tale.

    Getting a pair of Double Ranked DIMMs to run at 2667 (or faster) would be considered overclocking them. AMD doesn't support, but who knows how fast the motherboards are capable of pushing the CPU?

    All I know is that my pair of 16G DIMMs (32 total) will not post at 2667, even though they're rated for 3200. (using ASRock Fatal1ty X370 Professional Gaming and latest 1.55 beta UEFI (BIOS))
  • mapesdhs
    309219 said:
    Interesting to note, a lot of the data out on the web is only testing Ryzen's with 1070s, 1080s, and higher end AMD GPUs. Providing this data point is useful for data continuities in my reviews as well as another data point for people to factor into their own purchases.


    I plan on testing Ryzen with a bunch of older GPUs. Understandable that the vocal forum posting community and tech sites in general like to obsess over the latest and greatest, but in reality a lot of people upgrade their systems in stages, carrying over parts from one build to the next. What I've found is that often older mbds/CPUs handle newer GPUs a lot better than people typically assume. It's why, last time I checked, I hold all the 3DMark records for P55. :D (triple 980)

    Ian.