ASRock X399M Taichi Review: TR4 Goes Tiny

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Test Configuration and Article Specifics

For the most part, our X399 test bench programs haven’t changed over the past year. We still have instances where applications are broken due to software incompatibilities with high core counts. We are, though, happy see that the introduction of even more cores with our second-generations Threadripper 2990WX doesn’t break more test programs.

Test System Configuration

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SoundIntegrated HD audio
NetworkIntegrated gigabit networking
Graphics DriverGeForce 399.24

Comparison Products

Benchmark Settings

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Synthetic Benchmarks & Settings
PCMark 8Version 2.7.613Home, Work, Storage, Applications (Adobe & Microsoft)
3DMark 13Version 4.47.597.0Test Set 1: Skydiver, 1920x1080, Default PresetTest Set 2: Firestrike, 1920x1080, Default PresetTest Set 3: Firestrike Extreme, 2560x1440 Default Preset
SiSoftware SandraVersion 2016.03.22.21CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Cryptography, Memory Bandwidth
DiskSPD4K Random Read, 4K Random Write128K Sequential Read, 128K Sequential Write
Cinebench R15Build RC83328DEMOOpenGL Benchmark
CompuBenchVersion 1.5.8Face Detection, Optical Flow, Ocean Surface, Ray Tracing
Application Tests & Settings
LAME MP3Version 3.98.3Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3: Command: -b 160 --nores (160Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.9.9Sintel Open Movie Project: 4.19GB 4K mkv to x265 mp4
BlenderVersion 2.68aBMW 27 CPU Render Benchmark, BMW 27 GPU Render Benchmark
7-ZipVersion 16.02THG-Workload (7.6GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=9"
Adobe After Effects CCRelease 2015.3.0, Version routine
Adobe Photoshop CCRelease 2015.5.0, 20160603.r.88 x64PCMark-driven routine (light and heavy)
Adobe InDesign CCRelease 2015.4, Build x64PCMark-driven routine
Adobe IllustratorRelease 2015.3.0, Version 20.0.0 (64-bit)PCMark-driven routine
Game Tests & Settings
Ashes of the Singularity: EscalationVersion 2.50.28527High Preset - 1920x1080, Mid Shadow Quality, 1x MSAACrazy Preset - 1920x1080, High Shadow Quality, 2x MSAAHigh Preset - 3840x2160, Mid Shadow Quality, 1x MSAACrazy Preset -3840x2160, High Shadow Quality, 2x MSAA
F1 20152015 Season, Abu Dhabi track, Rain1920x1080 - UltraHigh Preset, 16x AF3840x2160 - UltraHigh Preset, 16x AF
Metro: Last Light ReduxVersion 3.00 x64High Quality, 1920x1080, High TesselationVery High Quality, 1920x1080, Very High TesselationHigh Quality, 3840x2160, High TesselationVery High Quality, 3840x2160, Very High Tesselation
The Talos PrincipleVersion 2672521920x1080 - Medium Preset, High Quality, High Tesselation, 4x AF1920x1080 - Ultra Preset, VeryHigh Quality, VeryHigh Tesselation, 16x AF3840x2160 - Medium Preset, High Quality, High Tesselation, 4x AF3840x2160 - Ultra Preset, VeryHigh Quality, VeryHigh Tesselation, 16x AF

With the introduction of the 32-core 2990WX and other 2000 series Threadrippers, existing X399 motherboards technically support the power limitations of these latest processors with limited boosting abilities. To test that specification against this tiny board’s stature, we've introduced the 2990WX into our testing regimen and will also be featuring it and this board in an upcoming Micro-ATX Monster build feature. Our goal today though is to see how this motherboard handles our standard test suite as well as this worst-case power scenario with AMD's latest 32-core monster chip.

Our pristine tempered-glass Corsair 570X case has fallen prey to the dangerous combination of pre-adolescent hands and permanent markers. It still works, so leave us tips on how to remove markers in the comments! On a more serious note, the Antec 1200W is a necessary inclusion to our test rig, since overclocking a 2990WX can bring system load numbers into the 800W range. Tacking on the GPU might even bring even this power supply to its knees. Our Flare X kit still provides DDR4-3200 speeds and overclocks fairly well in the right system. System storage is satisfied with the Toshiba RD400 256GB NVMe drive. Cooling our processor today is the Fractal Design S36 Celcius, so we’ll be testing its capability of cooling these processor configurations. We’re still using the GTX 1080 card because RTX cards are still hard to come by--as are games that currently support ray tracing.

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