For our first X670 motherboard review, after careful consideration (literally a coin toss) we started with the X670E Taichi. As many know from previous generations, the Taichi is an upper-midrange model, but until we see the Aqua, this is the flagship X670E board in ASRock’s product stack. In addition to the basics (AM5 LGA socket, DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 support), the X670E Taichi sports a slew of connectivity, including two USB 4 Type-C ports, robust 27-phase power delivery, a high-quality audio section, and Killer based networking. For $499.99, it’s a well-equipped and good-looking base for AMD’s new platform.
At the time of this writing, ASRock’s website listed 14 AM5-based motherboards. There are five high-end X670E boards (Taichi/Taichi Carrara, Steel Legend, PG Lightning and Pro RS) and nine B650E/B650 boards (Taichi, Steel Legend, PG Riptide, PG-ITX, Pro RS, and the PG Lightning). Mixed in among the B650 SKUs are two MicroATX options and a new SKU called LiveMixer that looks like a throwback to the old colorful DFI boards from back in the day. Prices range from $529.99 (Taichi Carrara) to $259 (PG Lightning) for X670E, while the price range for B650 boards starts at $169.99 (PG Riptide),up to the B650E Taichi at $449.99.
Moving back to the Taichi, the board includes everything the new AM5 platform offers. On top of that, it’s arguably one of the more classy-looking motherboards on the platform. The chipset heatsink sports the familiar gears/cogs that make it a Taichi, with the rest of the board oozing premium vibes. Performance on our Taichi was average, with nothing sticking out as unusually slow or fast. Over time, this may change as the number of datasets we have grows with each review. But for now, there’s nothing abnormal here, and you can expect to squeeze every MHz worth of performance out of your AMD Ryzen 7000 processor with this board.
Below, we’ll take a detailed look into the features and specs to better understand how this motherboard stacks up against the competition. For details about platform differences, please refer to the X670 Motherboard Overview article. After we see a few of these AM5 boards, we’ll see if any earned a spot on the best motherboards list. Before we get into all the details, here is a complete list of specifications from ASRock’s website.
Specifications: ASRock X670E Taichi
|Voltage Regulator||27 Phase (24x 105A SPS MOSFETs for Vcore)|
|Video Ports||(1) HDMI (v2.1)|
|Row 5 - Cell 0||(2) USB4|
|USB Ports||(2) USB4 Type-C (40 Gbps)|
|Row 7 - Cell 0||(5) USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps)|
|Row 8 - Cell 0||(3) USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)|
|Network Jacks||(1) 2.5 GbE|
|Audio Jacks||(2) Analog + SPDIF|
|PCIe x16||(2) v5.0 (x16, x8/x8)|
|DIMM Slots||(4) DDR5 6000+(OC), 128GB Capacity|
|M.2 Sockets||(1) PCIe 5.0 x4 (128 Gbps) / PCIe (up to 80mm)|
|Row 20 - Cell 0||(2) PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps) / PCIe (up to 80mm)|
|Row 21 - Cell 0||(1) PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps) / PCIe + SATA (up to 110mm)|
|Row 22 - Cell 0||Supports RAID 0/1/5|
|SATA Ports||(8) SATA3 6 Gbps (Supports RAID 0/1/5/10)|
|USB Headers||(1) USB v3.2 Gen 2x2, Type-C (20 Gbps)|
|Row 26 - Cell 0||(2) USB v3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)|
|Row 27 - Cell 0||(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)|
|Row 30 - Cell 0||(1) RGB (4-pin)|
|Diagnostics Panel||(1) Dr. Debug LED|
|Row 32 - Cell 0||(1) POST LEDs|
|Internal Button/Switch||Power and Reset buttons|
|SATA Controllers||(2) ASMedia ASM1061|
|Ethernet Controller(s)||(1) Killer E3100G (2.5 GbE)|
|Wi-Fi / Bluetooth||Killer AX1675 Wi-Fi 6E (2x2 ax, MU-MIMO, 2.4/5/6 GHz, 160 MHz, BT 5.2)|
|HD Audio Codec||Realtek ALC4082 (ESS SABRE9218 DAC)|
|DDL/DTS||✗ / ✗|
Inside the Box of the ASRock X670E Taichi
Inside the box along with the motherboard, ASRock throws in a decent collection of accessories designed to get your system up and running without an additional trip to the store. Of particular note included with the Taichi (and for sale alone for compatible ASRock boards) is the Blazing M.2 Gen5 Fan Heatsink. The device has a lot more mass, surface area, and an included fan to help keep the hot-running PCIe 4.0 (and 5.0 when they release) SSD modules cool. Below is a complete list of the included accessories.
- (4) SATA cables
- Wi-Fi antenna
- Wireless Dongle USB Bracket
- Blazing M.2 Gen5 Fan Heatsink
- (1) M.2 standoffs
- (4) screws for M.2 sockets
- Custom keycap
- Velcro strops
- User Guide
Design of the ASRock X670E Taichi
As noted earlier, I like the appearance of the Taichi boards, and this model in particular. From the ground up, the all-black 8-layer PCB has several heatsinks and shrouds covering all the bits that get hot, as well as otherwise unattractive parts of the board you probably don’t want to look at. The VRM heatsinks surrounding the twelve and nine o’clock sections of the LGA-1718 socket have a lot of mass and use a tiny fan hidden inside to keep the air moving across the metal surface. The PCIe and chipset area is also covered with heatsinks, with the latter sporting the unique gears/cogs design familiar to the Taichi. A gold strip with branding and the Taichi motto (Philosophy of Infinite Potential) runs from the bottom to the top of the board.
On the RGB front, ASRock again chose to go the more classy route, with RGB areas on the chipset and the right edge of the board by the SATA ports. The RGB lights are saturated and plenty bright enough to illuminate the inside of your chassis, but this isn't an elaborate implementation. The X670E Taichi is happy to either let your other parts stand out or be the focal point of your new build.
Focusing on the top of the board, we get a good look at the oversize VRM heatsinks, reinforced DRAM slots, and more. Starting in the upper-left corner, we spy a vented shroud that reaches over the VRM heatsink to allow cool air to pass through the fan hidden below and onto the heatpipe-connected heatsinks. The fan is barely audible at load and blends in with other fan noise coming from the case, so no worries there. Above the VRM heatsinks are two 8-pin EPS connectors (one required) to power the CPU.
To the right of the socket, we run into four reinforced DRAM slots with locking mechanisms on both sides. The board supports up to 128GB of DDR5 with speeds listed up to DDR5-6000+(OC). This isn’t the highest supported speed you’ll see from motherboard vendors, but the board worked with our DDR5-6000 kit; we expect headroom to increase over time as the platform matures.
We run into our first two (of eight) 4-pin fan headers just above (and also below) the DRAM slots. The board supports both DC and PWM fans, with each header capable of outputting at least 1A/12W. For high-powered pumps, the CPU_FAN2/WP_3A header outputs up to 3A/36W. You’ll manage airflow through the BIOS or in Windows via ASRock’s A-Tuning application (in the FAN-Tastic Tuning section).
To the right of the DRAM slots is the first M.2 socket, in this case, M2_2. This socket supports up to 110mm SATA and PCIe-based modules with speeds up to PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps). The other three, including the PCIe 5.0 connected socket, are located around the PCIe slots.
Finally, along the top-right edge, we run into another 4-pin fan header and two 3-pin addressable RGB headers. Continuing down the PCB, we spy the 24-pin ATX connector to power the board, another fan header, and USB 3.2 Gen 1 and 3.2 Gen 2x2 front panel headers. Something that you’ll see on many of these boards is USB count and/or speed going up on this platform. With the additional lanes and bandwidth, motherboard partners have a lot of flexibility with how their boards are configured.
Power delivery on the X670E Taichi is one of the more well-built we’ll likely see on the platform. Power comes from the EPS connector(s) to a Renesas RAA229628 controller. The Vcore portion runs into 24x 105A Renesas RAA22010540 SPS MOSFETs setup in a teamed configuration (one signal for two MOSFETs, no phase doubling). Overall, there’s plenty of VRM to support the flagship AMD Ryzen 9 7950X. Be it stock or overclocked (for what little the latter is worth these days), the power delivery won’t hold you back. Your cooling will.
Moving to the bottom half of the board, we’ll start on the left side that houses the audio section. Hidden under a shroud is a premium Realtek ALC4082 codec along with an ESS SABRE9218 DAC designated for front panel duty. Poking out from under the shrouds and heatsink are a few red WIMA audio caps, while several other dedicated audio caps are hidden. The ALC4082 codec is one of the best integrated options available.
In the middle of the board are two reinforced, full-length PCIe slots for graphics and other peripherals. Both slots source their bandwidth from the CPU and run PCIe 5.0, with the top slot running up to x16 and the bottom slot running up to x8. With both slots occupied, it splits to PCIe 5.0 x8/x8 for each slot. There’s plenty of bandwidth to support SLI, but ASRock only lists Crossfire support with this configuration.
Sprinkled among the PCIe slots are three more M.2 sockets. The top socket, M2_1, connects directly to the CPU and is your “Blazing” PCIe 5.0 x4 (128 Gbps) socket. M2_3, and M2_4 get their PCIE 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps) lanes from the chipset. All three sockets support up to 80mm PCIe modules only (only M2_2 supports SATA M.2 modules).
Moving across the chipset heatsink to the right edge, we run into eight SATA ports. Four are native to the chipset, while the others come from two ASMedia ASM1061 chips. That said, some lane sharing occurs between the M2_2 socket and SATA3_A1 port. If a SATA-type M.2 module occupies the M2_2 socket, SATA3_A1 will be disabled. With seven other SATA ports and three other M.2 modules available simultaneously, this shouldn't be an issue for almost anyone.
Across the bottom of the board are several exposed headers. You’ll find the usual, including additional USB ports, RGB headers, and more. Below is a complete list from left to right.
- Front panel audio
- 4-pin chassis fan header
- 3-pin ARGB header
- 4-pin RGB header
- (2) USB 2.0 headers
- USB 3.2 Gen 1 header
- (2) 4-pin fan headers
- Power and Reset buttons
- System panel header
The rear IO area comes with a pre-installed IO plate that matches the Taichi theme with a black background and grey labels/designs. There are eight USB ports on the rear IO, which should be enough for most users. You’ll find the two USB4 Type-C ports, five USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports (10 Gbps) , and three USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps) ports. Two Gen 2 ports (in yellow) are the lightning USB ports for lower latency for your keyboard and mouse. Video output consists of a single HDMI (v2.1) port and the two USB4 ports. For networking, the X670E Taichi has one Ethernet port and Wi-Fi antenna connections next to CMOS Reset and BIOS Flashback buttons. Lastly, the audio stack is a simple 2-plug analog (mic-in, line-out) and SPDIF.
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the closer to the cpu, the less latency in getting data to and from the cpu. that's why ram slots are as close as possible to minimize how far the data has to go thus lowering latency as much as possible.
that's why the slots are closest to the cpu.
i do agree though that covering the m.2 slot with a gpu, does take away using the heatsinks and such that can be needed or are just pretty to look at. i'm not sure where you could move it though to keep it close to the cpu, yet not under the gpu. lowering the pcie slot to put it above the gpu, though not very far, would add to the latency of the gpu and people would lose their freaking minds if some reviewer showed .2 fps less or some other trivial number due to moving it the couple inches.
under the mobo would be a good option except you'd still not get thick heatsinks under there. that and the vrm's and such near the cpu can get aweful hot and mounting an m.2 drive right under them would probably burn it up real fast.
Three words: latency and cost. The farther your GPU is from the CPU socket the more latency added. That will steal fps from your system (miniscule amount) and limit responsiveness in games. Then there are the redrivers for PCIe 5.0 they need to be added to extend the signal (it degrades quickly for PCIe 4.0/5.0) which adds costs to the BOM.
that bottom slot at x8 at 4.0 (which recall is x16 at 3.0 speeds) is enough for the gpu. but then it would not be x16 and 5.0. and OMG if there is a higher number i don't have, then i am not getting what i could. does not matter that performance would not be impacted. there is still a bigger number i don't have and I NEED IT!!!!
we don't need pcie 5.0 as it is, yet there it is and we all must have it. so yah they could move some stuff around and still make a fine board, but the buyers would never go for having a smaller number than someone else has. egos and FOMO would never allow such a thing. :)
The answer is no. It will be a bottleneck. I am not sure if the bottom slot is 8 or 16x pcie 4.0 slot. However, that doesn't matter. It's from the chipset. The path between CPU and chipset is just pcie 4.0 4x... Any nvme using chipset will have to use that as well.
This is a concern for several of the x670e boards available.
System takes forever to boot, even after memory training and using a Samsung 980 pro. It takes at least 60 seconds and then after it boots into windows it will boot itself again EVERY TIME after about two minutes. Troubleshooting with ASROCK has not fixed any of this, even with new Bios. Once system is up it runs well however. I have not tried OC the CPU yet.
The board comes with the primary M2 active heatsink cooler with fan.....but I cannot use it because it interferes with my two slot RTX 3080. Back side of RTX 3080 hits the heat sink and card has a hard time seating properly.
The onboard sound is not good. I get bad distortions in sound as if something is interfering with the sound circuits or controller.
To solve the sound issue, I had to install a Creative Labs Sound Blaster Z sound card. This highlights another issue. The PCIE slots (only two of them) are so close together that the SB Z half card masks the first fan on my RTX 3080. There is NO WAY I could install a new RTX 3090 that is a three slot design with anything in the second PCIE slot. The only way to to install a RTX 4090 would be to buy one with a AIO cooler that keeps the RTX board to a one or two slot size. Good luck on finding one of those in the next year.
The board itself, once it finally boots up, runs great...but the above issues make me regret buying it. I was looking on getting a MSI X670E Carbon but none to be had. To everyone upgrading, if you are planning and running a RTX 4090 then avoid this board. Hopefull rev 2.0 of this board will fix some of these early issues. I have always had ASROCK MB's in my builds but they dropped the ball on some design issues on this one.
The Msi Carbon seems nicer on the i/o's ports
Understand that the AM5 is a completely new platform and it will take some time to sort out driver and AGESA issues. This is always the case with any new platform regardless of the mobo brand. The latest BIOS that I have seen is 1.09 for most Asrock boards with an updated AGESA from AMD. Now days there is almost an infinite combination of add-in components for a PC so it's not easy for any mobo maker to test every combination. That being said Asrock IME does seem to address issues fairly quickly.
Clearly there are people using this specific mobo without issues so it's highly unlikely that there is a fundamental design issue with this mobo as all motherboard makers work from AMDs design guide. More than likely over the next few months the issues will be resolved but there is always challenges for early adopters.
B650 and X670 mothreboards were no option for me, as these MBs have no PCIe 5.0 slot and at best just for M.2.
Of course, PCIe 5.0 is not needed for current-gen GPUs, and a bit of an open question if already in about a week released new AMD GPUs will make use of it. But I hope the MB will last me at least several years, and probably some more GPU developments in that time as well.
An usual mid-tower would leave little to no room at the bottom slot for proper air ventilation. So it doesn't seem much of a mainstream solution to ask everyone to use the bottom slot (even aside of the mentioned issue of latency).
But, e.g. specifically the reviewed X670E Taichi has a second PCIe 5.0 x16 slot at the bottom (only one can be used as x16 at the same time), and the X650E Taichi has the Gen5 M.2 to the side of the RAM. Or e.g. ROG Strix B650E-E Gaming WiFi, that one has likewise two PCIe 5.0 16x slots, and it has two Gen5 M.2 spots, one of which is at the bottom.
The price may be an issue of course. Which is why I went for a MB which has the Gen5 M.2 inbetween GPU and CPU, where I personally worry more about an eventual M.2 cooler colliding with a larger CPU air cooler (which then led me to pick a case with among other clearance for the CPU cooler height, to leave me soom options if or when I upgrade the CPU - something which is also relevant in regard to RAM, as DDR5 has a bit more height).
But if one wants to be able to hit the ground running with Gen5 M.2 SSDs, without having to wait for improved M.2 cooler solutions and/or without having to rethink the entire rig cooling in use, then there are as mentioned already some motherboards to consider.