ASRock Z370 Taichi ‘Coffee Lake’ Motherboard Review

How We Test

This is the third motherboard in our Z370 review series, and we’re including the data for two of the Core i7-8700K’s predecessors while comparing the Z370 Taichi to the Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming 7 and MSI Z370 Godlike Gaming. Those predecessors are the four-core Core i7-7700K that the six-core Core i7-8700K replaces, and the six-core Core i7-7800X that features additional PCIe lanes and DDR4 channels at a similar price.

SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
Graphics DriverGeForce 382.53

Back during the X299 launch, I upgraded my test bed to handle the tremendous heat produced by the Core i9-7900X. Our award-winning Fractal Design S24 liquid cooler system sample serves the same purpose for the newer, lower heat Core i7-8700K. Cooler Master’s HAF-XB provides an optimal layout to blow the Celsius S24’s fans sufficiently over each motherboard’s voltage regulator.

Comparison Products

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Benchmark Settings

Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
PCMark 8Version 2.7.613
Home, Creative, Work, Storage, Applications (Adobe & Microsoft)
3DMark 13Version 4.47.597.0
Skydiver, Firestrike, Firestrike Extreme Default Presets
SiSoftware SandraVersion 2016.03.22.21
CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Cryptography, Memory Bandwidth
DiskSPD4k Random Read, 4k Random Write
128k Sequential Read, 128k Sequential Write
Cinebench R15Build RC83328DEMO
OpenGL Benchmark
CompuBenchVersion 1.5.8
Face Detection, Optical Flow, Ocean Surface, Ray Tracing
Application Tests and Settings
LAME MP3Version 3.98.3
Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3: Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.9.9
Sintel Open Movie Project: 4.19 GB 4k mkv to x265 mp4
Blender Version 2.68a
BMW 27 CPU Render Benchmark, BMW 27 GPU Render Benchmark
7-ZipVersion 16.02
THG-Workload (7.6 GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=9"
Adobe After Effects CCRelease 2015.3.0, Version 13.8.0.144
PCMark driven routine
Adobe Photoshop CCRelease 2015.5.0. 20160603.r.88 x64
PCMark driven routine (light and heavy)
Adobe InDesign CCRelease 2015.4, Build 11.4.0.90 x64
PCMark driven routine
Adobe IllustratorRelease 2015.3.0, Version 20.0.0 (64-bit)
PCMark driven routine
Game Tests and Settings
Ashes of SingularityVersion 1.31.21360
High Preset - 1920x1080, Mid Shadow Quality, 1x MSAA
Crazy Preset - 1920x1090, High Shadow Quality, 2x MSAA
F1 20152015 Season, Abu Dhabi Track, Rain
Medium Preset, No AF
xUltra High Preset, 16x AF
Metro Last Light ReduxVersion 3.00 x64
High Quality, 1920x1080, High Tesselation, 16x AF
Very High Quality, 1920x1080, Very High Tesselation, 16x AF
The Talos PrincipleVersion 267252
Medium Preset, High Quality, High Tesselation, 4x AF
Ultra Preset, VeryHigh Quality, VeryHigh Tesselation, 16x AF

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3 comments
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  • slicedtoad
    Yeah, the dilemma is real. Retesting with new bios updates sets a terrible precedent. For one, you'd have to continually update all motherboard reviews as new Bios versions appear. That'd be an extremely valuable service, but it'd also be insanely time intensive and beyond TH's scope. It'd also remove pressure from the manufacturers to get it right the first time.

    I like Bios updates. They fix bugs, improve compatibility with new releases, etc. But how hard is it to get the basics correct the first time? Bios updates that improve performance should be rare, blue moon types of updates. Calling 500mv vdroop a 'bug' is making me question their QA process.

    At the same time, if I'm looking to buy a mobo, I'm not really going to take into account the old bios. I want the best overclocking ability. I'm not sacrificing that to make a statement about proper QA before release. So the part of this review that matters to my purchasing decision is the Post-Game show. Except that I know that the comparison boards might also have updates that haven't been tested making the comparison kind of useless.

    So, I end up mostly ignoring OC results in these kind of reviews unless they are anomalous. Instead, I head over to somewhere like overclock.net's forums and make use of the data sets in one of the cpu clubs (usually a few months after launch).
  • Crashman
    480561 said:
    Yeah, the dilemma is real. Retesting with new bios updates sets a terrible precedent. For one, you'd have to continually update all motherboard reviews as new Bios versions appear. That'd be an extremely valuable service, but it'd also be insanely time intensive and beyond TH's scope. It'd also remove pressure from the manufacturers to get it right the first time. I like Bios updates. They fix bugs, improve compatibility with new releases, etc. But how hard is it to get the basics correct the first time? Bios updates that improve performance should be rare, blue moon types of updates. Calling 500mv vdroop a 'bug' is making me question their QA process. At the same time, if I'm looking to buy a mobo, I'm not really going to take into account the old bios. I want the best overclocking ability. I'm not sacrificing that to make a statement about proper QA before release. So the part of this review that matters to my purchasing decision is the Post-Game show. Except that I know that the comparison boards might also have updates that haven't been tested making the comparison kind of useless. So, I end up mostly ignoring OC results in these kind of reviews unless they are anomalous. Instead, I head over to somewhere like overclock.net's forums and make use of the data sets in one of the cpu clubs (usually a few months after launch).

    You understand the dilemma, which also explains why I asked a few 2nd and 3rd tier manufacturers "Are you CERTAIN that your firmware is ready?" before NOT reviewing their products a month ago. I'd rather give them a good review in Month 3 than a rotten review in Week 3.
  • Lutfij
    Clean and honest truth laid out at the end of the review! Great work Thomas ;)