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ASRock Z390 Taichi ATX Motherboard Review: i9 With More Power

How We Test

Comparatively, the Z390 Taichi falls between the previously-reviewed MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon and Z390 Aorus Master in price and features. We’re also adding the previous-generation Z370 Taichi to see how much better the new board is at handling the higher amperage load of our Core i9-9900K processor.

SoundIntegrated HD audio
NetworkIntegrated gigabit networking
Graphics DriverGeForce 399.24

The same platform that cooled the ten cores of our Core i9-7900X works equally well with the eight cores of the Core i9-9900K, as we’ll show in the overclocking evaluation on the next page.

Comparison Products

Benchmark Settings

Synthetic Benchmarks & Settings
PCMark 8Version 2.7.613Home, Creative, Work, Storage, Applications (Adobe & Microsoft)
3DMark 13Version 4.47.597.0Skydiver, Firestrike, Firestrike Extreme Default Presets
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 13.8.0.144PCMark-driven routine
Adobe Photoshop CCRelease 2015.5.0, 20160603.r.88 x64PCMark-driven routine (light and heavy)
Adobe InDesign CCRelease 2015.4, Build 11.4.0.90 x64PCMark-driven routine
Adobe IllustratorRelease 2015.3.0, Version 20.0.0 (64-bit)PCMark-driven routine
Game Tests & Settings
Ashes of the SingularityVersion 1.31.21360High Preset - 1920 x 1080, Mid Shadow Quality, 1x MSAACrazy Preset - 1920 x 1080, High Shadow Quality, 2x MSAA
F1 20152015 Season, Abu Dhabi track, RainMedium Preset, no AFUltra High Preset, 16x AF
Metro: Last Light ReduxVersion 3.00 x64High Quality, 1920 x 1080, High Tesselation, 16x AFVery High Quality, 1920 x 1080, Very High Tesselation, 16x AF
The Talos PrincipleVersion 267252Medium Preset, High Quality, High Tesselation, 4x AFUltra Preset, Very High Quality, Very High Tesselation, 16x AF

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  • xxxlun4icexxx
    Will you be reviewing the Tacihi Ultimate as well? That is the board I purchased and I am wondering how much of a difference there is between the regular and the ulti!
    Reply
  • Crashman
    21414831 said:
    Will you be reviewing the Tacihi Ultimate as well? That is the board I purchased and I am wondering how much of a difference there is between the regular and the ulti!
    Yes. You could even see it as ASRock's second bite at the apple, since it has the same voltage regulator and will be tested with newer firmware.
    Reply
  • xxxlun4icexxx
    21414838 said:
    21414831 said:
    Will you be reviewing the Tacihi Ultimate as well? That is the board I purchased and I am wondering how much of a difference there is between the regular and the ulti!
    Yes. You could even see it as ASRock's second bite at the apple, since it has the same voltage regulator and will be tested with newer firmware.

    Thanks!

    Do you recommend when I first install my mobo/cpu that I check for board bios updates, or just ride it out for a while until everyone gets settled with the new cpus?
    Reply
  • Crashman
    21414851 said:
    21414838 said:
    21414831 said:
    Will you be reviewing the Tacihi Ultimate as well? That is the board I purchased and I am wondering how much of a difference there is between the regular and the ulti!
    Yes. You could even see it as ASRock's second bite at the apple, since it has the same voltage regulator and will be tested with newer firmware.

    Thanks!

    Do you recommend when I first install my mobo/cpu that I check for board bios updates, or just ride it out for a while until everyone gets settled with the new cpus?
    Thus far they're only advertising better 3DMark performance, and if that's the case I'd wait for one that gives it better voltage control for greater efficiency and overclocking.

    Reply
  • xxxlun4icexxx
    21414928 said:
    21414851 said:
    21414838 said:
    21414831 said:
    Will you be reviewing the Tacihi Ultimate as well? That is the board I purchased and I am wondering how much of a difference there is between the regular and the ulti!
    Yes. You could even see it as ASRock's second bite at the apple, since it has the same voltage regulator and will be tested with newer firmware.

    Thanks!

    Do you recommend when I first install my mobo/cpu that I check for board bios updates, or just ride it out for a while until everyone gets settled with the new cpus?
    Thus far they're only advertising better 3DMark performance, and if that's the case I'd wait for one that gives it better voltage control for greater efficiency and overclocking.

    Thanks Crashman, I appreciate the info.
    Reply
  • mlee 2500
    Thanks for the review, like the other poster I look forward to the Taichi Z390 Ultimate review, as that is the board I'm inclined towards from a feature set perspective, and perhaps it will show improvement with newer firmware.

    At of today, it looks like ASRock has made a 1.38 version BIOS available as a "Beta" release. I"m going to sit tight and track their BIOS releases before building with the i9-9900K. I'm a little surprised there hasn't already been more evolution as the vendor has had these boards and CPU's to test with for quite some time now.

    The Tachi Z390/i9-9900K power draw, combined with a single newer RTX 2080 GPU, isn't going to leave allot of head room for a 650W power supply.

    A couple other more minor details for ASRock (and all mobo manufacturers) to consider:

    (1) Please make the integrated USB type A connectors color coded to reflect their version. They're all blue, which means you look back there to plug something in and then have to grab the manual or pull up a PDF to see which is 3.1, 3.0, and so forth. That's the last thing you want to do.

    (2) Also, a couple "dummy" SATA plugs which the consumer could plug into SATA headers which are disabled when using M.2 drives might save people allot of grief, and possibly even prevent some support calls.

    (3) Thank You ASRock for including DTS Connect! Allot of us have nice high end surround speakers you can't or wouldn't want to drive directly from the mobo, and connecting a monitor at greater than 60Hz (or via DisplayPort) makes HDMI audio pass-through to a home theater receiver a non-starter. DTS connect (or Dobly Digital Live) should be a standard feature from every mobo vendors mid-tier or better products.
    Reply
  • rantoc
    They say its SLI capable but yet have the same "stupid" 3 slots spacing resulting in the typical air starvation of the main card since it will be obstructed by the second card. Todays big custom air cooled cards are 2.5 to 3 pcie slots wide, not the old typical 2 pcie - When will the MB makers "evolve" to the new width of the cards for multigpu and who will be the first?
    Reply
  • Crashman
    21416967 said:
    They say its SLI capable but yet have the same "stupid" 3 slots spacing resulting in the typical air starvation of the main card since it will be obstructed by the second card. Todays big custom air cooled cards are 2.5 to 3 pcie slots wide, not the old typical 2 pcie - When will the MB makers "evolve" to the new width of the cards for multigpu and who will be the first?
    Even the founder's edition cards are only two slots, and most of the oversized cards are 2.5 slots. A 3-slot cooling design is a defective design, and such cards should be called out for that. We're already putting the top x16 slot in the case's 2nd slot hole to make space for oversized CPU coolers, voltage regulators and DIMM cooling, and there's a scarcity of 8-slot cases, so two three-slot cards at 4-slot spacing doesn't even make sense. For those reseaons, if I review a board with the 2nd x16 slot aligned to the case's 6th card hole, I'll probably just write it off as a bad idea.
    Reply
  • pincher.lala.2014
    how abou this .... --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGHiRrQ2AAo
    Reply
  • pincher.lala.2014
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGHiRrQ2AAo

    explain that
    Reply