ASRock Z790 Taichi Carrara Review: Marble Meets the Motherboard

Unique marbled appearance, plus 14 USB ports (including two USB4/Thunderbolt 4)

ASRock Z790 Taichi Carrara
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

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Firmware

ASRock’s firmware for Z790 keeps the same general format as we saw in the Z690 model. The major changes are the updated options/functions for the Raptor Lake CPU. The Taichi Carrara’s background is just as unique as the board, with the marble pattern finding its way here, too. You start in Easy Mode, which is mostly informative but lets you change a few options (XMP, profiles, boot order, Fan-Tastic Tuning, etc.).

Advanced mode displays headings across the top with details below. Here you can tweak everything to your heart’s desire, as ASRock includes basically every option you can think of. Overclocking is easy, with most options on the same page, with some power options in a different section. It’s a logical layout and the movement is smooth and it’s easy to read. No complaints from us about the ASRock firmware.

Software

Unlike some board partners, ASRock doesn’t combine most of its utilities into one larger application. Instead, they are all standalone programs, which can lead to clutter. But the programs cover a wide gamut of functionality, from overclocking and monitoring (A-Tune - though it’s not ready for this board at the time of writing) to audio (Nahimic), networking (Killer Dashboard) and RGB lighting (Polychrome). All of the applications we used for this board worked without issue. There’s even a pop-up to install drivers and such when you first boot the system.

Test System / Comparison Products

We’ve updated our test system to Windows 11 64-bit OS with all updates applied. We kept the same (opens in new tab)Asus TUF RTX 3070 (opens in new tab) video card from our previous testing platforms but updated the driver. We also updated to F1 22 for our games and kept Far Cry 6. We use the latest non-beta motherboard BIOS available to the public unless otherwise noted. The hardware we used is as follows:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
CPUIntel Core i9-13900K
MemoryGSkill Trident Z DDR5-5600 CL36 (F5-5600U3636C16GX2-TZ5RK)
Row 2 - Cell 0 Kingston Fury Beast DDR5-6000 CL36 (KF560C36BBEAK2-32)
GPUAsus TUF RTX 3070
CoolingCoolermaster MasterLiquid PL360 Flux
PSUEVGA Supernova 850W P6
SoftwareWindows 11 64-bit (22H2)
Graphics DriverNVIDIA Driver 522.25
SoundIntegrated HD audio
NetworkIntegrated Networking (GbE or 2.5 GbE)

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

EVGA supplied our Supernova 850W P6 power supply (appropriately sized and more efficient than the 1.2KW monster we used previously) for our test systems, and G.Skill sent us a DDR5-5600 (F5-5600U3636C16GX2-TZ5RK) memory kit for testing.

Benchmark Settings

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Synthetic Benchmarks and SettingsRow 0 - Cell 1
ProcyonVersion 2.1.459 64
Row 2 - Cell 0 Office Suite (Office 365), Video Editing (Premiere Pro 22.6.2.2), Photo Editing (Photoshop 23.5.1, Lightroom Classic 11.5)
3DMarkVersion 2.22.7359 64
Row 4 - Cell 0 Firestrike Extreme and Time Spy Default Presets
Cinebench R23Version RBBENCHMARK330542
Row 6 - Cell 0 Open GL Benchmark - Single and Multi-threaded
BlenderVersion 3.3.0
Row 8 - Cell 0 Full benchmark (all 3 tests)
Application Tests and SettingsRow 9 - Cell 1
LAME MP3Version SSE2_2019
Row 11 - Cell 0 Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3: Command: -b 160 --nores (160Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 1.2.2
Row 13 - Cell 0 Sintel Open Movie Project: 4.19GB 4K mkv to x264 (light AVX) and x265 (heavy AVX)
Corona 1.4Version 1.4
Row 15 - Cell 0 Custom benchmark
7-ZipVersion 21.03-beta
Row 17 - Cell 0 Integrated benchmark (Command Line)
Game Tests and SettingsRow 18 - Cell 1
Far Cry 6Ultra Preset - 1920 x 1080, HD Textures ON
F1 2022Ultra Preset - 1920 x 1080, Ultra High (default) Bahrain (Clear/Dry), FPS Counter ON

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Joe Shields
Motherboard Reviewer

Joe Shields is a Freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He reviews motherboards.