ASRock X299 Taichi XE Motherboard Review

Not so long time ago we have reviewed the X299 Taichi motherboard which was great. Now is time for a bit upgraded version – Taichi XE. There are not many differences but there are users who find them important. I mean larger VRM heatsink and additional 8-pin power connector what should improve stability and overclocking potential while using Skylake-X processors, especially recently released 12-18 cores.

Stay with us to find out how much has to offer ASRock X299 Taichi XE motherboard.

 

 

 

Key Features

Even key features list is really long for the Taichi XE motherboard but I will try to describe everything I can. I may pass couple of obvious things as I assume that most our readers know how motherboard looks like.

Here we go with the key features as presented by ASRock.

 

13 Power Phase Design

Designed with a 13 Power Phase design, this motherboard features sturdy components and completely smooth power delivery to the CPU. Plus, it offers unmatched overclocking capabilities and enhanced performance with the lowest temperature for advanced gamers as well.
Just after the Skylake-X premiere, not many motherboards based on the X299 chipset were strong enough to deliver enough power for overclocked 10-cores. ASRock wasn’t the first who released X299 motherboards but all their motherboards were good enough to handle overclocked Skylake-X processors.
The Taichi XE motherboard is offering strong power section which helps in stability of the even the most power hungry processors and let you to overclock them. 
 

XXL Aluminum Alloy Heatsink & Heatpipe Design

Extra-large aluminum alloy heatsink along with heatpipe that effectively take away heat from the MOSFET, so that your whole system may perform more stable.
The XXL Heatsink helps to cool down MOSFETs what let to keep high stability. Some competitive motherboards still have problems with that what is hard to believe considering this is high-end platform and all expect perfectly designed product. No issues like that with ASRock.  
 

Dr. MOS

Dr. MOS design features the latest SPS (Smart Power Stage) technology. It’s optimized for monitoring current and temperature of each phase, thus delivering smoother and neater power to the CPU with enhanced performance and OC capability.
 I think it’s clear.

Dual Power Connectors

Offering long-term reliability in various applications, this motherboard is equipped with dual power connectors to deliver cutting-edge current density.
Dual power connectors help especially when you wish to use high TDP processor or if you wish to overclock it. Simply if more power is required then you have to deliver it in some way and dual power connectors help in that.
 

Dual Band 802.11ac WiFi

No one has time for weak WiFi signals and sluggish internet! That’s why this motherboard comes with a 802.11ac WiFi (2.4G / 5G WiFi) module which supports wireless networks and Bluetooth v4.2.
Somehow I’m not a fan of WiFi maybe because of bad experience with many lower quality devices. However, recently I work more often using wireless network and I think it’s pretty good idea that ASRock is adding WiFi and Bluetooth controllers to their motherboards.
 
 

Triple Ultra M.2

Triple of the world’s fastest PCIe Gen3 x4 Ultra M.2 slots that deliver up to 32Gb/s transfer speed, it also supports SATA3 6Gb/s M.2 modules.
This is what I really like in the Taichi XE. I’m using more than one M.2 SSD while some competitive motherboards are supporting only one or two drives. For example most ASUS motherboards have one standard M.2 socket and one vertical. Really ? Vertical M.2 next to all other connectors and memory slots ? I don’t know what you think about it but ASRock somehow found enough space to give us three high speed M.2 sockets. One of them is also working with Intel VROC.
 

8 Layer PCB (4 x 2oz Copper) & DDR4 4400+(OC)

The 8 Layer PCB comes with 4 sets of 2 ounce copper inner layers, providing stable signal traces and power shapes and delivering lower temperature and higher energy efficiency for overclocking! Thus, it’s able to support the latest DDR4 memory modules with most extreme memory performance!
More PCB layers usually mean higher stability and better memory overclocking because of lower interference. I can already confirm it really works and we will show couple of overclocking results which are not possible on standard motherboards.
 

Dual Intel® LAN

Users are able to connect two LAN cables to this motherboard’s rear I/O. Dual LAN with Teaming function enabled on this motherboard allows two single connections to act as one single connection for twice the transmission bandwidth, making data transmission more effective.
 Dual LAN is really nice feature if your PC has to work 24/7 or if you wish higher than standard network bandwidth. LAN teaming is available on Windows Server OS. Windows 7/8 and also on Windows 10 with the latest updates. I don’t know why Microsoft disabled it in first released of Windows 10 but I’m glad they changed their mind so we can set network teaming on a desktop OS.
 

Dual USB 3.1 Gen2 (Type-A + Type-C)

The newer and more power efficient ASM3142 USB 3.1 Gen2 controller not only delivers up to 10 Gbps data transfer rates but also supports “Multiple Ins” architecture, it is able to maintain fast and stable speed while transferring data from two USB storage devices at the same time without bogging down by their speed difference.
One more feature which doesn’t need explanation. If you are using USB devices, and all do, then you know it’s good to have fast USB ports.
 

RGB LED

Build your own colorful lighting system! RGB LED and header allows users to connect LED strip and create their unique PC style easily. The ASRock RGB LED utility can be downloaded directly or from an all-in-one utility ASRock Live Update & APP Shop!
More users are building computers with RGB lighting and regardless if you wish to have it or not … you will get RGB lighting with nearly every high-end motherboard.  It also looks great if you set it right.
 

PCI-E STEEL SLOTS

The advanced PCI-E Steel Slots packed with solid cover that prevent any signal interference with graphics cards. It also ensures the heavy graphics cards to be well-installed in the PCI-E slots safely.
Personally I have never had issues with PCIE slots but I won’t complain if they have better protection.
 

Intel® Optane™ Memory Ready

Supports Intel® Optane™ memory technology and Intel® Optane™ storage technology that redefines a new standard of high performance and responsiveness.
With lower prices of SSD I’m not sure if Optane Memory for caching is good idea. On the other hand there are users who wish to make their high capacity HDD faster and 1TB+ SSD are still expensive and then Optane may help.
 

BIOS Flashback

Get the most convenient BIOS flashing with just a simple click. Users can easily achieve the latest BIOS support with a USB and power supply, No CPU, RAM or other components required.
BIOS Flashback is one of features which start to be important once $%@! happens. If you are overclocking a lot then you find it really handy. It may save some money and wasted time on RMA.
 

Hyper BCLK Engine III

An additional external base clock generator that supports PCIe frequency overclocking. It provides a wider range of frequencies and more precise clock waveforms, allowing any user to get most from their CPU investment with precise, stable overclocking.
If you care about every single MHz then this feature will for sure help. Most users won’t really need it.
 

VROC

Virtual RAID On CPU (VROC) is the latest technology that allows you to build a separate RAID array with M.2 NVME cards, using PCIe Lanes coming from the CPU. With VROC, users can setup RAID 0 to speed up the system with ease, not only that, an optional Upgrade Module is also available to open up more RAID options such as 1, 5 and 10.
VROC is really good idea but somehow not so perfect. I will tell you some more about it later and you will see couple of results using multiple SSD in VROC RAID.
 

Digi Power

Unlike traditional motherboards that use analog power, this motherboard uses a next generation digital PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation) design, which provides CPU Vcore voltage more efficiently and smoothly, so that the stability and lifespan of the motherboard is greatly enhanced.
 I think that most new motherboards already use digital PWM. Good for us.
 

Water Pump Header

This is not only a standard CPU fan header, but also supports water pumps! This header provides a maximum of 1.5A power for supporting the most popular water pumps. User also can adjust the voltage of water pump to get higher cooling performance with lower noise.
 Stronger fan/pump connector so you won’t have to buy external controller to connect your water cooler pump.
 

Ultra USB Power

The +5V voltage for the selected rear USB port is transformed from +12V power rail, hence the voltage drop will be much lower than the +5V from the PSU under heavy loading, supplying enough current to USB hubs and high-end devices.
 Higher current USB ports so you can charge your smart phone.
 

A-Tuning

A-Tuning is ASRock’s multi purpose software suite with a new interface, more new features and improved utilities.
 Handy software which is good too use while overclocking but not only.
 

Live Update & APP Shop

ASRock Live Update & APP Shop is designed for your convenience. We provide various apps and support software for users to download. You can also easily optimize your system and keep your motherboard up to date with ASRock Live Update & APP Shop.
This feature doesn’t need special description.
 
 

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About Bartosz Waluk 249 Articles
Bartosz Waluk aka Woomack is from Poland. He's been interested in computer hardware and extreme overclocking for over 15 years. Bartosz has also over 12 years experience in IT what includes sales, technical support and computer building ... but not only. He joined the Funky Kit team in January 2013.