ASRock Z690 Taichi (DDR5) Motherboard Review

This is one of ASRock’s many flagship Z690 motherboards, and we are extremely excited to get the chance to take a closer look, as well as explore its rich features. The ASRock Z690 Taichi motherboard, as the name suggests, uses Intel’s Z690 chipset and is suitable for all 12th Gen Core (Alder Lake) processors from Intel on the LGA1700 socket, and supports DDR5 memory only with speeds of up to DDR5-6400. Please take note: The DDR5 memory slot is NOT compatible with DDR4 ram.

It also comes with 2 x PCIe 5.0 x16 steel slot, 1 x PCIe 4.0 x16 slot, and 1 PCIe 3.0 x1 slot. Don’t worry, we can confirm the PCIE 5.0 slot is backward compatible with PCIE 4.0 graphic cards and/other expansion cards.

We’ve reviewed many motherboards from ASRock’s Taichi series in the past, and I have to say … the Taichi series never disappoint. They’re designed for the extreme enthusiasts, who wants rich features, good peformance, excellent stability and decent overclocking ability.

The motherboard is absolutely feature-packed and comes in a matte black finish with some gold trimmings thats’s typical of their Taichi series. The entire board is covered by serveal large full length heatshield/heatspreaders that helps cool your SSDs. Near the top of the board, you’ll find extra heatsinks with heatpipe that helps to cool the VRMs/Mosfets surrounding the processor socket. There’s also a bundled 3cm high performance fan for better cooling and silence performance. The I/O panel is completely covered by the shround displaying the Tacihi logo, which of course comes with RGB.

 

Intel Z690 Chipset

The Z690 chipset has full CPU overclocking capabilities, including P & E Core and BCLK overclocking. It also comes with 8 x DMI 4.0 lanes, up to 12 x PCIe 4.0 lanes and 16 x PCIe 3.0 lanes. 

It can support DDR5 ram up to 4,800 MT/s (or DDR4 ram up to 3,200 MT/s), as well as 1 x 16 PCIE 5.0 or 2 x 8 PCIE 5.0. You also get the Intel gigabit ethernet and WiFi 6e, which comes as standard, and support for Octane memory. 

The ASRock Z690 Taichi is designed for the premium user who is looking for uncompromised performance. The ASRock Z690 Taichi is definitely the way to go, this motherboard has been given 20 phase Dr.MOS design featuring the latest SPS (Smart Power Stage) technology for a smoother and neater power to the CPU with enhanced performance and OC capability. To pair with the latest and greatest performance from the 12th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors, the Z690 Taichi is also capable of supporting the newest DDR5 DRAM module, the reinforced DIMM slot is surfaced mounted onto the motherboard to give better physical strength as well as a more stable memory signal, with this superior revolutionary design, it is able to dramatically overclock DRAM module up to insane frequency.

 

 

For storage, it comes with 2 x Hyper M.2 PCIE Gen4x4 and 1 x M.2 PCIE Gen3x4 slots, as well as 6 SATA3 ports for SSDs. The board comes with plenty of LAN and Wifi options, and this is well-handled by Killer E3100 2.5G LAN, Intel Gigabit LAN and Killer AX1675 802.11ax (WiFi 6E).

For connectivity, the board offers 2 x Thunderbolt™ 4/USB4 Type-C, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Front Type-C, 2 x Rear USB 3.2 Gen2 Type A, a total of 8 xUSB 3.2 Gen1 (4 Rear, 4 Front), and 1 x Independent USB 3.2 Gen1 Type A Port.  I also like the usual onboard power on/off and reset buttons, as well as their BIOS flashback, clear CMOS button and their diagnostic LEDs.

And of course, the Z690 Taichi comes with all of ASRock’s unique features such as their Lightning Gaming Ports,  ASRock Graphics Card Holder, Polychrome RGB/Sync, 7.1 HD Nahimic Audio (with WIMA Caps), 8 Layer PCB, 2oz Copper PCB, and their new 20 Phase SPS Dr.MOS Power Design.

 

 

I would like to thank ASRock for providing the review sample. This is a snippet from what ASRock has to say about themselves on their website:

ASRock Inc. is established in 2002, specialized in the field of motherboards. ASRock strives to build up its own brand. With the 3C design concept, “Creativity, Consideration, Cost-effectiveness”, the company explores the limit of motherboards manufacturing while paying attention on the eco issue at the same time, developing products with the consideration of eco-friendly concept.

ASRock has been growing fast and become world third largest motherboard brand with headquarter in Taipei, Taiwan and branches in Europe and the USA. The young and vibrant company targets from mainstream to enthusiast MB segments for different kinds of users, owning reputation around the world market with its reliability and proficiency.

We’ll be testing the ASRock Z690 Taichi with an Intel Core i9-12900KF (12th Gen Alder Lake) processor, along with 32GB of Adata XPG Lancer RGB DDR5-6000, Adata Legend 840 PCIE Gen4 SSD, and a Radeon RX 6500 XT graphics card. I’m expecting tip-top performance from the above setup, and it should easily outperform our current Ryzen 9-based (5900X + X570) test rig. 

Unfortunately, I was not able to test the motherboard using a GeForce RXT 30-series due to chip shortage/scalpers/overpricing, so the bottleneck would come from the graphics card itself. Yes, I’m stuck with a Radeon RX 6500 XT … *sigh*

OK, with all that said … let’s start by taking a look at the specifications and features in our next page. 

You can buy the ASRock Z690 Taichi motherboard for around USD $575 from Amazon – https://amzn.to/3rSRd65.

 

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About Winston 7056 Articles
Winston has over 20 years of experience in the I.T. Industry. He launched Funky Kit with the aim to capture a wider audience worldwide. His knowledge in PC hardware is very distinguished, not only publishing enjoyable reviews but also writing great articles.