We are several months in after the release of Intel’s 10th generation Core CPUs and platform. In the time since, the platform has seen firmware and microcode updates. That means all Z490 boards are better today than at launch. One such motherboard is the Z490 Taichi. ASRock once again attempts to pack high-end functionality into an affordable price to varying degrees of success. Overall, this is a solid offering, but is it a worthy successor to the Z390 Taichi? Well, let’s find out.
The Taichi series of boards in this market hold a special position which competing board vendor’s SKUs can’t seem to position their products against directly. See, the Taichi, to me at least, represents a balance between the power user, perhaps even overclocker and the gamer. At least that was when we made such distinctions. With the increased overlap between the two user groups, the Taichi manages more often than not to represent these two groups moderately well within the models. The Z490 Taichi, for instance, has a better-than-average audio solution, Dual LAN 2.5 and 1Gbps Lan adapters, a 15 phase VRM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type C connectivity. These are but the most obvious aspects of the motherboard.
|Socket | CPU||LGA 1200 | 10th Gen Core Series CPUs|
|Memory Support||4xDIMM DDR4 2133 – DDR4 4666 (O.C.)|
|Storage||8x SATA 6Gbps, 3x M.2 x4 ( PCIe 3.0 x4 2x 22110)|
|Audio||ALC 1220 + ESS9218 DAC + Nahimic|
|Expansion Slots||3x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x16 | x8 | x4), 2 x PCIe 3.0 x1|
|Connectivity||Realtek RTL8125BG (2.5Gbps) | 1x I219-V (1Gbps) | BT 5.0 | 802.11ax Wi-Fi|
|Rear Panel I/O||2x USB 3.2 Gen 1-A | 5x USB 3.2 Gen 1- A | 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2×2- C|
|Total Fan Headers||8x 4-pin (PWM/Voltage)|
|Power Connectors||1x 24-pin EATX, 2x 8-pin 12V|
|Form Factor||ATX Form Factor: 12.0-in x 9.6-in, 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm|
The Z490 Taichi ticks all the right boxes, feature wise. It doesn’t have the best components in any one aspect, but does well enough in each to make for a well balanced board.