Over the past two years the line between HEDT and mainstream consumer platforms has grown smaller and smaller. This change is in large part due to the enormous success of AMD's Ryzen family of processors. As consumer CPU core counts go up, the market for HEDT shrinks. In light of this changing market, Intel has opted to offer their refreshed Core-X series processors with a huge price cut over the previous generation. This is a huge win for the community, putting the Intel Extreme processors back in reach of many consumers who couldn't justify the nearly US$2,000 price tag top offerings previously commanded.
Even with more competitive pricing, there is still more choice than ever for power users looking for entry-level workstation systems. Today, I am happy to showcase the new ASRock X299 Taichi CLX. The X299 chipset is by no means new platform, originally launched in the second quarter of 2017. It is rare for Intel to stick with a platform for so long, but despite being long in the tooth, X299 still has a lot to offer. With higher boost clocks than last-generation Threadripper and a lower price point over the upcoming Threadripper 3 processors, Intel has placed themselves in a nice sweet spot for the high-end CPU market.
As for the ASRock X299 Taichi, it holds to the Taichi theme, but with a significant update to the implementation. The new look is modernized and features an even more premium build quality and feature set—from the integrated rear I/O shield to the 2.5 Gb/s LAN, or intricate cog and gear motif. The ASRock X299 Taichi features WiFi 6 support, offering the best wireless connectivity available. For power delivery, the ASRock X299 Taichi relies on a 13 phase VRM design using top of the shelf Intersil ISL99227B power stages to handle even the top spec Extreme Edition processors.
A great new style on a tried and true platform, the X299 Taichi has a lot going for it, but is the performance able to match the hype?
|CPU Support:||Intel Cascade Lake-X, Skylake X, and Skylake X refresh series processors|
|Power Design:|| CPU Power: 13 phase |
Memory Power: 2 phase
|Memory:||8x DIMM, Support Quad Channel DDR4-4200+(OC) MHz|
|BIOS:||Dual AMI UEFI BIOS|
|Expansion Slots:|| 4x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (Bandwidth dependent on CPU)|
1x PCIe 3.0 x1 slots
|Storage:|| 10x SATA 6 Gb/s port |
3x M.2 port (SATA3/PCIe 3.0 x4)
|Networking:||1x Intel I211AT Gigabit LAN|
1x Realtek RTL8125AG 2.5G LAN
1x Intel 802.11ax (WiFi 6)
|Rear Ports:||2x Antenna ports|
1x Clear CMOS Button
1x Optical SPDIF out port
2x LAN (RJ45) port
1x USB 3.2 (Gen2x2) Type-C port
4x USB 3.2 (Gen1) ports
6x USB 2.0 ports
5x 3.5 mm Audio jacks
|Audio:||1x Realtek ALC1220 Codec|
|Fan Headers:||7x 4-pin|
|Form Factor:||ATX Form Factor: 12.0 in x 9.6 in, 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm|