Ten months ago, AMD released the Ryzen 3000 series desktop processors in one of the most monumental hardware launches of the modern era. This final step completed the Red brand's ascent back into the forefront of the desktop processor market that began with the launch of the first generation of Ryzen CPUs. Today, Intel is finally firing back with the launch of the 10th Generation Intel Core processors, along with a new motherboard standard to drive them.
As should be no surprise, the focus will remain on the new motherboards. While the 10th Gen Intel Core processors will not support PCIe 4.0 connectivity due to signal integrity issues, many of the Z490 motherboards are designed to support the PCIe 4.0 specification. This is accomplished by adding clock generators to help clean up the signal. Generally speaking, when it comes to long-term platform support, AMD has been the trendsetter. Has AMD's long support of the AM4 socket on its newer generation processors inspired Intel to take similar steps?
So what is Z490 offering right now? For starters, there has been a large focus on VRM and VRM cooling design. With the top-level Intel Core i9-10900K featuring 10 cores along with HyperThreading, the ability to deliver clean, continuous power is going to be one of the primary factors that separates a good Z490 board from the competition. With the introduction of HyperThreading on Intel's mid-range line-up, power delivery is going to be vital in all segments.
The Taichi line from ASRock is a staple for the brand, with the cog and gear theme of the Taichi easily one of the most iconic aesthetics in modern motherboards. As a continuation of the modernization started with the X570 Taichi almost a year ago, the ASRock Z490 Taichi maintains the same large heatsink over the bottom half of the board with the trademark cog and gear motif over the chipset. New for the Z490 Taichi is the same finned and actively cooled heatsink we saw on the ASRock Z490 Taichi.
This motherboard is PCIe 4.0 ready and features a 14-phase VRM with an actively cooled, finned VRM heatsink to deliver maximum performance with even the highest-end 10th Gen Core processors. There is also 2.5 Gb/s LAN and built-in WiFi 6, along with Nahimic Audio and the aforementioned full coverage heatsinks for the M.2 slots.
Let's take a closer look at what the ASRock Z490 Taichi has to offer.
|CPU Support:||Intel 10th Gen or later processors|
|Power Design:|| CPU Power: 14 phase |
Memory Power: 2 phase
|Integrated Graphics:||Dependant on installed CPU|
|Memory:||4x DIMM, supports Dual-channel DDR4-4666+(OC) MHz|
|BIOS:||AMI UEFI BIOS|
|Expansion Slots:|| 3x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots |
2x PCIe 3.0 x1 slots
|Storage:|| 8x SATA 6 Gb/s port |
3x M.2 port (SATA3/PCIe 3.0 x4)
|Networking:||1x Intel I219V Gigabit LAN|
1x Realtek RTL8125AG 2.5G LAN
1x Intel 802.11ax WiFi Module
|Rear Ports:||2x Antenna ports|
1x Bios flashback button
1x PS/2 mouse/keyboard port
1x HDMI port
1x DisplayPort 1.4
1x Optical SPDIF out port
2x LAN (RJ45) port
1x USB 3.2 (Gen2x2) Type-C port
5x USB 3.2 (Gen1) ports
2x USB 3.2 (Gen2) Type-A ports
5x 3.5 mm audio jacks
|Audio:||1x Realtek ALC1220 Codec|
|Fan Headers:||8x 4-pin|
|Form Factor:||ATX Form Factor: 12.0 in x 9.6 in, 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm|