ASRock X299 Taichi
A networking-focused option, with a surprise or two.
Vying with the ASUS Prime X299-Deluxe for the attention of the networking-focused HEDT buyer, the Taichi provides a strong currentgen networking front facilitated by three Intel NICs. Gigabit Ethernet is delivered by the Intel I219V and I211-AT, paired with the Intel dual-band wireless-AC 3168 for 802.11ac support.
Storage connectivity is a strong point for the Taichi. Going beyond the standard eight SATA 6Gbps ports delivered via the X299 PCH, ASRock has implemented an ASMedia ASM1061 controller to provide two additional SATA3 ports to achieve the total 10 SATA3 ports. M.2 support is also broad with three interfaces, two supporting up to the 2280 form factor and one supporting the larger 22110 form factor. These M.2 connections support both SATA 6Gbps and PCIe x4 protocols. Be mindful when implementing SATA-based M.2 SSDs, as a correlating SATA port is disabled, meaning a total of 10 SATA SSDs can be connected, regardless of whether this connectivity is via the SATA or M.2 ports.
The Taichi was a pleasant motherboard to use with no significant issues during setup and testing. However, the overall performance metrics were, for the most part, unremarkable, resulting in no podium places in the ranked results. This said, it was the only unit to reach the 3,300– 3,400MB/s sequential (Q32T1) read bandwidth range while competitors only reached 2,940– 2,970MB/s with the 7900X installed, while delivering the full 3,300–3,400MB/s with a Kaby Lake-X chip.