The Taichi line-up launched not too long ago but it’s already making name as the best board range from ASRock, so in goldfries’ lab now are the 2 models which are the Taichi and Taichi Ultimate.
They look exactly the same, with just slight difference in color. Feature wise the key differences are the POWER / RESET button and the Aquantia 10Gbps LAN, all else are the same.
Starting off from the upper corner here, you see ASRock’s signature I/O panel cover and underneath those covers is an unbelievable 16-phase power design with 60A choke and dual-stack MOSFET for absolute power delivery.
To add to that, the CPU12V connector has an additional 4-pin alone with the 8-pin connector.
Moving down to where the DIMM slots are, nothing out of the ordinary here.
Further down to the other corner, the cogwheel heatsink is probably one of the best heatsink designs I’ve ever seen and within that area you’ll see that it has a debug LED. The one in this picture is the Taichi model, the Taichi Ultimate comes with 2 buttons for POWER and RESET purpose while all things same.
Over this corner you’ll see the PCI-E slots of which the Taichi models support both Nvidia SLI and AMD CrossFire. Both models use Purity Sound 4 audio system and both also come with full length M.2 cover (it’s towards the top there).
Lastly the back panel I/O which are………
– 2 x Antenna Ports
– 1 x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Port
– 1 x HDMI Port
– 1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
– 1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A Port (10 Gb/s) (Supports ESD Protection)*
– 1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C Port (10 Gb/s) (Supports ESD Protection)*
– 6 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Ports (Supports ESD Protection)
– 2 x RJ-45 LAN Ports with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
– 1 x Clear CMOS Button
– HD Audio Jacks: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone (Gold Audio Jacks)
The board is excellent, user interface is as what is expected from ASRock with plenty of features to configure the system and this includes detailed overclocking settings.
Both boards are great, while the specs are similar the Taichi and Taichi Ultimate has quite some price gap. The Taichi retails at RM 979 awhile the Taichi Ultimate retails at RM 1199 – that’s more than RM 200 gap for just the Aquantia 10Gbps LAN and some buttons for POWER / RESET
Overall value goes to the Taichi model (official product page) of which I’m giving it the gold badge.
The Taichi Ultimate (official product page) works like the Taichi but 10Gbps LAN is pointless if you’re limited by the rest of your network, which includes your Internet connection and other computers on the network. In the end the only tangible difference assuming all else is the same for the network, would be the POWER / RESET button of which you can easily overcome by some cheap switches and a little effort to connect them.