Introduction

The highly anticipated AMD Ryzen 7000 series is finally in public hands! Intel’s release of the 12th Gen Core processors in late fall of 2021 had the privilege of being the first consumer product to offer both PCIe Gen 5.0 and DDR5 connectivity. Along with these additions was a new smaller core, designed to offload smaller system tasks onto, while the bigger cores dealt with priority heavy duty tasks. AMD wasn’t going to wait around forever, but also understood the newest technologies can come with unforeseen problems. Did AMD do the right thing by waiting until DDR5 and PCIe Gen5 matured over this past year, or was it a mistake to let Intel be left without a cutting edge contender? The answer depends on what AMD brings to the table in terms of performance, cost and availability. With that, make sure to read TechPowerUp’s AMD Ryzen 7600X, 7700X, 7900X and 7950X reviews, for more in depth coverage. With the new Ryzen processor series, comes a number of changes that may upset some long time AMD fans, shaking up the market. The first noteworthy change is the socket. All previous desktop Ryzen processors (1000, 2000, 3000, 5000 series, minus Threadripper) used the AM4 PGA (Pin Grid Array) socket. AMD has made the transition to LGA (Land Grid Array) for this new AM5 (LGA 1718) socket. AMD has historically proven it uses the same CPU socket for multiple generations, starting a fresh cycle with the Ryzen 7000 series and beyond. What this means for consumers is that there is no Zen 4 upgrade path for AM4 based platforms. If you want these new processors, they require a brand new motherboard. The platform change also requires new memory too, since the AM5 socket exclusively uses DDR5 for its system memory. This new AM5 socket carries a host of options for connecting high speed devices that just weren’t previously available to AMD customers. As mentioned above, going forward, AMD Ryzen CPUs on this new platform will now support DDR5 memory, PCIe Gen 5.0 and M.2 Gen5. With 24 PCIe Gen 5.0 lanes from the CPU available, motherboard manufacturers now have an opportunity to innovate and create products catered towards users with high bandwidth needs. Along with more PCIe lanes provided by the processors, are three different chipset configurations; B650, X670 and X670E. The B series, like the previous AM4 iterations, will feature fewer connections for USB, M.2 and PCIe lanes, designed to be more budget friendly. The X670 and X670E use the same chipset, but the E variation has two X670 chips daisy-chained together, sharing a PCIe 4.0 x4 link to the CPU. The “E” reasonably could be a stand in for the word “Extended”, though officially, this may not be correct. However AMD wants to present the naming scheme to consumers, the results are the same. The takeaway here is that X670E offers the most high bandwidth lanes, storage options and external connections out of the available Zen 4 platform chipsets.

asrock x670e taichi carrara review
It today’s review, we will be looking at the ASRock X670E Taichi Carrara. You may wonder what the difference is between the X670E Taichi and Taichi Carrara. The Taichi Carrara is a special 20th edition to celebrate ASRock achievements, but besides an aesthetic difference, the hardware components are in fact the same underneath. The name Carrara is a type of marble found in modern-day Tuscany, Italy. It is extremely popular and sought after to this day due to the unique patterns and long history of its use in famous monuments and buildings, for hundreds of years. The Taichi motherboard is ASRock’s flagship, designed to offer consumers the best this new AMD socket currently has to offer. In that respect it directly competes with the ASUS X670E ROG Extreme, Gigabyte X670E AORUS Xtreme, and MSI Z690 MEG Godlike, which all offer different configurations and price points. ASRock often creates a follow up to the Taichi, with a small and limited production of its ultra-high end AQUA series, although the AQUA is rarely found for sale in the retail market, the Taichi series being much easier to acquire. ASRock also has a wide range of AMD and Intel motherboards for the different needs of their users, with the Phantom Gaming (PG) Lighting line being budget focused while the Steel Legend sticks to the mid-range. As expected, the ASRock X670E Taichi also includes DDR5 and PCIe 5.0-ready solutions for those looking for the newest technology. ASRock has also added an M.2 Gen5 x4 socket for when these next-gen NVMe drives reach the market in late 2022. To put some emphasis on its flagship status, the X670E Taichi has a massive VRM in a 24+2+1 configuration using 105 A smart power stages, providing clean, continuous current during those heavy overclocking sessions. To round out the experience, the motherboard also offers great connectivity with WiFi 6E technology and 2.5G LAN, and USB4 (40 Gb/s) for those who need to transfer data quickly. The features don’t stop here, but there is a lot to cover in this review, so let’s take a closer look at what the ASRock X670E Taichi has to offer.

Specifications

Specifications
CPU Support: Supports AMD Socket AM5 Ryzen 7000 Series Processors
Supports ASRock Hyper BCLK Engine
Power Design: CPU Power: 24-phase (105 A)
SoC Power: 2-phase (105 A)
Chipset: AMD X670E
Integrated Graphics: Dependent on installed CPU
iGPU Video out from HDMI 2.1 / USB4
Memory: Supports DDR5 ECC/non-ECC, un-buffered memory up to 6600+(OC) 4x DDR5 DIMM SlotsMax. capacity of system memory: 128GBSupports Extreme Memory Profile (XMP
Supports EXTended Profiles for Overclocking (EXPO)
BIOS: 128Mb AMI UEFI BIOS
Expansion Slots: 2x PCIe 5.0 x16 slots
Supports x16 or x8/x8 modes
Storage: 8x SATA 6 Gb/s ports 1x M.2 Sockets (PCIe Gen5 x4)
3x M.2 Sockets (PCIe Gen4 x4)/SATA
Networking: 1x Intel Killer E3100G 2.5G LAN
1x 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6E
Rear Ports: 2x Antenna Ports1x HDMI Port1x Optical SPDIF Out Port2x USB4 Type-C Ports (40 Gb/s)5x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A Ports (10 Gb/s)3x USB 3.2 Gen1 Ports (5 Gb/s)1x RJ-45 LAN Port1x Clear CMOS Button1x BIOS Flashback Button1x Line Out Jack (Gold Audio Jack)
1x Microphone Input Jack (Gold Audio Jack)
Audio: Realtek ALC4080 Codec
ESS SANRE0219 DAC
Fan Headers: 1x CPU 4-Pin (1A / 12W) 1x CPU / Water Pump 4-Pin (3A / 36W)
6x System Fan / Water Pump 4-Pin (2A / 24W)
Form Factor: E-ATX Form Factor: 12.0 x 10.5 in.; 30.5 x 26.7 cm
8-Layer PCB
Unique Features:
  • PCIe Gen5 (Graphics, M.2)
  • Blazing M.2 Gen5 Fan Heatsink
  • Dual Channel DDR5
  • USB4 Type-C Ports (40 Gb/s)
  • Ultra Low-Loss PCB
  • 24+2+1 Power Phase, 105A SPS with Enlarged Heatsink Armor
  • Flexible Integrated I/O Shield
  • Nichicon 12K Black Caps (100% Japan made high quality conductive polymer capacitors)
  • Killer 2.5G LAN, Killer 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6E Module
  • Killer DoubleShot Pro
  • ASRock Lightning Gaming Ports
  • BIOS Flashback Button
  • ASRock Auto Driver Installer

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