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AsRock Z270 Taichi motherboard review

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MidnightBanshi View Drop Down

Joined: 05 Mar 2017
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    Posted: 18 Apr 2017 at 9:34am
I've seen AsRock's Taichi motherboards featured and reviewed online by many people for both function and form, so when I decided to do my new Kaby Lake build, I decided I wanted to Z270 Taichi for both form factor and function.

Unboxing the motherboard was a good experience.  The board was packed well in foam and fastened in, so it wouldn't flop out and cause any undue damage.  The included SATA cables are a nice touch, as not many decide to include SATA cables for ease of use.

The installation was straightforward and went in just fine.  Everything connected good and solid, as it should be, so that part was no issue.  The board has enough ports to accommodate just about any user, as it has 10 SATA ports, 2 USB 2.0 headers, and 2 USB 3.0 headers, which allows for AIO coolers, front panel connectors, and with the 3 2.0 headers, you can have front-panel connectors, an AIO, and a power supply that connect via that method with ease.

One of the puzzling things about this design is why the choice to put the case fan headers in the middle of the motherboard right by the CPU.  To me, I would have rather had those on the sides or the top to make for a cleaner overall aesthetic.  The rest of the connectors were in good locations for easy connection.

Also, for a board that supports RGB, it was a little disappointing that the ONLY place there is RGB on the board itself is around the chipset heatsink.  I was hoping perhaps the other covers on the board would have sported similar lighting, and having only one RGB header limits some options.

When I first got this board for my i7-7700K CPU, I had some issues getting a good high overclock out of it, as the temperatures spiked quite high, even on a 240mm liquid cooler.  I know these chips can run hot, but a 240mm cooler should be adequate for keeping temps in check.  For a while, I could only comfortably achieve a 4.6 boost OC on the preset, so I had to be content with that.

With the new 2.0 BIOS update, however, this changed for the better!  After the update, I was able to use the 4.7 OC preset, have my RAM sped up to 3200mhz, and the temps under load are now only in the 60's C, which is a huge improvement over what it was able to do before - no other changes were done other than the OC preset, so this was a nice welcome update.

Aside from the odd placement of the case fan headers, I can safetly say this is a really good board for the value for your Kaby Lake processors.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Apr 2017 at 11:12pm
Thanks for your positive and great review of the Z270 Taichi board. The Taichi models, three of them now, have been quite successful. They truly are "all around" type products, for over clocking, gaming, and content creators.

Personally, I like to say they are also the leaders in IO capabilities and performance, for example fully leveraging the Z270 chipset's DMI3 interface with three Ultra M.2 slots and NVMe RAID with Intel's IRST support.

Regarding the placement of fan headers, design choices are based on many things, and some things have priorities over others. For example, the routing of the connections between the memory slots and the CPU socket affects the potential over clocking speed of the system's memory. Things like that push others lower in the priority of their location.

We can also see in the case of the Z270 Taichi, the sides of the board are filled with connectors. Also the VRM heatsinks and IO panel area must be aesthetically pleasing to the eye, which blocks space on the sides of the board for other uses. There are many trade offs in the design of a board that attempts to appeal to as many people as possible.

I agree that chassis fan headers located in the middle area of a board is not an optimal location. I have a similar ASRock board that has some of the chassis fan headers in the same general location, and I had to use extension cables in order to use them. That also does not look good. In the end, would we rather have fewer fan headers, or more of them in less than perfect locations? For a board like the Z270 Taichi, it must have more fan headers.

The RGB thing was just beginning to catch on when the Z270 Taichi was released. So it does not have as many LEDs as newer boards do. It does have an RGB strip header on the board, for adding additional lighting.
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