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ASRock X370 Taichi AM4 Motherboard Review

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,088
Location
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Feature Testing: Onboard Audio

Feature Testing: Onboard Audio


Since fewer and fewer consumers seem to be buying discrete sound cards, the quality of a motherboard's onboard audio is now more important than ever. As such, we figured that it was worthwhile to take a closer look at the quality of the analog signal coming out of the ASRock X370 Taichi's onboard audio subsystem. As mentioned earlier, this model features the new Realtek ALC1220 codec, a proven Texas Instruments NE5532 op-amp, Nichicon "Fine Gold" audio capacitors, and a PCB-level isolation line that should help protect from electromagnetic interference (EMI).

Since isolated results don't really mean much, but we have also included some numbers from the plethora of motherboards that we have previously reviewed. All of the Z170 models feature onboard audio solutions that are built around the Realtek ALC1150 codec, while the Z270 motherboards all feature the newer Realtek ALC1220 codec. While they may all have similar codecs, there are vastly different hardware implementations that feature different op-amps, headphone amplifiers, filtering capacitors, secondary components and layouts.

We are going to do this using both quantitative and qualitative analysis, since sound quality isn't really something that can be adequately explained with only numbers. To do the quantitative portion, we have turned to RightMark Audio Analyzer (RMAA), which the standard application for this type of testing.

Since all modern motherboards support very high quality 24-bit, 192kHz audio playback we selected that as the sample mode option. Basically, what this test does is pipe the audio signal from the front-channel output to the line-in input via a 3.5mm male to 3.5mm male mini-plug cable, and then RightMark Audio Analyzer (RMAA) does the audio analysis. Obviously we disabled all software enhancements since they interfere with the pure technical performance that we are trying to benchmark.


As you can see, this X370 Taichi model achieved some tremendous results. Its total harmonic distortion (THD) plus noise, intermodulation distortion (IMD) plus noise, and stereo crosstalk numbers are some of the best that we have ever seen on a motherboard. Despite featuring very similar audio implementations, this new AMD model crushes both the ASRock Z270 motherboards.

As we have mentioned in the past, we aren't experts when it comes to sound quality, but at this high level we suspect that just about anyone should be satisfied. We listened to a variety of music and spoken word content using a mix of Grado SR225i and Koss PortaPro headphones, Westone UM1 IEMs, and Logitech Z-5500 5.1 speakers, and the playback was clean and loud. Frankly, we have no criticisms at all.
 

MAC

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Joined
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1,088
Location
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Feature Testing: M.2 x4 - PCI-E 3.0 vs. PCI-E 2.0

Feature Testing: M.2 x4 - PCI-E 3.0 vs. PCI-E 2.0


One of the more disappointing aspects of this new Ryzen + X370 combo is the limited amount of PCI-E lanes. While the processors themselves have a respectable 24 PCI-E 3.0 lanes - compared to 20 total on Kaby Lake - the AMD X370 chipset itself only has eight PCI-E 2.0 lanes. By comparison, the Intel Z270 PCH has an incredible 24 PCI-E 3.0 lanes, and thus almost 6 times the bandwidth capabilities. This disparity makes itself apparent when divvying up the lanes for high-speed storage.

Now what is interesting is that unlike Intel which leans heavily on its chipset for all storage connectivity, AMD made the decision to allocate four of those CPU-based PCI-E 3.0 lanes for storage purposes, which means that the chipset lanes go untouched. However, since the ASRock X370 Taichi motherboard comes with two M.2 slots, we have now encountered a unique situation whereby the primary slot that gets four PCI-E 3.0 lanes from the processor is obviously much faster than the secondary slot which runs off the chipset at PCI-E 2.0 x4. The difference between PCI-E 3.0 x4 and PCI-E x2.0 is technically 4GB/s versus 2GB/s, but the real-life numbers are roughly 3.5GB/s versus 1.6GB/s. This latter figure will obviously bottleneck most of the higher-end NVMe SSDs currently available, for example the Samsung SSD 950 PRO 256GB.


Despite now being usurped by the SSD 960 PRO, this high performance NVMe PCI-E SSD combines Samsung's awesome UBX controller with its industry-leading 3D V-NAND and is capable of sequential read speeds of up to 2,200MB/second and write speeds of up to 900MB/sec.

One of the ways that we will be evaluating the performance of a motherboard's M.2 interface is by verifying that is capable of matching or exceeding these listed transfer rates. The other is by checking to see whether those slots performs as well as a ASUS Hyper M.2 x4 expansion card plugged directly into a PCI-E 3.0 x16 slot and a PCI-E 2.0 slot. As mentioned above, on this platform the PCI-E lanes that the M.2 slots require come from either the processor or the chipset, and we are interested to see what the performance difference is and whether the lane splitting has been well implemented.

Without further ado, here are the results:



Top Row: M.2 x4 3.0 slot vs. PCI-E x4 3.0 card, Bottom Row: M.2 x4 2.0 slot vs. PCI-E x4 2.0 card

As can see, both of the M.2 slots performed on-par with the M.2 adapter in the PCI-E slots. Obviously, this is a sign that both of the M.2 slots have been properly implemented...though the 4K QD32 numbers are about half of what they should be so clearly AMD have a little work to do. As we mentioned above, it is clear that the PCI-E 2.0 x4 interface is a bottleneck for our Samsung 950 PRO and any other higher-performing NVMe solid state drive. What is also interesting is the fact that in PCI-E 2.0 mode, the SSD achieved notably higher write performance than we have ever seen before from this drive in PCI-E 3.0 mode. Perhaps, given the diminished read speed, the controller is able to allocate more resources towards write performance.

While transfer rates are obviously an important metric, we figured that it was also worthwhile to take a peak at instructions per second (IOPS) to ensure that there wasn't any variance there either:



Top Row: M.2 x4 3.0 vs. PCI-E x4 3.0, Bottom Row: M.2 x4 2.0 vs. PCI-E x4 2.0

Once again, the differences are essentially non-existent and well within the margin of error for this benchmark. As a result, it is clear that the M.2 interfaces on the ASRock X370 Taichi has been very well implemented. The primary M.2 slot should be able to get optimal performance from any current or future M.2 x4 solid state drive, while the secondary M.2 slot still offers ample performance for a larger PCI-E or SATA drive that might be used for applications or games.
 
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MAC

Associate Review Editor
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Location
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Manual Overclocking Results

Manual Overclocking Results


While we usually call this section "Auto & Manual Overclocking Results", this motherboard currently has no automatic overclocking functionality. In any other case that would be quite the black mark on a motherboard, but much less so now. First and foremost, given the small development time that motherboard manufacturers had when it comes to creating functional BIOSes and utilities, we would rather not see a rushed product. While overclocking is largely benign, it still involves increasing voltage and heat, and that's not something that you want to get wrong. As a result, we are willing to wait for a well-implemented feature that is based on extensive testing with numerous processor samples.

Secondly, as you probably already know, and as you will further see below, there really isn't that much overclocking headroom on these eight-core Ryzen processors since AMD is already shipping them at faster than optimal frequencies given the manufacturing process that was utilized. Nevertheless, squeezing that little bit of extra performance is exceptionally easy even for a novice overclocker. Simply set the CPU voltage to 1.35V-1.40V and start increasing the CPU multiplier until it crashes in your preferred stress test, then back off a little bit.

With all that out of the way, let's see what we were able to hit:


Click on image to enlarge

As you can see, we were able to match the 1800X's XFR frequency, but applied to all eight cores instead of just two. This is essentially a 500MHz overclock over the stock 3.6GHz that the CPU would normally operate at when all the cores are loaded. This is actually considered a very good overclock, since few of these processors can run at 4.1GHz with any stability. Most 1700X and 1800X's are falling somewhere between 3.9GHz and 4.0GHz. Suicide frequencies are going to be a topic for another article.

Obviously, CPU-Z is reporting an incorrect CPU core voltage. This doesn't appear to be an ASRock-specific issue since some motherboards from other manufacturers are reporting voltages too high in CPU-Z. For now, definitely rely on the AMD Ryzen Master utility for all your voltage and temperature monitoring.

We actually set the CPU voltage to 1.40V, the SOC voltage to 1.20V, and the RAM voltage to 1.40V. The SOC voltage relates to the system-on-chip (SoC), which is to say the part of the processor that features the memory controller, PCI-E controller, and on-die storage connectivity. While the SOC voltage usually defaults to around 0.85-0.86V, we needed to increase that to 1.20V in order to run at DDR4-3200 with full stability. While that is quite the increase, we have been told that is safe... though you shouldn't go any higher for 24/7 use.

Since it is a big question at the moment, the memory kit that we used was half of a 4x8GB G.Skill Trident Z F4-3200C14Q-32GTZSW kit. It features a DDR4-3200 XMP profile with 14-14-14-34 timings. The Taichi actually has an option to enable XMP profiles, and we used it to automatically set the timings, but we did have to manually set the aforementioned SOC voltage, and also give a slight bump in the RAM voltage from 1.35V to 1.40V.

This motherboard has a BCLK chip/external clock generator - the ASRock Hyper BCLK Engine II - so we decided to dabble in BCLK overclocking a little bit, but in the end we wouldn't get above 106Mhz. While that netted us a nice DDR4-3392 memory frequency, it did seem to cause the motherboard to take a little bit longer to initialize upon booting up. We suspect that is because increasing the BCLK also increases the PCI-E frequency, and most PCI-E devices don't necessarily work correctly above 105Mhz. We will go further into this in our upcoming Ryzen overclocking article.

Overall, we are quite pleased with this motherboard overclocking capabilities. From Day 1, the ASRock X370 Taichi has proven itself to be one of the best overclocking X370 motherboards on the market, especially when it comes to the ease with which it can hit DDR4-3200 with the proper memory kit.
 
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MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
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Messages
1,088
Location
Montreal
System Benchmarks

System Benchmarks


In the System and Gaming Benchmarks sections, we reveal the results from a number of benchmarks run with a Ryzen 7 1800X and ASRock X370 Taichi at default clocks (with the three different memory speeds) and using own our manual overclock. This will illustrate how much performance can be achieved with this motherboard in stock and overclocked form. For a thorough comparison of the Ryzen 7 1800X versus a number of different CPUs have a look at our "AMD Ryzen 7 1800X Performance Review" article.


SuperPi Mod v1.9 WP


When running the SuperPI 32MB benchmark, we are calculating Pi to 32 million digits and timing the process. Obviously more CPU power helps in this intense calculation, but the memory sub-system also plays an important role, as does the operating system. We are running one instance of SuperPi Mod v1.9 WP. This is therefore a single-thread workload.



wPRIME 2.10


wPrime is a leading multithreaded benchmark for x86 processors that tests your processor performance by calculating square roots with a recursive call of Newton's method for estimating functions, with f(x)=x2-k, where k is the number we're sqrting, until Sgn(f(x)/f'(x)) does not equal that of the previous iteration, starting with an estimation of k/2. It then uses an iterative calling of the estimation method a set amount of times to increase the accuracy of the results. It then confirms that n(k)2=k to ensure the calculation was correct. It repeats this for all numbers from 1 to the requested maximum. This is a highly multi-threaded workload.



Cinebench R15


Cinebench R15 64-bit
Test1: CPU Image Render
Comparison: Generated Score


The latest benchmark from MAXON, Cinebench R15 makes use of all your system's processing power to render a photorealistic 3D scene using various different algorithms to stress all available processor cores. The test scene contains approximately 2,000 objects containing more than 300,000 total polygons and uses sharp and blurred reflections, area lights and shadows, procedural shaders, antialiasing, and much more. This particular benchmarking can measure systems with up to 64 processor threads. The result is given in points (pts). The higher the number, the faster your processor.



WinRAR x64


WinRAR x64 5.40
Test: Built-in benchmark, processing 1000MB of data.
Comparison: Time to Finish

One of the most popular file archival and compression utilities, WinRAR's built-in benchmark is a great way of measuring a processor's compression and decompression performance. Since it is a memory bandwidth intensive workload it is also useful in evaluating the efficiency of a system's memory subsystem.




FAHBench


FAHBench 1.2.0
Test: OpenCL on CPU
Comparison: Generated Score

FAHBench is the official [email protected] benchmark that measures the compute performance of CPUs and GPUs. It can test both OpenCL and CUDA code, using either single or double precision, and implicit or explicit modeling. The single precision implicit model most closely relates to current folding performance.




HEVC Decode Benchmark v1.61


HEVC Decode Benchmark (Cobra) v1.61
Test: Frame rates at various resolution, focusing on the top quality 25Mbps bitrate results.
Comparison: FPS (Frames per Second)

The HEVC Decode Benchmark measures a system's HEVC video decoding performance at various bitrates and resolutions. HEVC, also known as H.265, is the successor to the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC (Advanced Video Coding) standard and it is very computationally intensive if not hardware accelerated. This decode test is done entirely on the CPU.




LuxMark v3.1


Test: OpenCL CPU Mode benchmark of the LuxBall HDR scene.
Comparison: Generated Score

LuxMark is a OpenCL benchmarking tool that utilizes the LuxRender 3D rendering engine. Since it OpenCL based, this benchmark can be used to test OpenCL rendering performance on both CPUs and GPUs, and it can put a significant load on the system due to its highly parallelized code.




PCMark 8


PCMark 8 is the latest iteration of Futuremark’s system benchmark franchise. It generates an overall score based upon system performance with all components being stressed in one way or another. The result is posted as a generalized score. In this case, we tested with both the standard Conventional benchmark and the Accelerated benchmark, which automatically chooses the optimal device on which to perform OpenCL acceleration.



AIDA64 Memory Benchmark

AIDA64 Extreme Edition is a diagnostic and benchmarking software suite for home users that provides a wide range of features to assist in overclocking, hardware error diagnosis, stress testing, and sensor monitoring. It has unique capabilities to assess the performance of the processor, system memory, and disk drives.

The benchmarks used in this review are the memory bandwidth and latency benchmarks. Memory bandwidth benchmarks (Memory Read, Memory Write, Memory Copy) measure the maximum achievable memory data transfer bandwidth. The code behind these benchmark methods are written in Assembly and they are extremely optimized for every popular AMD, Intel and VIA processor core variants by utilizing the appropriate x86/x64, x87, MMX, MMX+, 3DNow!, SSE, SSE2, SSE4.1, AVX, and AVX2 instruction set extension.
The Memory Latency benchmark measures the typical delay when the CPU reads data from system memory. Memory latency time means the penalty measured from the issuing of the read command until the data arrives to the integer registers of the CPU.



Currently available versions of AIDA64 don't measure the memory latency properly on this new AM4 platform, so take those results with a grain of salt. While the gross numbers might not be correct, the actual latency reduction that we are seeing looks proportionally accurate.
 

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,088
Location
Montreal
Gaming Benchmarks

Gaming Benchmarks



Futuremark 3DMark (2013)


3DMark v1.1.0
Graphic Settings: Fire Strike Preset
Rendered Resolution: 1920x1080
Test: Specific Physics Score and Full Run 3DMarks
Comparison: Generated Score


3DMark is the brand new cross-platform benchmark from the gurus over at Futuremark. Designed to test a full range of hardware from smartphones to high-end PCs, it includes three tests for DirectX 9, DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 hardware, and allows users to compare 3DMark scores with other Windows, Android and iOS devices. Most important to us is the new Fire Strike preset, a DirectX 11 showcase that tests tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. Like every new 3DMark version, this test is extremely GPU-bound, but it does contain a heavy physics test that can show off the potential of modern multi-core processors.




Futuremark 3DMark 11


3DMark 11 v1.0.5
Graphic Settings: Extreme Preset
Resolution: 1920x1080
Test: Specific Physics Score and Full Run 3DMarks
Comparison: Generated Score


3DMark 11 is Futuremark's very latest benchmark, designed to tests all of the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. At the moment, it is lot more GPU-bound than past versions are now, but it does contain a terrific physics test which really taxes modern multi-core processors.




Futuremark 3DMark Vantage


3DMark Vantage v1.1.2
Graphic Settings: Performance Preset
Resolution: 1280x1024

Test: Specific CPU Score and Full Run 3DMarks
Comparison: Generated Score

3DMark Vantage is the follow-up to the highly successful 3DMark06. It uses DirectX 10 exclusively so if you are running Windows XP, you can forget about this benchmark. Along with being a very capable graphics card testing application, it also has very heavily multi-threaded CPU tests, such Physics Simulation and Artificial Intelligence (AI), which makes it a good all-around gaming benchmark.




Valve Particle Simulation Benchmark


Valve Particle Simulation Benchmark
Resolution: 1920x1080
Anti-Aliasing: 4X
Anisotropic Filtering: 8X
Graphic Settings: High

Comparison: Particle Performance Metric

Originally intended to demonstrate new processing effects added to Half Life 2: Episode 2 and future projects, the particle benchmark condenses what can be found throughout HL2:EP2 and combines it all into one small but deadly package. This test does not symbolize the performance scale for just Episode Two exclusively, but also for many other games and applications that utilize multi-core processing and particle effects. This benchmark might be a little old, but is still very highly-threaded and thus will keep scaling nicely as processors gain more and more threads. As you will see the benchmark does not score in FPS but rather in its own "Particle Performance Metric", which is useful for direct CPU comparisons.




X3: Terran Conflict


X3: Terran Conflict 1.2.0.0
Resolution: 1920x1080
Texture & Shader Quality: High
Antialiasing 4X
Anisotropic Mode: 8X
Glow Enabled

Game Benchmark
Comparison: FPS (Frames per Second)

X3: Terran Conflict (X3TC) is the culmination of the X-series of space trading and combat simulator computer games from German developer Egosoft. With its vast space worlds, intricately detailed ships, and excellent effects, it remains a great test of modern CPU performance. While the X3 Reality engine is single-threaded, it provides us with an interesting look at performance in an old school game environment.




Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward Benchmark


Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward
Resolution: 1920x1080
Texture & Shader Quality: Maximum IQ
DirectX 11
Fullscreen

Game Benchmark
Comparison: Generated Score

Square Enix released this benchmarking tool to rate how your system will perform in Heavensward, the expansion to Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. This official benchmark software uses actual maps and playable characters to benchmark gaming performance and assign a score to your PC.





Grand Theft Auto V


DirectX Version: DirectX 11
Resolution: 1920x1080
FXAA: On
MSAA: X4
NVIDIA TXAA: Off
Anisotropic Filtering: X16
All advanced graphics settings off.

In GTA V, we utilize the handy in-game benchmarking tool. We do ten full runs of the benchmark and average the results of pass 3 since they are the least erratic. We do additional runs if some of the results are clearly anomalous. The Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (RAGE) is ostensibly multi-threaded, but it definitely places the bulk of the CPU load on only one or two threads.





Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor


Resolution: 1920x1080
Graphical Quality: Custom
Mesh/Shadow/Texture Filtering/Vegetation Range: Ultra
Lighting/Texture Quality/Ambient Occlusion: High
Depth of Field/Order Independent Transparency/Tesselation: Enabled

With its high resolution textures and several other visual tweaks, Shadow of Mordor’s open world is also one of the most detailed around. This means it puts massive load on graphics cards and should help point towards which GPUs will excel at next generation titles. We do three full runs of the benchmark and average the results.


 
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MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
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Messages
1,088
Location
Montreal
Voltage Regulation / Power Consumption

Voltage Regulation

Since this is a fairly mainstream motherboard, we aren't surprised that it does not have any onboard voltage measurement points, which is what we usually prefer to use to accurately measure the various system voltages. Usually that is not a big deal, since we can rely on a few pieces of software to shed some light on voltage regulation. However, given the newness of this platform, most applications haven't yet been tailored to be able to accurately read the sensors of all the new AM4 motherboards. Regrettably, that is the case with this model. AIDA64 - and more specifically the AIDA64 System Stability Test - is not able to accurately read the CPU voltage on the ASRock X370 Taichi. We always use this test to see if a motherboard can maintain a steady vCore line with or without Load-Line Calibration (LLC) enabled.



Click on image to enlarge

As you can see above, AIDA64 reports an erroneous CPU core voltage - same as CPU-Z does - since it is unable to properly read the voltage monitoring sensor on this motherboard. While the CPU VID voltage looks plausibly correct, it is also wrong if you take a peak at what the AMD Ryzen Master utility is reporting as the actual CPU voltage. While looking at the Ryzen Master utility we saw the voltage fluctuate between 1.26250V and 1.26875V with LLC off and with LLC at Level 1 (most aggressive). As mentioned in the software section, at least for now, we highly recommend using this AMD-source utility as the primary source of your voltage and temperature monitoring on this AM4 platform.

It is quite possible that we will need to revise or even scrap this test in the future, since the unique way in which Ryzen processors manage their voltage might not even allow a vCore line that is straight as an arrow, which is something that you can do on Intel's platforms. We will know better once we get our hands on another X370 motherboard.


Power Consumption

For this section, every energy saving feature was enabled in the BIOS and the Windows power plan was changed from High Performance to Balanced. For our idle test, we let the system idle for 15 minutes and measured the peak wattage through our UPM EM100 power meter. For our CPU load test, we ran Prime 95 In-place large FFTs on all available threads, measuring the peak wattage via the UPM EM100 power meter. For our overall system load test, we ran Prime 95 on all available threads while simultaneously loading the GPU with 3DMark Vantage - Test 6 Perlin Noise.


Given the fact that AMD recommends placing the Windows power plan in High Performance mode instead of Balanced mode in order to get the best possible performance, that is what we did. However, there was clearly an effect on the idle power consumption numbers. For example, when we did switch to Balanced mode, the idle numbers dropped from the 68W to 56W for our most basic configuration.

At the moment, we have nothing to directly compare these ASRock X370 Taichi numbers with - unless you to want compare with a ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming K6 - but looking at multiple other sources we see that these power consumption results are exactly where they should be. Once you pump a bit of extra voltage into a Ryzen chip and start raising the frequency across all cores, its current draw rises quite a lot, hence the large power consumption increase in our overclocked configuration.
 
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MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,088
Location
Montreal
Conclusion

Conclusion



So first let's get the negatives out of the way, which thankfully won't take long. First, unlike most other X370 motherboards this model has no video outputs, which makes it essentially useless for the upcoming Zen-based APUs. Is that an actual problem? Not to us. If you're building a budget-friendly 7th Generation A-Series APU system, there is no real reason to buy a $200 motherboard with a 16-phase VRM. ASRock purpose-built the X370 Taichi for eight-core Ryzen processors, and that's where it shines.

The second negative is that at this present time this model has no automatic overclocking features. This means that for the foreseeable future you're on your own when it comes to overclocking the cores or the memory. Thankfully, if we ignore the BCLK, overclocking on this platform is not exactly rocket surgery (sic). It involves a grand total of three voltages and two multipliers, and there's only about a 200-300MHz difference between an average and great overclock. Also, since the BIOS has an XMP Profile option, if you pick the right memory kit DDR4 overclocking can be as simple as enabling that setting. As a result, lack of an automatic overclocking feature is not a deal-breaker for us at this time. ASRock assured us that is it coming, and we are willing to wait for a well-implemented feature that is based on extensive testing with numerous processor samples.


Since we are on the topic of overclocking, our manual efforts went extremely smoothly from Day 1. We were able to push our R7 1800X to 4.1Ghz across all cores, which is at the upper end of what you can expect from an eight-core Ryzen processor. It was as simple as setting the Vcore to 1.40V and selecting the 4100MHz option in the BIOS. Even though we really weren't stressing its capabilities, the 16-phase power design really came into play by remaining lukewarm throughout all our testing. With such an overbuilt VRM, the load is spread across so many MOSFETs that none of them ever run hot. When it came time to overclock the memory we were fortunate to have an excellent G.Skill kit on hand, which was not only single rank and Samsung-based, but which had a DDR4-3200 14-14-14 XMP profile. Basically, it was perfect for this platform, and aside from increasing the SOC voltage to 1.20V, we were able to just enable the aforementioned XMP profile. Not every X370 motherboard out there can handle DDR4-3200 at the moment, even with a seemingly ideal memory kit.

We also can't overlook the inclusion of a BCLK chip, since not all AM4 motherboards have them, and they are the only way of hitting memory speeds above DDR4-3200. We didn't have the greatest success increasing the BCLK, but we still have to figure out which of our devices can or cannot tolerate a higher than default PCI-E frequency. The addition of P-State overclocking in the UEFI is also really cool, but again it is a rather advanced feature that not everyone is going to want to venture into.

We really appreciate the vast storage connectivity that ASRock have built onto this model. From the Intel-powered gigabit LAN port and onboard 802.11ac Wi-Fi, to the vast USB options, to the class-leading ten SATA 6Gb/s ports, and also the two M.2 slots. Yes, one of those M.2 slots is a little less than half the speed of the first, but that's simply a platform limitation. It is still perfect for a larger SATA-based M.2 drive, or even just performance-limited NVMe model like the Intel SSD 600p Series.

The ASRock RGB LED feature won't necessarily WOW anyone on its own, but with the included RGB LED headers there's a lot of additional lighting that can be added via LED strips. What should impress people is the onboard audio solution, which posted some of the best numbers that we have ever recorded on a motherboard.

Overall, the ASRock X370 Taichi seems like a fantastic option for a no-nonsense Ryzen build. It might not be flashy, but all the fundamentals are there, there's a ton of connectivity, it overclocks like a champ, and it's clearly built to handle that overclock over the long haul.

 
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