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ASRock Z370 Taichi Motherboard Review

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Introduction

ASRock’s Taichi branded motherboards have been a very popular choice the last few generations for their well-balanced platform offering rock-solid, easy to use premium features at an optimal price point. The Taichi features the usual machine gear pattern over the majority of the board but in a more subdued grey and black contrast with a large gear shaped heatsink over the new Intel Z370 chipset.

 

With a board targeted at an optimal price to performance a target, we’ll see if any corners had to be cut. The Taichi supports the latest in connectivity from triple M.2 ports supporting RAID and Optane memory to front panel USB3.1 and we can’t count out the new 6-core, 12-thread 8th generation CPU’s to power it all.

 

ProClockers would like to thank ASRock for sending the Z370 Taichi over to check out!

 

ASRock’s take on the Z370 Taichi:

Supports 8th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors (Socket 1151)

Supports DDR4 4333+(OC)

3 PCIe 3.0 x16, 2 PCIe 3.0 x1

NVIDIA® Quad SLI™, AMD 3-Way CrossFireX™

Graphics Output Options: HDMI, Display Port

7.1 CH HD Audio (Realtek ALC1220 Audio Codec)

Supports Purity Sound™ 4 & DTS Connect

8 SATA3, 3 Ultra M.2 (PCIe Gen3 x4 & SATA3)

3 USB 3.1 Gen2 (1 Front Type-C, 1 Rear Type-C, 1 Rear Type-A)

8 USB 3.1 Gen1 (4 Front, 4 Rear)

Dual Intel® Gigabit LAN

Intel® 802.11ac WiFi + BT 4.2

ASRock RGB LED

Hyper BCLK Engine II

Intel® Optane™ Memory Ready

Features & Specifications

 

Product Specifications

Unique FeaturesASRock USB 3.1 Gen2
– ASRock Front Panel Type C USB 3.1 Gen2 Header (10 Gb/s)
– ASRock Rear USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A Port (10 Gb/s)
– ASRock Rear USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C Port (10 Gb/s)
ASRock Super Alloy
– XXL Aluminum Alloy Heatsink
– Premium 60A Power Choke
– Premium Memory Alloy Choke (Reduces 70% core loss compared to iron powder choke)
– Dual-Stack MOSFET (DSM)
– Combo Caps (Nichicon 12K Black Caps)
– Nichicon 12K Black Caps (100% Japan made high quality conductive polymer capacitors)
– I/O Armor
– Matte Black PCB
– High Density Glass Fabric PCB
Intel® 802.11ac WiFi
ASRock Steel Slots
ASRock Ultra M.2 (PCIe Gen3 x4 & SATA3)
ASRock Full Spike Protection (for all USB, Audio, LAN Ports)
ASRock Live Update & APP Shop
CPU– Supports 8th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors (Socket 1151)
– Digi Power design
– 12 Power Phase design
– Supports Intel® Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology
– Supports Intel® K-Series unlocked CPUs
– Supports ASRock BCLK Full-range Overclocking
– Supports ASRock Hyper BCLK Engine II
Chipset – Intel® Z370
Memory – Dual Channel DDR4 Memory Technology
– 4 x DDR4 DIMM Slots
– Supports DDR4 4333+(OC)* / 4266(OC) / 4133(OC) / 4000(OC) / 3866(OC) / 3800(OC) / 3733(OC) / 3600(OC) / 3200(OC) / 2933(OC) / 2800(OC) / 2666 / 2400 / 2133 non-ECC, un-buffered memory
– Supports ECC UDIMM memory modules (operate in non-ECC mode)
– Max. capacity of system memory: 64GB**
– Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) 2.0
– 15μ Gold Contact in DIMM Slots
BIOS – 2 x 128Mb AMI UEFI Legal BIOS with multilingual GUI support (1 x Main BIOS and 1 x Backup BIOS)
– Supports Secure Backup UEFI Technology
– ACPI 6.0 Compliant wake up events
– SMBIOS 2.7 Support
– CPU Core/Cache, GT Core/Cache, DRAM, PCH 1.0V, VCCIO, VCCST, VCCSA, VCCPLL, CPU Internal PLL, GT PLL, Ring PLL, System Agent PLL, Memory Controller PLL Voltage Multi-adjustment
Graphics – Supports Intel® UHD Graphics Built-in Visuals : Intel® Quick Sync Video with AVC, MVC (S3D) and MPEG-2 Full HW Encode1, Intel® InTru™ 3D, Intel® Clear Video HD Technology, Intel® Insider™, Intel® UHD Graphics
– DirectX 12
– HWA Encode/Decode: VP9 8-bit, VP9 10-bit (Encode only), VP8, HEVC (MPEG-H Part2, h.265), AVC (MPEG4, h.264), MPEG2-Part2 (h.262), JPEG/MJPEG,VC-1
– Max. shared memory 1024MB*
– Dual graphics output: Support HDMI and DisplayPort 1.2 ports by independent display controllers
– Supports HDMI with max. resolution up to 4K x 2K (4096×2160) @ 30Hz
– Supports DisplayPort 1.2 with max. resolution up to 4K x 2K (4096×2304) @ 60Hz
– Supports Auto Lip Sync, Deep Color (12bpc), xvYCC and HBR (High Bit Rate Audio) with HDMI Port (Compliant HDMI monitor is required)
– Supports HDCP with HDMI and DisplayPort 1.2 Ports
– Supports 4K Ultra HD (UHD) playback with HDMI and DisplayPort 1.2 Ports
Audio – 7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC1220 Audio Codec)
– Premium Blu-ray Audio support
– Supports Surge Protection
– Supports Purity Sound™ 4
– Nichicon Fine Gold Series Audio Caps
– 120dB SNR DAC with Differential Amplifier
– NE5532 Premium Headset Amplifier for Front Panel Audio Connector (Supports up to 600 Ohm headsets)
– Pure Power-In
– Direct Drive Technology
– PCB Isolate Shielding
– Impedance Sensing on Front Out port
– Individual PCB Layers for R/L Audio Channel
– Gold Audio Jacks
– 15μ Gold Audio Connector
– Supports DTS Connect
LAN – Gigabit LAN 10/100/1000 Mb/s
– 1 x Giga PHY Intel® I219V, 1 x GigaLAN Intel® I211AT
– Supports Wake-On-LAN
– Supports Lightning/ESD Protection
– Supports Dual LAN with Teaming*
– Supports Energy Efficient Ethernet 802.3az
– Supports PXE
Wireless LAN – Intel® 802.11ac WiFi Module
– Supports IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
– Supports Dual-Band (2.4/5 GHz)
– Supports high speed wireless connections up to 433Mbps
– Supports Bluetooth 4.2 / 3.0 + High speed class II
Slots – 3 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 Slots (PCIE2/PCIE4/PCIE5: single at x16 (PCIE2); dual at x8 (PCIE2) / x8 (PCIE4); triple at x8 (PCIE2) / x4 (PCIE4) / x4 (PCIE5))*
– 2 x PCI Express 3.0 x1 Slots (Flexible PCIe)
– Supports AMD Quad CrossFireX™, 3-Way CrossFireX™ and CrossFireX™
– Supports NVIDIA® Quad SLI™ and SLI™
– 1 x Vertical M.2 Socket (Key E) with the bundled WiFi-802.11ac module (on the rear I/O)
– 15μ Gold Contact in VGA PCIe Slot (PCIE2)
Storage– 6 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s Connectors, support RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10, Intel® Rapid Storage Technology 15), NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug*
– 2 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s Connectors by ASMedia ASM1061, support NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug
– 2 x Ultra M.2 Sockets (M2_1 and M2_2), support M Key type 2242/2260/2280/22110 M.2 SATA3 6.0 Gb/s module and M.2 PCI Express module up to Gen3 x4 (32 Gb/s)**
– 1 x Ultra M.2 Socket (M2_3), supports M Key type 2242/2260/2280 M.2 SATA3 6.0 Gb/s module and M.2 PCI Express module up to Gen3 x4 (32 Gb/s)**
Connector – 1 x TPM Header
– 1 x Power LED and Speaker Header
– 1 x RGB LED Header*
– 1 x CPU Fan Connector (4-pin)**
– 1 x CPU Optional/Water Pump Fan Connector (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)***
– 2 x Chassis Fan Connectors (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)
– 1 x Chassis Optional/Water Pump Fan Connector (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)****
– 1 x 24 pin ATX Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
– 1 x 8 pin 12V Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
– 1 x Front Panel Audio Connector (15μ Gold Audio Connector)
– 1 x Thunderbolt™ AIC Connector (5-pin)
– 3 x USB 2.0 Headers (Support 6 USB 2.0 ports) (Intel® Z370) (Supports ESD Protection)
– 2 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Headers (Support 4 USB 3.1 Gen1 ports) (ASMedia ASM1074 hub) (Supports ESD Protection)
– 1 x Front Panel Type C USB 3.1 Gen2 Header (ASMedia ASM3142)
– 1 x Dr. Debug with LED
– 1 x XMP Switch
– 1 x BIOS B Select Jumper
Rear Panel I/O – 2 x Antenna Ports
– 1 x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Port
– 1 x HDMI Port
– 1 x DisplayPort 1.2
– 1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
– 1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A Port (10 Gb/s) (ASMedia ASM3142) (Supports ESD Protection)
– 1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C Port (10 Gb/s) (ASMedia ASM3142) (Supports ESD Protection)
– 4 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Ports (Intel® Z370) (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)
Software and UEFISoftware
– ASRock A-Tuning
– ASRock RGB LED
– ASRock XFast LAN
UEFI
– ASRock EZ Mode
– ASRock Full HD UEFI
– ASRock My Favorites in UEFI
– ASRock Instant Flash
– ASRock Internet Flash
– ASRock Easy RAID Installer
Support CD – Drivers, Utilities, AntiVirus Software (Trial Version), Google Chrome Browser and Toolbar
Accessories– Quick Installation Guide, Support CD, I/O Shield
– 4 x SATA Data Cables
– 1 x ASRock SLI_HB_Bridge_2S Card
– 2 x ASRock WiFi 2.4/5 GHz Antennas
– 3 x Screws for M.2 Sockets
Hardware Monitor– Temperature Sensing: CPU, CPU Optional/Water Pump, Chassis, Chassis Optional/Water Pump Fans
– Fan Tachometer: CPU, CPU Optional/Water Pump, Chassis, Chassis Optional/Water Pump Fans
– Quiet Fan (Auto adjust chassis fan speed by CPU temperature): CPU, CPU Optional/Water Pump, Chassis, Chassis Optional/Water Pump Fans
– Fan Multi-Speed Control: CPU, CPU Optional/Water Pump, Chassis, Chassis Optional/Water Pump Fans
– Voltage monitoring: +12V, +5V, +3.3V, CPU Vcore, DRAM, VPPM, PCH 1.0V, VCCSA, VCCST
Form Factor ATX Form Factor: 12.0-in x 9.6-in, 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm
OSMicrosoft® Windows® 10 64-bit
Certifications– FCC, CE
– ErP/EuP ready (ErP/EuP ready power supply is required)
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Unboxing & A Closer Look

As our sample came as an OEM sample with no retail packaging, we’re going to skip that particular part of our normal review process.

Our board came well packaged and protected from shipping damages, but this is what we got. The board is wrapped in an ESD bag inside a layer of foam and included the rear I/O shield and WiFi antennas.

 

The front of the Z370 Taichi shows the signature gear pattern of the Taichi family, but in more less pronounced grey over previous white versions.  Metallic accents adorn the chipset and VRM heatsinks, and the chipset heatsink itself is the shape of a large gear. The rear I/O and audio areas of the board are shrouded as usual and in a matching dark grey.

 

 

The rear of the board is fairly clean, only a few chips and a handful of components are back here.

 

 

Rear I/O is comprised of a button to clear the CMOS, a PS/2 mouse and keyboard port, four USB 3.0 ports, dual Intel-powered Gigabit LAN ports, two WiFi antenna jacks, two USB 3.1 gen 2 plugs, and the usual gold plated  8 channel audio and optical audio output. CPU powered video output is handled by a DisplayPort 1.2 plug and an HDMI 1.4b port.

 

 

The top half of the board holds the LGA 1151 socket, 4 DIMM slots, the rear I/O and the VRM. The VRM heatsinks cover a 12-phase VRM segment, so overclocking the new 6 core CPU’s should go quite smoothly. A Turbo M.2 slot sits just under the CPU socket.

 

 

The lower half of the board has two PCIe x1 slots that are opened at the rear to allow larger cards to be installed, as well as three steel-reinforced PCIe x16 slots. Near the bottom are two more Turbo M.2 slots turned face to face for support of up to three drives. A large gear shaped heatsink covers the Z370 chipset.

 

 

One RGB zone is under the chipset heatsink and lights up most of the surrounding motherboard.

 

 

Here you can see the LED’s face outwards from under the heatsink all the way around the perimeter with the exception of the cutout area near the PCIe slots.

 

 

Connections along the bottom include the Purity Sound 4 powered front panel audio header, a TPM module header, and a Thunderbolt expansion connection. A trio of USB 2.0 headers is welcome as many devices still use these, such as RGB controllers, fan controllers, even power supplies and liquid cooling units for reporting and control. Next up is a 4-pin high power fan header, an analog RGB header, a jumper for switching to the backup BIOS, and your front panel I/O Connections. A 2-digit POST code readout sits just above.

 

 

Going up the front edge, we have 2 SATA ports powered by an extra controller, and 6 Chipset connected SATA ports. A USB 3.1 header sits between two USB 3.0 headers, one of which is right-angled. The main 24-pin power connection is near the top. Also hiding in this corner is a small switch to kick XMP on for your memory without having to enter the BIOS.

 

 

The top edge of the board has a single 4-pin fan header as well as a PWM configuration jumper, and the CPU’s 8-pin power connection.

 

System Configuration & BIOS

CPU: Intel Core i7-8700k

Motherboard: ASRock Z370 Taichi

RAM: 32GB GeIL EVO Spear 3200Mhz

GPU: Galax GTX 1070 HOF

SSD: SanDisk Ultra Plus 256GB

OS: Windows 10 Professional X64

ASRock starts you out in the ‘EZ Mode’ of the BIOS. You get a quick rundown of everything in the PC, as well as some basic options like turning on RAID or XMP.

Hitting F6 brings you to an advanced mode where all of the settings live. The Main tab is more of a landing page showing basic system specs.

The OC Tweaker page is where most will spend the most time. Clock speeds, multipliers, voltages and the works can all be found under here.

The Advanced page lets you dive a little deeper into certain areas like I/O or USB configuration.

Each of the advanced pages offers some important but less often needed settings.

The tools page is an important one and was our first stop to update our system to the latest available BIOS.

You can also adjust your system lighting right from in here as well, and these settings apply even while the system is turned off.

The hardware monitor is pretty self-explanatory. You can keep tabs on all system voltages, temperatures, fan speeds and everything else related here.

Most enthusiasts probably won’t use anything in the security tab, but a BIOS password can be set here as well as turning on the Trusted Platform module if installed.

And last but not least, the Boot tab. Here you can configure things like boot order, and even turn off the full-screen boot logo if you prefer to see a quick summary instead.

Software

Live Update & App Shop

ASRock’s consolidated Live Update & App Shop is a handy tool to get everything installed all at once. You can grab all of the latest drivers and utilities from one location, as well as some suggested software like Google Chrome.

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ASRock RGB LED

While this can be done from the BIOS as well, it’s pretty convenient to be able to adjust your system lighting right from your desktop.

XFast LAN

ASRock’s Xfast LAN is another handy utility that handles everything internet related from limiting bandwidth used by certain programs to giving things like your favorite game the highest priority on your connection for a lag-free experience no matter what else is going on.

Performance Testing

General Performance Testing

All performance testing was done with an i7-8700K and GTX 1070 at default clock speed. CPU was left with Speed Step and Turbo Boost enabled. The only setting changed was enabling XMP memory settings in the BIOS. Games where ran at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and higher settings enabled as noted.

PCMark 8

“Use the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark to test the performance of SSDs, HDDs and hybrid drives with traces recorded from Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office and a selection of popular games. You can test the system drive or any other recognized storage device, including local external drives. Unlike synthetic storage tests, the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark highlights real-world performance differences between storage devices.”

 

ASRock’s Z370 Taichi comes out of the gate swinging, missing first place by only a few points.

 

PCMark 10

PCMark 10 is the complete benchmark for the modern office. It is the ideal test for organizations that are evaluating PCs for a workforce with a range of performance needs. The tests in this benchmark cover a wide range of activities from everyday productivity tasks to demanding work with digital media content.
PCMark 10 uses a modular approach to build relevant benchmark tests around common end-user scenarios. A Test Group is a collection of workloads that share a common theme or purpose. There are four test groups in PCMark 10, we use three of them.
Essentials: covers the common, everyday ways that people use a PC. The workloads include Web Browsing, Video Conferencing, and App Start-up time.
Productivity: measures system performance with everyday office applications. This test group includes the Spreadsheets and Writing workloads.
Digital Content Creation: This test group’s workload reflects the demands of working with digital content and media. The tests include Photo Editing, Video Editing, and Rendering and Visualization.

The Taichi takes 2nd place again in PCMark10 overall, but we see a slight hit to our productivity score for some reason.

WebXPRT 2015

WebXPRT 2013 uses scenarios created to mirror the tasks you do every day to compare the performance of almost any Web-enabled device. It contains four HTML5- and JavaScript-based workloads: Photo Effects, Face Detect, Stocks Dashboard, and Offline Notes.  WebXPRT is run with the latest stable release version of Google Chrome browser, in this case, Version 61.

In WEbXPRT the Taichi misses first place by around 40 points but leads the next board by nearly 100 points.

CPU Performance Testing

Super PI Modded 1.5

“In August 1995, the calculation of pi up to 4,294,960,000 decimal digits was succeeded by using a supercomputer at the University of Tokyo. The program was written by D.Takahashi in collaboration with Dr.Y.Kanada at the computer center. This record should be the current world record. (Details are shown in the windows help.) This record-breaking program was ported to personal computer environments such as Windows NT and Windows 95. In order to calculate 33.55 million digits, it takes within 3 days with a Pentium 90 MHz, 40 MB main memory and 340 MB available storage.”

In Super Pi, the Taichi turns in a time of seven minutes and 9 seconds and is about a tenth of a second slower than the ASUS board in the list.

CINEBENCH R15

“CINEBENCH is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer’s performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON’s award-winning animation software CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Iron Man 3, Oblivion, Life of Pi or Prometheus and much more.

CINEBENCH is the perfect tool to compare CPU and graphics performance across various systems and platforms (Windows and OS X). And best of all: It’s completely free.”

In Cinebench, the Taichi comes in last due to its less aggressive use of Turbo speeds on the CPU.

7-Zip

The benchmark shows a rating in MIPS (million instructions per second). The rating value is calculated from the measured speed, and it is normalized with results of Intel Core 2 CPU with multi-threading option switched off. So if you have modern CPU from Intel or AMD, rating values in single-thread mode must be close to real CPU frequency. There are two tests, compression with LZMA method and decompression with LZMA method. Once the total passes reaches 100, the score is taken

The Taichi must really love to compress and decompress files, it scored a small landslide ahead of the completion here.

Memory Performance Testing

AIDA64 Engineer Edition

“FinalWire Ltd. today announced the immediate availability of AIDA64 Extreme Edition 1.50 software, a streamlined diagnostic and benchmarking tool for home users; and the immediate availability of AIDA64 Business Edition 1.50 software, an essential network management solution for small and medium scale enterprises. The new AIDA64 update implements AVX-optimized benchmarks for the upcoming Intel Sandy Bridge processors, adds a brand new video encoding benchmark, and supports the latest AMD and NVIDIA graphics processors.”

In memory bandwidth, the Z370 Taichi did excellently, and depending on which category you are looking at, actually might have taken first.

In latency testing, the Taichi takes first place quite easily.

  

Passmark Performance Test – Memory Mark – Threaded

“Fast, easy to use, PC speed testing and benchmarking. PassMark Performance Test ™ allows you to objectively benchmark a PC using a variety of different speed tests and compare the results to other computers.”

Passmark also shows strong memory performance from the Taichi

 

SiSoft Sandra

“SiSoftware Sandra provides a robust package of diagnostic tools for testing your system and teasing out its problems–or potential headaches.”

SiSoft also shows great memory performance, so it can’t be a fluke.

  

Storage Testing

ATTO Disk Benchmark

“As the industry’s leading provider of high-performance storage & network connectivity products, ATTO has created a widely-accepted Disk Benchmark freeware utility to help measure storage system performance. As one of the top tools utilized in the industry, Disk Benchmark identifies performance in hard drives, solid state drives, RAID arrays as well as connections to storage. Top drive manufacturers, like Hitachi, build and test every drive using the ATTO Disk Benchmark”

ATTO shows out Samsung 850 EVO performing close to its rating.

CrystalDiskMark 3.0

“CrystalDiskMark is designed to quickly test the performance of your hard drives. Currently, the program allows measuring sequential and random read/write speeds.”

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Crystal Disk Mark shows exactly the drives rated 520MB/s writes but is a hair above the rated 540MB/s reads.

AS SSD

The AS SSD benchmark determines the performance of Solid State Drives (SSD). The tool contains six synthetic and three copy tests.

The synthetic tests determine the sequential and random read and write performance of the SSD. These tests are performed without using the operating system cache. In the Seq test, the program measures how long it takes to read and write a 1 GB file. In the 4K test, read and write performance is determined for randomly selected 4K blocks. The 4K-64 Third test is equivalent to the 4K procedure, except that the read and write operations are distributed to 64 threads. This test should show differences between the IDE operating mode where NCQ is not supported and the AHCI mode for SSDs with Native Command Queuing (NCQ). The additional compression test can measure the performance of the SSD as a function of the compressibility of the data. This is especially important for the controllers that are used to increase the performance and life of the cell compression.

AS SSD uses a slightly different testing methodology and usually shows a bit lower on most, but this is right about where this drive normally scores.

Game Testing

 3DMark – Fire Strike

“Fire Strike is a showcase DirectX 11 benchmark designed for today’s high-performance gaming PCs. It is our most ambitious and technical benchmark ever, featuring real-time graphics rendered with detail and complexity far beyond what is found in other benchmarks and games today”

Game testing with 3DMark Firestrike shows solid all-around performance, and the Taichi should provide solid gaming performance.

3DMark – Time Spy

“3Dmark Time Spy is a new DirectX 12 benchmark test for Windows 10 gaming PCs. Time Spay is one of the first DirectX 12 apps to be built “the right way” from the ground up to fully realize the performance gains that the new API offers. With DirectX 12 engine, which supports new API features like asynchronous compute, explicit multi-adapter, and multi-threading, Time Spy is the ideal test for benchmarking the latest graphics cards.”

While the Taichi appears to be last here, we had to really zoom in on the chart area to see much of a difference.

Grand Theft Auto: V

“When a young street hustler, a retired bank robber, and a terrifying psychopath find themselves entangled with some of the most frightening and deranged elements of the criminal underworld, the U.S. government and the entertainment industry, they must pull off a series of dangerous heists to survive in a ruthless city in which they can trust nobody, least of all each other.”

Again we get great performance with no bottlenecks.

Metro: Last Light

“It Is the Year 2034. Beneath the ruins of post-apocalyptic Moscow, in the tunnels of the Metro, the remnants of mankind are besieged by deadly threats from outside – and within. Mutants stalk the catacombs beneath the desolate surface, and hunt amidst the poisoned skies above.”

Developed by 4A Games and published by Deepsilver, Metro: Last Light uses the 4A game engine. At its highest settings, the 4A game engine is capable of bringing all but the most extreme gaming systems to their knees.

Metro: Last Light also does quite well.

Thief

“Garrett, the Master Thief, steps out of the shadows into the City. In this treacherous place, where the Baron’s Watch spreads a rising tide of fear and oppression, his skills are the only things he can trust. Even the most cautious citizens and their best-guarded possessions are not safe from his reach.”

Thief was developed by Eidos-Montréal and published by SQUARE ENIX, Eidos Interactive. The newest game in our benchmark suite, Thief is also one of the most demanding and has the highest recommended system requirements. Those heavy requirements allow it to use the Unreal 3 game engine to great effect. It also features AMD’s Mantle API, as well as Microsoft’s common DirectX 11 API.

And our last game is not heavily CPU dependent, so unless we see a large hit to frame rates, all is well and we see no issues here.

Overclocking

 

Since out Z370 Taichi has an ‘EZ OC’ mode, we’ll give it a spin first. We popped into the BIOS and simply enabled it, saved and rebooted.

Once we booted up, we find that the automatic overclock has given us a speed of 4.5GHz across all six cores.  This is a small jump and we’re pretty sure we can do a bit more.

Once back in the BIOS we jump into the OC Tweaker area and load the most aggressive CPU OC Setting there is.

As advertised, this gives us 5.0 GHz across all 6 cores. While this is stable, the core voltage is way too high at 1.45V and any benchmark attempt runs into thermal throttling, even on a custom liquid loop.

Even backing the voltage down to 1.44V, we are still able to push the clock up to 5.2 GHz by hand, but throttling is an issue.

 

In the end, we settled on 5.1 GHz core speeds and the cache boosted to 4.9 GHz.

This combination ended up giving us our best ever Cinebench score with this CPU at 1688.

Final Thoughts & Conclusion

We’ve found in the past that ASRock’s Taichi boards are solid performers, and the Z370 Taichi follows that tradition. The former black and white colored boards are nice, but we feel the more neutral color scheme opens up a really nice board to a bit larger audience. With a $220 street price, the ASRock Z370 Taichi is an affordable choice with a great level of performance. It placed at the top of pretty much all of our benchmarks right out of the box which is impressive enough, but we managed to hit a peak of 5.2 GHz but we hit out very best Cinebench score yet on the i7-8700k.

 

We really like the newer neutral color scheme with the metallic accents on the heatsinks, but users looking for a black and white board might be a little letdown. The small amount of RGB accenting is tasteful without looking like the steampunk disco like it easily could be. We really can’t find any negatives to point out on the Taichi. The automatic overclocking tools are not highly aggressive, but the factory provided profiles do quite well so we won’t mark off points for that one since you can manually overclock quite high anyway. Overall, if you are in the market for an upgrade to a new 8th generation platform, or want to just build a new gaming powerhouse, ASRock’s Z370 Taichi would make a great platform to build on. Great job ASRock!

 

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ProClockers was founded in 2004, and since then we have reviewed thousands of tech products, including motherboards, CPUs, graphics cards, PC cases, cooling solutions and more. Whilst many of the original products we reviewed back then have long bit the dust, we continue working hard to provide unbiased PC hardware and tech reviews.

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