The ASRock Z590 Taichi: A Quick Recap

Click here for the full review.

The ASRock Z590 Taichi is the brand's flagship model for Z590, and unless it releases a variant with an Aqua model with custom monoblock, such as it did for Z490 and X570, the Taichi is the main halo. Some of Taichi's prominent features include two full-length PCIe 4.0 slots operating at x16 and x8/x8, with a third full-length slot electronically locked to PCIe 3.0 x4 and one PCIe 3.0 x1 slot. In the top right-hand corner are four memory slots with support for up to DDR4-5000 with a maximum combined capacity of 128 GB.

Looking at storage, the Taichi has a total of three M.2 slots, with one supporting fast PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe drives and two with support for both PCIe 3.0 x4 and SATA M.2 drives. For conventional drives, ASRock includes a total of eight SATA ports, with six driven by the chipset with support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays; an ASMedia ASM1061 SATA controller powers the other two. Other notable features of the Z590 Taichi include a Thunderbolt 4 controller which adds two Type-C ports on the rear panel, a Realtek ALC1220 HD audio codec and ESS Sabre 9218 DAC pairing for the onboard audio, a Killer E3100G powered 2.5 GbE port, and a Killer AX1675x Wi-Fi 6E CNVi offering support for both the 6 GHz band and BT 5.2.

ASRock Z590 Taichi Key Overclocking Variables

Some of the primary variables to consider which are directly related to overclocking on the ASRock Z590 Taichi include:

  • Premium 14-phase power delivery operating at 6+2 (doubled design)
  • 2 x 8-pin 12 V ATX CPU power inputs
  • Active VRM cooling
  • Support for DDR4-5000 out of the box

Delving more into the finer specifications of the Taichi power delivery, it uses a 14-phase power delivery that operates in a 6+2 configuration and is driven by a Renesas ISL69269 PWM controller. The CPU section uses twelve Renesas ISL99390 90 A power stages and is paired up by six Renesas ISL6617A doublers. The SoC section includes two ISL 99390 90 A power stages.


The 14-phase power delivery on the ASRock Z590 Taichi (operating at 6+2)

Keeping the power delivery cool is a pair of heatsinks that are interconnected by a single heat pipe. The overall design includes a small cooling fan which makes this solution an active one, with optional brackets in the accessories for users to install either a 4 cm or 3 cm cooling fan. 

ASRock Z590 Taichi Firmware for Overclocking: OC Tweaker

The ASRock Taichi UEFI firmware uses a funky black, blue, and purple accented GUI, which fits in with the board's design. ASRock includes two modes for users within the BIOS, the 'Easy' mode and the 'Advanced' mode. All of the board's overclocking settings and features can be found within the OC Tweaker section of the Advanced area of the firmware.

Inside the OC Tweaker section, ASRock includes individually segmented menus for the CPU Frequency, Memory, and Voltage settings. Being easy to navigate between the three core menus makes it a pleasant experience. When it comes to overclocking on the Taichi, the most common settings for overclocking the processor include the CPU Ratio (frequency), the AVX ratio offsets, and the CPU VCore voltage. On the ASRock Z590 Taichi, applying any custom variable for CPU VCore will force Level 1 of the board's load line calibration settings, although users can change this if they wish to do so. 

Other variables to consider when overclocking Rocket Lake on the Z590 Taichi is through memory, with multiple options available to push frequency and tighten or loosen latency timings. The ASRock UEFI firmware is quite aggressive in its interpretation of boost via its Multi-Core Enhancement profiles. However, users can dial these up a notch (or down) with plenty of power settings for alternating Thermal Velocity Boost settings. Users looking to maximize performance on Rocket Lake will need adequate cooling to do so and a capable power supply with enough headroom to cover the increased power consumption that happens when Rocket Lake is pushed.

 

The ASRock Taichi firmware is a solid example of a BIOS done correctly. However, splitting the primary settings (CPU, Memory, and voltage) into separate menus can be as much of a benefit as a hindrance. There are many settings for users to play around with, but it's recommended that novice users stick to the default settings (we will go into more detail on this in conclusion).

Getting a baseline on stability and maximum all-core frequencies when using the ASRock Z590 Taichi, we achieved the following:

Achieved Stable Overclock on Each Core i9-11900K
Intel Core i9-11900K Sample Achieved All-Core
CPU Frequency
Achieved
CPU VCore
Voltage (V)
Chip #1 - Batch V051F933 5.2 GHz 1.440 V
Chip #2 - Batch V051F933 5.2 GHz 1.450 V
Chip #3 - Batch V051F933 5.2 GHz 1.460 V
Chip #4 - Batch X101J374 5.2 GHz 1.450 V

Testing our four Core i9-11900K processors with the ASRock Z590 Taichi yielded some interesting results. We managed to hit 5.2 GHz stable with CPU VCore voltages of between 1.440 V and 1.460 V. In terms of silicon quality; we found the best sample with his board to be chip #1, which gave us an all-core overclock of 5.2 GHz at 1.440 V.

In our VRM thermal testing during our full review of the board, we got the following results with the ASRock Z590 Taichi with Chip #1 at 5.1 GHz with 1.450 V:

  • VRM Sensor Temp: 68°C
  • VRM Probe 1: 70°C
  • VRM Probe 2: 71°C
  • Ambient Temp: 25°C

The ASRock Z590 Taichi is using an actively cooled power delivery heatsink design, with further room via accessories in the box to add an additional cooling fan. In our testing, we saw very competitive VRM thermals against the other Z590 models we've reviewed so far.

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  • StevoLincolnite - Monday, August 30, 2021 - link

    I just upgraded from my 10~ year old Core i7 3930K Sandy Bridge CPU, 6-cores, 12 threads. Overclocked to 4.6Ghz with 16Gb of Quad-Channel Ram...

    Haven't noticed much of a difference when upgrading to the Ryzen 9 5900X and 64GB of 3600Mhz Ram in the games I play. (Mostly just eSports titles)

    But hoping this rig lasts 10~ years like my last one.

    Sold my old system in parts and so far made about $1,000 AUD back, which is definitely a good return on investment... Enough to buy a Radeon RX 6700XT.
    Reply
  • lemurbutton - Monday, August 30, 2021 - link

    Buy Apple Silicon. Pretty soon, no amount of energy-wasting, environmentally unfriendly overclocks can match the speed of a 35w Apple Silicon thin and light Macbook Pro. Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Monday, August 30, 2021 - link

    > suggesting an apple ARM device for the enviroment.

    My sides have entered hyperspace. How can one be so dense?
    Reply
  • bigvlada - Monday, August 30, 2021 - link

    That's what we were hearing about slow and melting Pentium 66 MHz and lightning fast and cool 90 MHz PowerMac.

    And no, "This time it will be different tm" won't work, because just like in 1984. and 1994. majority of people do not want a closed, barely repairable system. In those early days, you needed a bayonet sized screwdriver and soldering iron in order to expand memory on Apple machines.
    Reply
  • joelypolly - Monday, August 30, 2021 - link

    I mean... look at the smartphone market. It's a good indication that the market has changed and most people are just looking for a computing appliance. Reply
  • M O B - Monday, August 30, 2021 - link

    Oh really. Do people normally want to swap out the GPU, RAM, disk, or WiFi/BT card in their android phone? Of course now. Phones, despite their computational power, are not computers. You fail at analogy.
    Every company except Apple at least makes it possible to swap out several components, granted that soldered RAM or PCIe SSDs are common in certain compact form factors.
    Reply
  • vshade - Tuesday, August 31, 2021 - link

    Smartphones are computers for most of the world, is the device they will communicate, make planning and game on. Reply
  • whatthe123 - Monday, August 30, 2021 - link

    It's an indication of an entirely new premium market that relies on subscriptions to mask costs. Macs continue to dominate in profitability but they always trail in marketshare because the upfront costs are too high, and nobody can really even get that market except Apple since Apple is the only one that has successfully created and maintained a lifestyle culture around their products. In order for Apple's CPUs to sweep the rest of the market they'd need to sell their chips directly or macs would need to overtake everything else in volume, neither of which Apple seems interested in doing or is really able to do since they're capped by TSMC's output. Reply
  • Exotic - Tuesday, August 31, 2021 - link

    On Desktop I agree as people generally want easy upgradability. Where Apple Sillicon will shine and be very impressive to a lot people will be in laptops. In 99.99% of laptops the CPU and GPU is soldered and is not user upgradeable and the same is to said for ultrabooks regarding RAM as that too is getting soldered onto the mainboard.

    Laptops also sell more than desktops these days.
    Reply
  • Wrs - Tuesday, August 31, 2021 - link

    Being closed and barely repairable is a side effect of tight integration, not necessarily with being Apple. It is true that Apple tends to be associated with pushing the curve on engineering/miniaturization and naturally this results in a higher price, but they don't have a monopoly on integration and neither does the PC side have a monopoly on expansion and the use of commodity parts.

    I remember Macs from the 90s, as well as Mac Minis in the 2010s that incorporated tool less entry to the RAM slots, and with just a few regular screws you can access the same on Intel iMacs. Hard drives were just more screws. That's leaving aside the Mac Pro lineup. Yet no modern smartphone lets you upgrade the RAM or internal storage because it takes a lot more effort to design user serviceability into such a tiny yet functional form factor.
    Reply

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