Starting off our large Z490 motherboard overview alphabetically, we take a look at the models from ASRock. As we've seen previously, ASRock is marketing its gaming-focused models with a handful of PG branded models at launch, with the Taichi, and Steel Legend boards making a reappearance. One of the most interesting features of the ATX sized ASRock Z490 models is the inclusion of a PCIe 4.0 clock generator, which is designed to offer longevity to its boards with support for Intel Rocket Lake. This allows the top full-length PCIe slot to run PCIe 4.0 from the CPU, which stretches to the PCIe M.2 slots which are driven from the CPU, and not the chipset.

ASRock Z490 Taichi

The ASRock Taichi series is one of its most prominent brands since it was introduced on the Intel Z270, and AMD X370 chipsets. The ASRock brand has evolved since then with more unique aesthetics and is usually associated with its premium range of models offered. The ASRock Z490 Taichi includes a PCIe 4.0 clock generator which allows support for Intel's Rocket Lake processors when it is released. Also present is three PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, eight SATA ports, a Realtek 2.5 G Ethernet controller, and 12-phase power delivery for the CPU. 

For the design, the ASRock Z490 Taichi has a primarily black aesthetic with Taichi clockwork inspired branding over the rear panel cover, heatsinks, and the PCIe area cover. It has multiple areas of integrated RGB LEDs including the rear panel cover, the chipset heatsink, and at the right-hand underside of the board. On the rear of the board is a large black metal backplate, which also has a Taichi clockwork inspired design. The power delivery is controlled by an Intersil ISL69269 PWM controller, with a 12+2+1 power delivery design using ISL 50 A DrMOS power stages. It uses a large pair of heat pipe connected heat sinks, with the rear panel cover area including a single cooling fan integrated into the design, with two small cooling fans on the other power delivery heatsink. 

The core feature set consists of three full-length PCIe 3.0 slots which run at x16, x16/x8, and x16/x8+4, with an additional two PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. For storage, there's three PCIe 3.0 x4 slots, with six SATA ports from the chipset, and two additional ports from an ASMedia ASM1061 controller. Each M.2 slot has its own Taichi inspired heatsink, while the bottom of the board includes a basic overclockers toolkit with a power and reset button. As mentioned, it includes a PCIe 4.0 clock generator for support for Intel's unreleased Rocket Lake processors which will also be released on socket LGA1200. This adds PCIe 4.0 support for the M.2 slots, as well as the top full-length PCIe 3.0 x16 slot. 

Included on the rear panel of the ASRock Z490 Taichi is one USB 3.2 G2 20 Gbps Type-C, two USB 3.2 G2 10 Gbps Type-A, and five USB 3.2 G1 Type-A ports. For networking, ASRock includes an Intel AX201 Wi-Fi 6 and BT 5.1 wireless interface, with two Ethernet ports, one controlled by a Realtek RTL8125BG 2.5 G, and the other by an Intel I219-V Gigabit controller. For users planning to use integrated graphics, there's a pair of video outputs consisting of an HDMI, and DisplayPort 1.4 output. Finishing off the rear panel is a PS/2 combo port, five 3.5 mm audio jacks and S/PDIF optical output controlled by a Realtek ALC1220 HD codec, and a BIOS Flashback button.

The ASRock Z490 Taichi is a premium model with a good range of USB 3.2 G2 support on the rear panel, benefits from a 12+2+1 power delivery for enthusiasts, and a solid section of networking options including Wi-Fi 6 and a 2.5 G Ethernet controller. Its Taichi design is well versed and stylish, with some support for PCIe 4.0 when Intel releases its Rocket Lake processors, which is another big plus point. ASRock hasn't yet unveiled a price for the Z490 Taichi, but we will update this as more information starts to filter in.

ASRock Z490 Aqua ASRock Z490 PG Velocita
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  • stevenfindley - Monday, June 8, 2020 - link

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  • Shinkiro - Friday, May 1, 2020 - link

    A lot of people don't upgrade every consecutive generation. My 3570k and 980ti have been serving me well for half a decade, but now that it's time to get new gear I'm happy to see higher maximum speeds and lower temperatures than the previous generation. The fact that gen10 requires a different socket than Gen 9 is completely irrelevant to me, aside from choosing a compatible board. Reply
  • Orange_Swan - Friday, May 1, 2020 - link

    Exactly, my i5-4690k has served me well for just under 6 years (brought Nov. 14), I tend to buy a new CPU and Mobo every 5ish years. Reply
  • althaz - Saturday, May 2, 2020 - link

    The point is though, that you need to buy a new motherboard, which means you'll probably consider AMD's Ryzen 3000 line-up (generally, AMD will give you better productivity performance, upgradability and lower power, but worse gaming performance, which is why I went Intel last year). If Intel weren't such dicks in forcing people to buy new motherboards, maybe you would be able to just drop in a new CPU (actually in your case it really is irrelevant, a new motherboard was *actually* needed for 6th gen, everything since then would work on the same boards if Intel weren't dicks, but the point stands in general). Reply
  • Tabalan - Sunday, May 3, 2020 - link

    Intel i5 3570k was released 8 years ago, while i5 4690k is 6 years old. Wanting to upgrade build after 6 years with 3 years of mobo backward compatibility (like with AMD, Ryzen 1000 to 4000) means that you either buy 3 years old CPU or buy new mobo + new CPU. In latter case, it doesn't matter if you go with Intel or AMD, because it's down to same thing. Reply
  • bronan - Saturday, May 16, 2020 - link

    Indeed my point exactly every year new stuff gets launched and loads of people jump onto the newest toys just because the cpu is maybe 0.1 Ghz faster if your lucky.
    Because that boost does not work constant at all, i saw that with several friends who bought the 8700k which claims to boost to 4.7 Ghz. Reality is that only 3 out of 28 of these cpu did boost up to 4.7 the rest only gets between 4.4 and 4.6 at the highest and to be honest only in certain tasks.
    So if you follow the baseline of the cpu usage you see during some tasks a few spikes but most of the time it hangs around the baseclock speed.
    I actually still was using my 6700k till 2 months ago on a z170 motherboard then i saw somebody selling his 8700k for a nice price and i switch over.
    The performance increase is close to 0 in almost every task besides when i am packing and unpacking rar and zip files. In the games i do i see hardly any performance gains as well.
    The only thing i am planning to update now is my graphics card, so i am kinda waiting for a very cheap AMD VII or if AMD releases the new big navy.
    But the people who own the AMD VII tend to want to keep them because there had not been one for sale in many months for a reasonable price. The only one i saw was sold at a price above the release price when they came to market.....
    So those who bought the cards seem to be content enough to not sell them at all.
    So i am still stuck at my gtx 1070 and have no plans to pay a premium price for a next gen GPU.
    @Orange_Swan i tend to buy only when i see a huge improvement for the tasks i do, if its below 3% increase i will not buy anything at all. So i sometimes keep running the same stuff sometimes even up to 12 years.
    I got a huge amount of people who i help with their pc hardware and problems and almost everyone of them relies on my expertise to give them proper advise when they want some kinda upgrade.
    Often i can asure them that even though the bragging bonus can be fun, they often will see no improvement at all if they buy a new system. So they wait till i tell them their system can be upgraded or replaced. In almost any case its the gpu which gets replaced by a second hand one in very rare situations i have to ask them to order a new one.
    What i am saying is that even though they keep releasing new stuff, most people do not have a need to upgrade/update anything.
    Actually for now there is absolute no need to have something faster at all for any game at all in the near future, because all will run fine with your current stuff.
    I actually have several who have at least a titan from recent generation and still can not run their games at highest settings in 4K.
    Reply
  • RealBeast - Friday, May 1, 2020 - link

    All of my builds since my Athlon have been Intel, but no way they'll suck me in on this Z490 1200 pin build, when their next decent CPUs will require something like a Z491 with 1201 pins. ;) Reply
  • Andrew LB - Saturday, May 9, 2020 - link

    Intel has already said the next gen will still use LGA 1200 socket. Reply
  • WaltC - Friday, May 1, 2020 - link

    Can't see much "exciting" about this...;) Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Tuesday, May 5, 2020 - link

    It seems like a poster child for a Powerpoint on the inefficiencies of capitalism.

    Literally making another iteration of products "just because".
    Reply

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