Intel Z390 Motherboard Overview: 50+ Motherboards Analyzedby Ian Cutress & Gavin Bonshor on October 8, 2018 10:53 AM EST
ASRock Z390 Taichi Ultimate
Much of what the ASRock Z390 Taichi Ultimate offers has been outlined above with the 'regular' Z390 Taichi model. The Z390 Taichi Ultimate is also based on the ATX form factor with what from a visual perspective looks like the same 12-phase power delivery and same PCIe layout which consists of three full-length PCIe 3.0 lanes (x16, x8, x4) and has an additional PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. The Z390 Taichi and Z390 Taichi Ultimate share the same memory support with four slots supporting up to 64 GB of DDR4, with support extending up to DDR4-4200. In regards to storage connections, there are three M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4/SATA slots and a total of eight SATA ports.
The main differences between the two Taichi branded models come in terms of controllers as the Z390 Taichi Ultimate adds an additional LAN port to the already inclusive dual Intel-based LAN, an Aquantia 10 G NIC which is one of the only Z390 motherboards to include one. The rest of the rear panel is much of the same with three USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A, one USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C and four USB 3.0 Type-A ports. A Realtek ALC1220 codec handles the onboard audio and ASRock has included a pair of video outputs which consist of a DisplayPort and HDMI 1.4 port. The Z390 Taichi Ultimate keeps eight 4-pin fan headers which makes it one of the most cooling focused ATX boards alongside its younger brother, the Z390 Taichi. To add more, ASRock has included a pair of separate power/reset buttons and has upgraded the Wi-Fi to support 2T2R Wave 2 802.11ac.
The ASRock Z390 Taichi Ultimate at launch costs $300 and is the most expensive Z390 models. Everything about this board has flagship status including a proper triple NIC (unlike the MSI MEG Z390 GODLIKE) with the inclusion of an Aquantia controlled 10 G LAN port, 2T2R 802.11ac Wi-Fi, triple M.2 and plenty of USB 3.1 Gen2 to keep professional users, enthusiasts and gamers satisfied. The board is more targeted towards the enthusiast rather than the gamer, but ASRock makes this clear with the inclusion of the similar spec and closely priced Z390 Phantom Gaming 9 motherboard.