While the B550 struts remain unchanged, Taichi hits the market with an almost upgraded X570 look, with premium features including built-in Wi-Fi, 16-stage power delivery and premium audio. But is it worth the price, or should you jump into the X570 board if you’re shopping in this price segment? We will dig deep and point to the details to find out.
The ASRock B550 product lineup currently consists of 12 panels of the B550M-HDV ($ 79.99), two legendary hardboards (ATX and mATX), and mid-range Phantom GamePads (Velocita, Phantom Gaming 4, ITX / ax, Extreme Fan Favorites) . 4 ($ 184.99), even flagship taichi. With the sheer size of SKUs, there is something for almost every AMD Ryzen system builder in the ASRock lineup.
The B550 Taichi and its limitless potential philosophy include a 16-stage 50A digital VRM, dual M.2 socket, Intel 802.11ax Wi-Fi, 2.5GbE LAN, Overseas Heat and more. The only main feature missing from this board (and other B550s) is the USB 3.2 Gen 2 (20Gbps) port. In addition to the advanced features, the design is only compatible with more expensive X570 panels, covering more PCBs.
In our testing, Taichi performed well and was stuck there with other panels we tested around the initial launch of the stage. The results are so close (as expected) between these panels that the difference can be considered as a margin of error. We did not notice any issues in stock performance as the board increased the Ryzen 93900X processor to 4.6GHz and 4.3GHz (dual core / all base boost) respectively. The overclocking was also done without a hitch, as the CPU ran at 4.3GHz using 4 x 8GB DDR4 3600 RAM.
Features of ASRock B550 Taichi
Given the high price of this palette, the included accessories are few, although here’s enough to get you started. Here is a list of what has been sent to the box, including accessories and manuals with this ATX board.
Quick Installation Guide
Four SATA cables
ASRock WiFi Antenna 2.4 / 5GHz
Two deadlock for M.2 sockets
The ASRock SKU is generally accepted as a high-quality, full-featured motherboard with varying aesthetics, and the B550 version follows these steps. Unlike other B550 motherboards we’ve seen so far, Taichi uses a heat sink and cap to cover most of the PCIe area, with only PCIe slots visible (a feature typically reserved for premium X570 / premium motherboards is). The chipset heatsink has a familiar gear design, with additional gears printed on other parts of the panel. The RGB lights are located on the right edge of the plate, on the voltage regulators on the cover and on the chipset. This is more easily the lighting we have seen so far on the B550.
Focusing on the top half of the panel, we see the large voltage regulator connected through the heat pipe. While most shrouds are plastic, the shroud of the taichi is partially made of metal, although it is not exposed to the VRM heatsink as seen on other panels. Instead of classic gray to accent the black PCB, the Taichi Inn matches the light gray / gray on the heat sink and slide area. The board will match most design features until you are turned off due to gear design, and this is arguably the best B550 board ever.
The top edge has several connectors responsible for power, fans and RGB lighting. There are two EPS power wires with 8 pins (one required) in the top left corner. The heatsink to the right of the upper voltage regulator is the first (out of seven) PWM / DC controlled fan headers. All headers produce 12W / 1A except CPU_Fan2 which is capable of 36W / 3A. The region also has the first two (out of four) RGB headers (ARGB 3 pin and RGB header 4 pin).
To the right are four DIMM slots capable of supporting up to 128GB of RAM and providing speeds up to DDR4 5000+ (OC). Unlike PCIe heads, RAM slots are not boosted. To the right of the DIMM slot is a 24-pin ATX connector, a front-panel USB 3.2 Gen1 connector, and a USB 3.2 Gen2 (10Gbps) connector.
Taking a look at the VRM, Taichi has a 16-stage (14 + 2) configuration. Power Delivery Control ISL6617A is a Renesa RAA 2229004 controller operated in 7 + 2 mode with phase servo. The MOSFETs are VisA SiC654 models rated at 50A. This combination has a total of 700 amps for the CPU, which provides a great deal of operating and overclocking power for the Ryzen 93900X.
Moving on to the lower half of the board, we will start on the left and on the block section. Hidden under the hood is the premium Realtek ALC1220 codec, while audio capacitors stick to it.
In the middle of the plate, among all the heats, are a total of five PCI slots – three full-length slots and two X1 slots. All full-length slots are reinforced with an ASRock steel slot to prevent clipping from heavy graphics cards. 16 lanes of source PCIE_1 slot primary (top) and slot PCIe_3 (middle) CPU. Whereas PCIe_5 comes from chipset and PCIe is 3.0 x4. The GPU slots are divided into x8 / x8. With this (and the last slot) it supports AMD 2-way, 3-way and quad CrossfireX. Note that if the X1 (PCIe_2 / 4) slots are occupied, PCIe_5 goes into x2 mode.
Two M.2 slots are hidden under several caps. The first, the M2_1 (top), is a “hyper” M.2 socket that supports PCIe 4.0 x4 (64GB / s) drives up to 80 mm. The second socket supports drives up to 110 mm with PCIe 3.0 x4 (32GB / s) or SATA-based modules. To remove the M.2 slot heats, you’ll need the included tool to remove them – ASRock uses a subtle bit in place of the more common