ASRock has been in business for 20 years now, and to celebrate the launch of AMD’s AM5 platform they are launching a custom motherboard; the X670E Taichi Carrara. Alongside the Carrara is the non-Carrara X670E Taichi, the mainstay of ASRock’s lineup. ASRock launched a total of five X670E motherboards, which is the most we have seen thus far from one vendor.
Along with the X670E Taichi Carrera and X670E Tachi, ASRock is also launching the X670E Steel Legend, X670E Pro RS, and the X670 PG Lightning. Many of these motherboards were shown during Computex 2022 back in June, but the PG Lightning model is a new addition.
The motherboards feature USB 4.0 ports with fast charging, which are also compatible with Thunderbolt 3.0 devices. That is no coincidence. Thunderbolt 3.0 is pretty much now labeled USB 4.0, and the two have a lot of similarities since USB 4.0 is based on TB3. ASRock has also added circuitry to protect your DRAM from power surges, which isn’t a bad idea since DDR5 memory is pretty expensive compared to DDR4 memory. ASRock has confirmed all of its X670E motherboards will features an 8-layer PCB to facilitate DDR5 and PCI-E 5 signals. ASRock is also adding in the option to use an M.2 fan heatsink for active drive cooling.
ASRock’s X670E Taichi Carrara features a Carrara marble-like facing. Carrara marble comes from Italy and is known for its clarity, and also looks very similar to a white marble found in Taiwan. The X670E Taichi Carrara will feature a 26 phase VRM with Smart Power Stages (SPS), which are fully integrated with the driver and two MOSFETs in each chip. Audio on the motherboard derives from an ALC4082 controller along with an ESS Sabre ES9218 DAC. The motherboard also features two PCI-E 5.0 x16 slots, one is wired for x16 PCI-E 5.0 and the other is x8 PCI-E 5.0. We are unsure if that means they operate at x16/x0, x8/x8, or even x16/x8, which might be possible considering ASRock is only integrating the required single x4 PCI-E 5.0 M.2 slot. Three other x4 PCI-E 4.0 M.2 slots are available as well with one being capable of supporting SATA6Gb/s M.2 drives. There are two USB 3.1 (5Gbps) internal headers on the motherboard and a USB 3.1 2×2 (20Gbps) type-C header.
The rear IO features a clear CMOS button, a BIOS Flashback button, HDMI, five USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gb/s) ports, two USB 3.1 (5Gb/s) ports, two USB 4.0/Thunderbolt (40Gbps) type-C ports, 2.5Gbit Killer LAN, Killer WIFI 6E, and audio outputs (line out, microphone, and S/PDIF). The lightning gaming ports were introduced on ASRock’s Z690 motherboards and should feature two separate controllers, one for a keyboard (USB PCI-E controller to chipset) and another for a mouse (direct USB, probably to the chipset). We are not sure exactly how it is implemented, but ASRock says it clears the path for the signals to avoid interrupts.
The X670E Taichi is the latest in a long line of Taichi motherboards. The Taichi has the same 26 phase VRM with SPS chips and the same PCI-E layout with two PCI-E 5.0 slots as the Taichi Carrara. Both the Taichi and Taichi Carrera have eight SATA6Gb/s ports. The M.2 setup is also the same with four slots; one x4 PCI-E 5.0, two x4 PCI-E 4.0, and one x4 PCI-E 4.0/SATA6Gb/s). Killer Double Shot Pro is available on both motherboards since both utilize both Killer LAN and WIFI.
The rear IO panel is exactly the same on the Taichi and the Taichi Carrara as is pretty much everything else except for the design of the front panels. Are you looking for new models such as an X670 chipset mini-ITX board? Well ASRock stated that while they have made an ITX board for pretty much every AMD mainstream consumer chipset, they are working on a miniITX for X670 but thermals are the real problem. They could take a page from their X299 mini-ITX motherboard and use daughterboards, but it is very difficult to fit 26 phases on a daughterboard that would facilitate proper CPU cooling clearance. AMD also requires native 170W CPU power support on X670 motherboards and the chipset itself might also pose an issue. If any motherboard vendor can pull off a miniITX X670 motherboard we would think it would be ASRock because of their previous dedication to producing mini-ITX motherboards were one doesn’t exist (X299 for instance). ASRock doesn’t currently have plans to launch an Aqua version X670E motherboard, although their X570 version was a success, so they are currently taking it into consideration. We have an idea for ASRock, work with Bitspower to create a monoblock for a mini-ITX X670 motherboard that fully cools the VRM daughterboards and M.2 drives, and sell it only with the monoblock, maybe it could be your first mini-ITX Aqua board. DDR5 SO-DIMMs already exist, so you could use those to save space.