ASRock X299 Taichi XE arrives with beefed-up VRMs

After the Core i9-7900X released back in June, we figured that high-core-count CPUs in Intel's Core X lineup would need a lot of power when overclocked. German extreme overclocker der8auer recently observed CPU power consumption over 1000 W when overclocking Intel's Core i9-7980XE beyond 6 GHz using a pot full of steaming liquid nitrogen. This sort of craziness probably inspired ASRock to fortify its already-robust X299 Taichi motherboard with two eight-pin EPS power connectors and an improved voltage delivery circuit. The result is the X299 Taichi XE.

The new set of VRMs is a thirteen-phase design sitting under an enlarged aluminum heatsink with a heat pipe. Other than that, the rest of the board's impressive feature list carries over. That means the X299 Taichi XE has eight DDR4 DIMM slots capable of four-channel operation, three M.2 slots for high-speed storage, a pair of Intel Gigabit Ethernet controllers, and an Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi-and-Bluetooth chip.

Around the back, there are USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A and Type-C ports. The gear-shaped chipset heatsink has RGB LEDs shining underneath. The four full-length PCIe slots are armored with steel jackets, providing additional support for heavy graphics cards during transport.

ASRock doesn't have a product page for the X299 Taichi XE yet, but we suspect the board will be on store shelves within the next few weeks at a price a bit higher than the $270 the "standard" X299 Taichi goes for.

Comments closed
    • techguy
    • 2 years ago

    Where was this board at launch? I’ve already upgraded my media server to a 7900x and X299 Professional Gaming i9 (stupid name), now I’ve got to swap it out for this.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 2 years ago

      Skylake-X was released earlier than expected, so motherboard makers were scrambling.

      Also, the big 14-18C HCC parts were probably not even on original projections. They were almost certainly a reaction to Threadripper. So the motherboard makers didn’t have time to release something beefed up for a CPU that can use 500+W.

      • jcw122
      • 2 years ago

      Why do you need a gaming or OCing motherboard for a media server?

        • techguy
        • 2 years ago

        It’s a media server, not a simple file server. Files often need to be transcoded both prior to playback (to make them compatible for direct play on specific devices) and during playback (to make them compatible with devices that won’t direct play the file in question). 10 cores is great for multiple simultaneous transcodes. Plus I wanted to be ready for the 4k future. HEVC encoding takes a whole lot more resources than AVC. At stock the all-core turbo on this chip/board combo hits 4GHz. If I can get that to 4.5GHz by:
        1) de-lidding
        2) swapping to a board with better voltage control and power delivery
        I’m happy to do so. Just wish the board was available when I made my purchase is all.

        Edit: prior to this I was using a 5820k @ 4.4GHz and the low core count made CPU utilization higher than I wanted to see in worst-case scenarios, giving the potential for lag during playback.

          • Waco
          • 2 years ago

          Overclocking and storage…not a good combination.

            • techguy
            • 2 years ago

            This isn’t an enterprise use case, it’s just a home media server. Precautions are taken. I do the following:
            1) don’t OC to the ragged edge, find a nice stable 24×7 configuration (and test periodically to confirm stability)
            2) keep temps low via de-lidding + custom water cooling (I target load temps no more than mid 70s under constant Handbrake load)
            3) Buy quality components at every level
            4) backup to external media

            • Waco
            • 2 years ago

            Sure, but storage corruption isn’t fun. Unless your backups do a good compare prior to syncing, you may kill files without realizing it.

            (I’ve been down this road before and it ended up with random file bitrot even though the server was 100% stable for Linpack/Prime workloads)

            • techguy
            • 2 years ago

            They’re just Blu-ray rips. If a drive goes down and my backup is no good then I go back to the source and re-rip.

    • ronch
    • 2 years ago

    Good grief. A computer with gears!!

      • lem18
      • 2 years ago

      I suppose it’s to signify some sort of smooth functioning. Anyway, very happy with my X370 Taichi (1600X stock + 16Gb FlareX @ 3200). Really nice board. I imagine the Intel boards would be similarly great.

        • ronch
        • 2 years ago

        Smooth functioning? Might as well print a bottle of snake oil on that thing. Now that’s real smooth.

    • juzz86
    • 2 years ago

    That’s a good-looking board. I still can’t make up my mind on the screen-printing on the PCB, but it’s subdued enough colour-wise to be classy.

    It’d be nice for someone to re-visit the X299 VRM temp thing with some of these newer boards to see whether they’re actually fixing the issue.

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