ASRock Z790 Taichi Lite: Motherboards are the unsung heroes of modern computing, often ignored but critical to a computer system’s flawless operation. The motherboard, which serves as the central nervous system, links and organises all of the key components, including the CPU, RAM, graphics card, storage, and other peripherals. It determines the overall performance and compatibility of the system, making it an important component in the construction and upgrading of PCs.
Furthermore, motherboards have important functions such as USB ports, audio jacks, and networking capabilities, making them necessary for everyday chores and multimedia experiences. Choosing the correct motherboard provides system stability, effective data flow, and future-proofing, emphasising the importance of the motherboard in driving the overall computing experience.
ASRock Z790 Taichi Lite
|Voltage Regulator||27 Phase (24x 105A SPS MOSFETs for Vcore)|
|Video Ports||(1) HDMI (v2.1)|
|(2) USB Type-C (Thunderbolt 4)|
|USB Ports||(2) Thunderbolt 4 (40 Gbps) Type-C|
|(2) USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps)|
|(6) USB 3.2 Gen 1 (10 Gbps)|
|(2) USB 2.0 (480 Mbps)|
|Network Jacks||(1) 2.5 GbE|
|Audio Jacks||(2) Analog|
|PCIe x16||(2) v5.0 (x16, x8/x8)|
|(1) v4.0 (x4)|
|DIMM Slots||(4) DDR5 7200+(OC)*, 192GB Capacity|
|1DPC 1R Up to 7200+ MHz (OC), 4800 MHz Natively.|
|1DPC 2R Up to 6000+ MHz (OC), 4400 MHz Natively.|
|2DPC 1R Up to 5600+ MHz (OC), 4000 MHz Natively.|
|2DPC 2R Up to 4800+ MHz (OC), 3600 MHz Natively.|
|M.2 Sockets||(1) PCIe 5.0 x4 (64 Gbps) / PCIe (up to 80mm)|
|(4) PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps) / PCIe (up to 80mm)|
|SATA Ports||(8) SATA3 6 Gbps (Supports RAID 0/1/5/10)|
|USB Headers||(1) USB v3.2 Gen 2×2, Type-C (20 Gbps)|
|(2) USB v3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)|
|(2) USB v2.0 (480 Mbps)|
|Fan/Pump Headers||(8) 4-Pin (CPU, CPU/Water Pump, Chassis/water pump)|
|RGB Headers||(3) aRGB (3-pin)|
|(1) RGB (4-pin)|
|Diagnostics Panel||(1) Post Status Checker (4 LEDs)|
|(1) Debug LEDs|
|Internal Button/Switch||Power, Reset, Clear CMOS|
|SATA Controllers||Asmedia ASM1061|
|Ethernet Controller(s)||(1) Killer E3100G (2.5 GbE)|
|(1) Intel I219-V|
|Wi-Fi / Bluetooth||Intel Wi-Fi 6E (2×2, MU-MIMO, ax, BT5.3)|
|USB Controllers||Intel JHL8540 (Thunderbolt)|
|HD Audio Codec||Realtek ALC4082, ESS SABRE9218 DAC|
|DDL/DTS||✗ / ✗|
The Z790 Taichi Lite, at $379.99, falls solidly in the upper mid-range price band of the current motherboard spectrum. For the money, you get dual Thunderboard 4 (40 Gbps) Type-C connections, a plethora of storage options, including a PCIe 5.0 M.2 socket and eight total SATA ports, a flagship-class audio system with a DAC, Killer-based networking, and power delivery that is suitable for sub-ambient overclocking.
Design Language of The ASRock Z790 Taichi Lite
The Z790 Taichi Lite appears matte black at first glance, with an 8-layer E-ATX PCB and large black heatsinks. It doesn’t look bad, but it lacks the opulence of the original, with its 3D design and RGB lights. Instead of totally covering the PCB with heatsinks and shrouds, more of it is exposed, and instead of full coverage for the M.2 sockets, there are strips of heatsinks.
The RGB lighting has also modified, now only visible beneath the bottom M.2 heatsink. It’s still bright and colourful, and it can readily illuminate the inside of your computer case.
Features of The ASRock Z790 Taichi Lite
To power the processor, the motherboard contains two 8-pin EPS connectors in the upper-left corner. The VRM heatsinks now have dark grey cogs and Taichi branding at the bottom. They have deep cutouts to allow for greater ventilation and cooling. The cog pattern is also visible in the black socket region, giving it a cool appearance.
There are two 4-pin fan headers above the top VRM heatsink, for a total of eight on the motherboard. These headers can control fans using PWM or DC signals, which are handled via the BIOS or ASRock’s A-Tuning software. The headers supply enough power to the fans, with ratings ranging from 1A/12W to 3A/36E. This motherboard includes a plethora of fan headers, making it ideal for bespoke watercooling.
There are four DRAM slots below the socket area that can support up to 192 GB of DDR5 RAM at speeds of up to DDR5-7200. Both sides of the RAM modules include locking mechanisms. We tested DDR5-7200 RAM and found that even when overclocked, the system remained stable.
Two of the four RGB headers for connecting RGB devices are located in the right corner of the motherboard, with additional headers located along the bottom border. These RGB devices and the integrated RGBs can be controlled via ASRock’s Polychrome RGB software or the BIOS settings.
More Features Explored
To power the processor, the motherboard contains two 8-pin EPS connectors in the upper-left corner. For cooling, there are two 4-pin fan headers and sufficient of power for fans. It has four RAM slots and can accommodate up to 192 GB of DDR5 RAM. It also has excellent audio capabilities.
It contains three full-length PCIe slots and five M.2 sockets on the bottom half. The upper slots are for graphics and are reinforced, whilst the bottom slot is PCIe 4.0 x4. On the right edge, there are eight SATA connections and two USB connectors. The rear IO plate includes 12 USB ports, including Thunderbolt 4 and USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, as well as audio and networking connections.
Overall, it’s a strong and adaptable motherboard with a wide range of capabilities for gaming and high-performance work.