ASRock Launches Z790 And B650E Taichi Lite Motherboards That Stick To The Basics
ASRock's Taichi series of motherboards have historically been fantastic pieces of hardware. Your author's main personal PC is based on an ASRock X570 Taichi motherboard, and it's been rock-solid and feature-filled through two different CPU upgrades since its release in mid-2019.
However, your author does have one big complaint about the X570 Taichi, and that's the big honking plate that covers most of the bottom half of the board. It doesn't serve very well as an SSD heatsink what with having no fins, and it makes getting to the M.2 sockets a pain. It's a common complaint with modern motherboards: form over function, where aesthetics take precedence over an easy-to-use product.
Apparently, ASRock has taken users' complaints to heart, because it's just released two "Taichi Lite Series" motherboards, known as the Z790 Taichi Lite and B650E Taichi Lite. One for LGA 1700 Intel CPUs, and one for AMD's Socket AM5, and both aimed squarely at the upper mid-range of the motherboard market, yet with high-end feature sets.
What kind of high-end features? Things like 24-phase VRMs to power thirsty high-end CPUs, PCIe 5.0 GPU and M.2 slots for the fastest interconnect possible, and tons of I/O including USB4 support. The Z790 board in particular has support for USB-PD 3.0 fast charging at up to 60W, too.
Despite the stated emphasis on "functionality, performance, and durability," these boards are still pretty fancy-looking, with small RGB LED accents and significant stylization on the rear I/O cover and M.2 heatsinks. Still, they're a far cry (in terms of aesthetics) from the original non-"Lite" versions of the motherboards, and they should come cheaper as a result.
We say "should" because we don't actually know how these new boards will be priced yet, even though ASRock says that they are "here." We couldn't find them available for sale at any retailers worldwide, but the Z790 Taichi and X670E Taichi are both readily available—for $399 and $499 respectively. Hopefully these new boards will be closer to the $200 mark.