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ASRock Z370 Taichi - ATX Motherboard for Intel Socket 1151 CPUs
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The ASRock Z370 is an ATX motherboard with Intel's Z370 chipset for the 8th generation Intel processors (Coffee Lake) that use the LGA1151 socket as a foundation. The Z370 chipset is a refresh of the "kaby lake" chipset, which also has a maximum of 24 PCI Express 3.0 lanes and has enough HSIO lanes (high speed I / O) to provide multiple internal connections such as SATA or PCIe slots) at the same time. As a Z370 motherboard, the ASRock Z370 also allows the overclocking of K-series CPUs, which have a freely selectable multiplier.
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Installation is as easy as any other, and this motherboard is quite good for overclocking your CPU and RAM, although the default OC profiles supply way too much voltage, so manual overclocking is recommended. The BIOS is easy to use, although doesn't look as good as ASUS' or MSI's.
My only complaint is that the RGB on the board (only one, below the main 'gear' ) is not very bright, so the underglow doesn't seem as attractive as on the pictures.
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Excellent motherboard with the best value (cost/performance ratio) that I have seen in a long time (or maybe ever). I have historically used ASUS boards and have been pleased with them overall, but I thought I would give ASRock a try when upgrading to an i8700K; I was not disappointed.
Installation and setup was easy and intuitive. The construction of this board is very well done with robust components and well thought out placement (e.g. the caps are placed very well as to allow for any number of cooling solutions).
The real "wow" part is the intuitive, yet powerful, overclocking features. Each feature or function is described in detail as you select each option and the layout is very well done. As for performance, I was able to get a stable 5.1 GHz without an issue (of course this has to do with CPU lottery as well) so that should speak for itself. The only point I would like to make here is the auto OC feature sets the CPU core voltage at 1.5 Volts O_O when using the 5.0 GHz setting so I would HIGHLY recommend turning this down before applying this setting. I am running a full custom water loop and I would still suggest not running at this voltage, like ever. I was able to get 5.1 stable at 1.39 volts and finally settled at 5.0 at 1.35. Anyway, I highly recommend this board if you are an enthusiast and love to tweak things until you find the sweet spot or just want to set it up and forget it. Great job ASRock!
In hardware terms, the board is fully stocked. The highlights for my usage include 3 M.2 SSD sockets, plenty of modern I/O ports (note the USB-C and plentiful USB 3 ports) and up-to-date wireless connectivity and TWO gigabit ethernet/LAN ports. If a motherboard can do it, THIS motherboard can do it.
But there are other of motherboards with similar specs on the market. ASRock has focused specifically on build quality for this board...and I like it. Does a motherboard need to be rugged? No. Is it reassuring to have? Absolutely. This is a board for purists, not the kind of super-colorful RGB mayhem that is so prevalent in gaming hardware. It's a board that's meant to inspire confidence, and it does. It's as "heavy duty" as motherboards get.
ASRock's BIOS mirrors this philosophy. Other boards have a lot of "hand holding" options that are front-and center (automatic overclocking, for example). ASRock has put in these features features, but it's obvious from the get-go that this is a purists' BIOS. Again, in terms of BIOS, if a motherboard can do it, THIS motherboard can very likely do it.
There are a few things I'd like to see changed. One, I don't like the "gear" designs. It makes a kind of sense with the rugged feel of the board. And yet it seems like a step down the road toward "tacti-cool", meant to impress a gaming community that possesses notoriously bad taste in design. I don't really know what the heat sink is meant to accomplish (maybe I missed something) but I'd rather ASRock have continued its understated design rather than add the design. But this tiny complaint is a wholly subjective thing, and I'm a minimalist design-wise. So it's not much of a complaint.
I'd also like to have seen the massively improved Bluetooth 5.0. Basically no devices currently support it, but many people upgrading to an 8700k with this board are likely to keep their builds for a long time. Of course, when Bluetooth 5.0 becomes mainstream in the coming few years, a dongle will do just fine.
The only other complaint is the price. It's fair, this motherboard is at the very top tier. HOWEVER, buyers should note that relatively few users will be able to make any use of the features on this board that aren't included in boards at half its price.
So all-in-all, I have almost nothing but good things to say. This board is about as good as it gets. If you have money to spend and need the absolute best, I recommend it. The build and the I/O are unmatched, and I feel very confident with it at the center of my board.
EDIT 12-05-17: Note that in the first week after using this board, I experienced some issues when working on overclocking both RAM and CPY with this board. The board was not liking overclocks with higher voltages that should have been within a safe range, nor did it like RAM overclocking. I would get problems with the computer freezing during boot with even mild overclocks. A BIOS update solved these issues entirely - but not all users are familiar with BIOS updates. Therefore, I'd suggest not getting this board for overclocking IF you aren't comfortable updating BIOS (which is actually easy with a download from ASRock's website). More newly manufactured boards will probably have this BIOS update baked-in starting in a few months or so, but you can never guarantee it. So just be prepared for a BIOS update if you're really into overclocking.
It's very well made, everything is placed with care and in order. Bios is easy to work with. Booted the first time no issues. Came very well packed. The Wifi is better than some reviewers make it out to be, Sure it's not the fastest adapter out there but I tossed on some taller rabbit ears and found very good signal strength in the same spot that my alienware struggled to stay connected. I don't play CSGO or anything to tell you if its the best for online gaming, but downloading large files easily hit my ISP's speed limits before it hit the cards limits. The LEDs on the board are not overbearing. I hate the RGB fad mostly and wanted a professional, clean board that was made to work well without needless flash to mark up the cost. Bang for buck this is a very good choice in that regard. Just enough RGB to look amazing in a case, but not so much that you're entire room is glowing or throwing RGB colors all over everything.