The ASRock B550 Taichi is in a really weird spot as it is priced exactly the same as ASRock’s own X570 Taichi. As I said in the introduction of this review B550 motherboards are supposed to be less expensive, but here we are with a board that is the same price as its X570 counter-part. We can however say that ASRock makes a good argument for their pricing of the B550 Taichi.
First off the board is beautiful, the change from silver accents on the X570 Taichi to the bronze looks great. The gear design on the chipset heatsink is awesome and the RGB lighting is placed perfectly and is not over-done. I have to say this is the best-looking Taichi board that I’ve seen from ASRock.
ASRock has also really stepped up their VRM design on this board with a 16-phase (14+2) all digital VRM with 60A power chokes. This power design had no problem handling our Ryzen 9 3900X and we were able to achieve a nice overclock as well. The beefy VRM design will also be ready for upcoming Ryzen 4000 series desktop processors.
While most B550 motherboards give you PCI-Express 4.0 on the top PCI-Express slot and one M.2 slot, ASRock actually gives you two PCI-Express x16 slots that operate at Gen4 speeds. So if you have two cards installed they both will run at Gen4 speeds (x8/x8). You also get that top M.2 slot that runs at PCI-Express 4.0 so you can take advantage of super-fast Gen4 M.2 SSDs. The second M.2 slot however will run at PCI-Express 3.0.
We also get some pretty serious networking with this board including the Intel I225-V 2.5G Ethernet controller and the Intel AX201 802.11ax (WiFi 6) interface, which also supports Bluetooth 5.1. While the X570 Taichi does have WiFi 6 it only have a 1G Etherent controller.
Another small change I actually appreciated was making the bottom heatsink a 3-piece design rather than a single piece that we saw on the X570 Taichi. With the X570 Taichi you would have to remove your graphics cards if you wanted to install or swap out any of your M.2 drives. Now on the B550 Taichi it is a 3-piece design so you wouldn’t necessarily have to remove your expansion cards to install an M.2 drive. A few more things to note that is with this board you get power, reset, and clear CMOS buttons on the board and actually a second clear CMOS button on the rear I/O. As someone who is constantly testing hardware those are nice to see.
At the end of the day this is an amazing board, definitely the best B550 board we’ve reviewed so far, but again you go back to that price and if you are better off getting the X570 Taichi instead. The X570 Taichi will give you PCI-Express 4.0 from the chipset so all of your PCI-Express slots and M.2 slots will be Gen4. With the B550 Taichi you are only going to get the top two PCI-Express slots and top M.2 slot running at PCI-Express 4.0. The B550 Taichi has a better VRM and better networking options. So it really is up to what your needs / wants are.
Overall ThinkComputers gives the ASRock B550 Taichi a 9 out of 10 score and our Recommended Award.
– The most beautiful Taichi board I’ve seen
– 16 phase VRM
– Two PCI-Express 4.0 x16 slots
– 2.5G LAN and WiFi 6
– Clear CMOS button on the board and rear I/O
– Priced the same as the X570 Taichi
– No “Easy Mode” in the BIOS