Intel’s Broadwell-E CPU is now available and while most X99 motherboards require only a BIOS update for compatibility, users looking to build anew would be glad to see two new X99 motherboards from ASRock that support the monster CPU right out of the box. Unveiled at Computex, the new Taichi and Fatal1ty Gaming i7 are quite a bit better looking than initial X99 mobo offerings from ASRock. The new Taichi and Fatal1ty Gaming i7 sport fancy PCB design printing but thankfully they offer more than good looks as well.
The Taichi is a new line that ASRock is introducing, with Z170 motherboards to follow later but the X99 Taichi is the first for now. This line will be distinct from the rest of ASRock’s motherboard line with primarily black and white color theme. An ASRock rep at Computex says that the final PCB printing is actually going to be better looking than the one they have previewed, showing a clearer “Yin-Yang” design on the board. In terms of specs, the ASRock Taichi X99 supports both Intel i7 and Xeon processors and is equipped with a 12-phase VRM, 3-way SLI, 2x M.2, dual swappable BIOS ICs, 10x SATA 3, 2x USB 3.1 (Type-C and Type-A), Dual-Intel LAN, 802.11AC, and Realtek ALC1150 HD audio codec. MSRP is expected to be around $219.99.
The Fatal1ty Gaming i7 is the higher-end of the two, with an expected retail price of $259.99, sharing most of the same features as the Taichi X99 but with Creative audio, one extra USB 3.0 19-pin onboard header, and a red+black color scheme. Both motherboards are expected to hit store shelves shortly by end of June 2016. Official product pages for both motherboards are not officially up yet at the time of publishing this article, but keep checking http://www.asrock.com/mb/index.asp for updates.