Product on Review: B650E Taichi Lite
US:- $279.99 (excl. Tax)
UK:- £314.99 (inc. V.A.T.)
Editor: Tim Harmer
After 12 months the combination of AMDís 600-series motherboards and Ryzen 7000-series processors is now a mature platform with a good selection of models throughout their respective product stack. Plenty of options now exist for each performance tier and most budget ranges, with a lot of competition for more mainstream consumers be they self-described gamers or more general users. Manufacturers have now begun to create more niche models as a result, catering to narrower segments of the market with specific needs not necessarily met otherwise.
With this ethos ASRock have brought together the B650E Taichi Lite, an EATX design oriented towards minimalist aesthetics combined with robust performance features core to the Taichi lineup. By removing many facia elements and user-customisable RGB LED zones they have been able to cut costs, thus releasing a design oriented towards gamers and overclockers at a more aggressive price point than the standard B650E Taichi.
AMDís B650E chipset is central to the motherboards design. It incorporates support for AM5 processors, high performance power delivery, DDR5 memory, PCI-Express 5.0 signalling and USB 4.0 without pushing to the extremes I/O options of the X670 and X670E chipset. Unlike standard B650 it supports PCIe 5.0 through both graphics (via an x16 slot) and M.2 (via an M.2 PCIe Gen5 x4 slot), keeping an eye to the future with regards to future technological expectations.
As a Socket AM5 platform, the B650E Taichi Lite is compatible with Ryzen 7000-series CPUs including the 16-core Ryzen 9 7950X and 3D V-Cache SKUs. That represents eleven discrete performance tiers at the time of writing, but no backwards compatibility with prior processor generations. Similarly DDR5 memory is required rather than recommended, but with prices having dropped significantly since the standard was introduced, the cost implication isnít nearly as eye-watering as it once was.
Where the Taichi Lite sets itself apart is its strong 24+2+1-phase power delivery design. A somewhat over-engineered power delivery system is a hallmark of ASRockís Taichi range, arguably justifying the Liteís existence alone.
However, while the RGB options are certainly muted compared to the fully-fledged Taichi, the Lite model still incorporates a limited amount of edge lighting and onboard headers for 4-pin and 3-pin RGB LED header standards with bundled control software. So perhaps itís best to think of the Taichi Lite as a blank canvas, ready to put your personal stamp on.
The B65E Taichi Lite comes in at $280 in the US and £315 (inc. V.A.T.) in the UK, significantly lower than the almost £500 asking price of the standard B650E Taichi. There is however plenty of competition, not only from other AM5 motherboards but also the comprehensive range of models for Intelís 12th and 13th Gen Core processors. Time to see how it shapes up.