ASRock X570 Aqua: Heaviest AMD Flagship Motherboard Ever (Plus Thunderbolt)by Gavin Bonshor on June 3, 2019 12:00 PM EST
During Computex 2019, ASRock unveiled its latest flagship motherboard for AMD's AM4 socket, the X570 Aqua. Featured is a wide range of high-end components including 10 G LAN, Wi-Fi 6, Realtek's ALC1220, and a new custom-designed PCB covering making it one of the cleanest looking motherboards on the market.
We got a hands-on of the ASRock X570 Aqua and this thing is not a light tough. The first thing to notice other than its striking PCB armor covering the vast majority of the PCB and the large CPU water block, was the weight. The ASRock X570 Taichi is an E-ATX board which with the added weight of the CPU water block which also extends to cool the X570 chipset, the armor, and backplate on the rear, makes the board much heavier than other premium models. The Aqua moniker signifies the targeted consumer of this board, in that only users looking to run a custom water cooled system with high-end components, will likely consider this model.
The feature set underneath the aesthetics is equally premium with an Aquantia AQC107 10 G LAN port, with an additional Intel Gigabit port included. Its Wi-Fi 6 capabilities come due to a Killer AX1650 802.11ax interface which also adds support for BT 5. A Realtek ALC1220 HD audio codec provides the onboard audio, while the rear panel also uses two Thunderbolt 3 Type-C ports. This limits the boards other USB 3.1 G2 capabilities and as a result, the X570 Aqua has six rear-panel USB 3.1 G1 type-A ports, but users can add an additional four with two USB 3.1 G1 headers, and four USB 2.0 ports with a pairing of USB 2.0 headers.
One of the main features of X570 is PCIe 4.0, and the ASRock X570 Aqua makes use of three full-length PCIe 4.0 slots which run at x16 x8/x8 and x8/x8/x4; also present is three PCIe 4.0 x1 slots. Storage includes two PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots and a total of eight SATA ports. Another interesting thing to note is the memory support which is listed as DDR4-4666. This signifies that the IMC is better on Ryzen 3000 over the previous generations.
The ASRock X570 Aqua is currently ASRock's flagship X570 motherboard in terms of features, and aesthetics. As a result, the pricing is likely to be high, but no information is currently available. What we do know is that the X570 Aqua will be limited to just 999 pieces worldwide, making its exclusivity one of its attracting features. We expect this model to launch around 7/7.
(We were told that the board would be under $1000. It's something.)
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BigMamaInHouse - Monday, June 3, 2019 - linkDo you know why only ASROCK boards are Thunderbolt 3 ready?
jab701 - Monday, June 3, 2019 - linkProbably because they are the only ones to have theirs certified already.
This board seems to have the controller on-board, the other one I saw from ASROCK has the thunderbolt header and you would have to buy a separate add-on card from ASROCK.
It is nice to see, I would like to see a gigabyte/asus AMD board with tunderbolt 3 as it might just make up upgrade my PC from the intel skylake I currently have. I need more processor cores :) but I don't want to ditch the couple of thunderbolt peripherals I already have :)
mooninite - Monday, June 3, 2019 - linkDo you have thunderbolt devices? If so, how many and what are they?
SaturnusDK - Tuesday, June 4, 2019 - linkA TB3 PCIe card is what? $50? I don't really see that as a major or serious obstacle towards upgrading a PC.
rahvin - Tuesday, June 4, 2019 - linkWell given the complete lack of USB 3.1 Gen2 ports you'd need a TB port to get any modern USB speed. Seriously every port is USB 3.1 Gen1 which is just USB 3.0 5gbs with the potential for TypeC ports. I can't believe there isn't a single Gen2 port.
Skeptical123 - Wednesday, June 5, 2019 - linkYou do know the two Thunderbolt3 ports also act as USB 3.1 Gen2 ports. Another way of looking at this would be saying the motherboard has two USB 3.1 Gen2 ports that also support Thunderbolt3. Also it sounds like you think they simple chose not to add more USB 3.1 Gen2 ports. That is not the case there are contra stains I won't wast my time getting into here but it's not something ASRock can simple just add.
FiveOhFour - Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - linkI think you’re possibly confused
GreenReaper - Monday, June 3, 2019 - linkYou know, $999 is under $1000...and it'd match the board count, so it's the natural choice.
Skeptical123 - Wednesday, June 5, 2019 - linkI came to comment section to say the same thing :)
Tunnah - Monday, June 3, 2019 - linkI love these top-end boards. It's not for me, way out of my price range and effort, but I really like seeing manufacturers just going all out and catering to the nutter crowd.