ASRock X570 Aqua

Starting off alphabetically with ASRock, we open our X570 chipset overview with one of the most impressive and talked about models displayed at Computex, the ASRock X570 Aqua. ASRock's product stack is well varied with models focused on gaming, content creators, professional, and enthusiasts, the X570 Aqua certainly positions itself as high-end with a solid feature set, an elegant aesthetic which resembles that of Robocop's armor, and offers users an element of exclusivity due to that fact ASRock will only make 999 pieces of the X570 Aqua available to consumers.

The first thing that stands out about the ASRock X570 Aqua is the full-cover PCB armor covering the vast majority of the PCB and the large CPU water block. The ASRock X570 Aqua is an E-ATX board which has a large water block which is designed to keep the CPU cooled, and also extends to cool the X570 chipset. The armor, and the backplate on the rear makes the board much heavier than other premium models we've come to see in recent times. 

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. ASRock gives the X570 Aqua some impeccable memory support which is listed as DDR4-4666. 

The ASRock X570 Aqua is currently ASRock's flagship X570 motherboard in terms of features, and aesthetics. We know that the ASRock X570 Aqua will be limited to just 999 pieces worldwide, making its exclusivity one of its attracting features. 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. This is likely to be a favorable model for case modders, or perhaps users looking to create an elegant water-cooled system with a form of exclusivity and individuality.

With an element of exclusivity, the ASRock X570 Aqua has an MSRP of $1000. This makes it the most expensive X570 model at launch, but this is expected due to the limited nature as it is limited to just 999 pieces worldwide. A heavy-set construction, the PCB covering armor and coupled with a top quality feature set make this a top option for modders, and water cooling enthusiasts.

X570 Power Delivery Specification & Comparison ASRock X570 Taichi
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  • shing3232 - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - link

    3950X power requirement is the same as 3900X,and 3900X works on B350. I am pretty sure it would work on X370 with Bios update. Reply
  • Irata - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - link

    I think the combination of complaining about expensive boards + wanting to get the highest end (most expensive) 16C Ryzen is a bit unusual.

    The good thing is that there is choice ? Want to go the cheap route ? Go for 3xx board. Want the "bestestest" - now you can buy a $1000 board to go with your Ryzen CPU. And everything in between is also covered.
    Reply
  • eva02langley - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - link

    It is more related to the active cooling for the chipset that raise my concerns. If the fan die, it can become really troublesome fast. Reply
  • abufrejoval - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - link

    Unless you happen to have an older Ryzen or Carrizo lying around, there could be a problem to get older boards with an up-to-date BIOS.

    Had similar issues a year ago when RAM was so expensive, I had to recycle DDR3 for Kaby Lake CPUs using Z170 motherboards that only has Skylake support. Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge and Haswell CPUs I had galore, but Skylake only as notebooks. I wound up buying a Sky Lake i3, which I then returned for a full refund after I had updated the motherboards.

    Didn't feel good about it, wasn't given a choice either.

    These days some dealers offer a BIOS upgrade service, but at €40 it pretty much eats the 3. + 4. generation benefit.

    I want 10Gbase-T or rather NBase-T. Currently that means mostly Aquantia 107, of which I have 4 already. Those are €88 a piece, but when I look at these x570 prices, they charge a 300% premium for what's essentially a low-cost chip.

    And then I hear rumors, that there is actually 10Gbit Ethernet or in fact 100Gbit Ethernet already on-die, both in the CPU chiplet and the x570 chipset variant: For IF Ethernet is simply another protocol to run on the fabric and all you need is PHY.

    It is rather unfortunate that sane CPU prices, sane SSDs and sane RAM only mean that motherboard vendors are hoping to cash in big-time.

    I can see how they would be hungry. But I don't have 'waste money' around to feed them.
    Reply
  • The_Assimilator - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - link

    Asus boards have a "BIOS flashback" feature whereby if you plug in a flash drive with a new BIOS to a specific USB port and press a button on the IO panel, the board will auto-flash itself with that BIOS - no CPU is needed, just power to the board. Reply
  • Targon - Thursday, July 11, 2019 - link

    Almost all MSI motherboards have BIOS flashback, and the Asus ROG Crosshair series also has BIOS flashback where you don't need a CPU or RAM in order to flash the BIOS. Most Asus motherboards do NOT have BIOS flashback capability. Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - link

    when they get PCI4 support Intel's boards will be equally more expensive than the previous generation. Maintaining that high frequency a signal across more than a cm or 2 requires building boards to a much higher and more expensive standard or active signal booster chips along the path.

    PCIe 5 will be far worse on that front. Estimates I saw earlier this year were that PCIe4 would add as much as $100 to the price of a board; with the cheapest x570 boards being almost $100 more than the cheapest x470's on Newegg and the average (excluding the crazy halo ones) looking like it's at least $50 higher that doesn't seem too far off. That article (ee times asia???) was predicting that PCIe5 could end up adding as much as $400 above the cost of a 3.0 capable board; which if true probably means it will end up server only or with only a narrow strip between the CPU and chipset build up to that standard. (Assuming the latter possible anyway: If the cost challenge is more preventing external interference than in needing higher quality materials a local board segment fudge might not be feasible.)
    Reply
  • abufrejoval - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - link

    PCI4 and 5, or for that matter IF will trigger rethinking motherboard layouts and form factors.

    "The [Enthusiast] motherboard" dates back to 1981 or the dawn of the IBM Personal Computer, and physics are catching up everywhere, even on the motherboard.

    Distance has a huge impact on speed, latency and power, so 'flat' and 'square' are both the first obstacles and the first who need to compromise. In the future every milimeter of distance between the die carrier and your point of interest will need to be paid for, in energy/time or extra switching silicon.

    Linear extrapolations of the past have little use, when the barriers are exponential.
    Reply
  • TheUnhandledException - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - link

    Even if you keep the board a square moving the CPU and chipset to the center of the board and having PCIe slots on either side would cut the trace to the furthest slots in half. Reply
  • The_Assimilator - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - link

    Hopefully at the same time we can ditch 12V as the rail to rule them all, so that we can bring the amperages in current systems back down to sane levels. Reply

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