ASRock TRX40 Creator

Going through the different vendor's product stacks alphabetically, our first TRX4 model comes via the ASRock TRX40 Creator. As the name might suggest, the ASRock TRX40 Creator is focused at content creators and professional users looking to use features such as Aquantia AQC107 10 GbE, Intel's AX200 Wi-Fi 6 wireless interface. Also featured are support for up to DDR4-4666 with up to 256 GB across eight slots, a USB 3.2 G2 20 Gbps Type-C port on the rear panel, and three PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots.

The ASRock TRX40 Creator is an ATX sized model which combines a very sleek and simple aesthetic with its silver aluminium heatsinks and black PCB. Keeping the TRX40 chipset cool is an actively cooled heatsink, while the rear panel cover doubles up as the power delivery heatsink. Touching on the power delivery itself, the ASRock TRX40 Creator is using an 8-phase design which is controlled by an ISL66247 8-phase controller, with eight ISL99390 90 A power stages. Providing power to the CPU is a pair of 8-pin 12 V ATX power connectors which are located along the top left and right of the board. There are four full-length PCIe 4.0 slots which operate at x16/x8/x16+x8, with three PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots which each includes an M.2 heatsink. For SATA devices, there are eight SATA ports which support RAID 0, 1, and 10 arrays.

Located around the edge of the board are five 4-pin headers which are split into one for a CPU, one for a water pump, and three for chassis fans. In the bottom right-hand corner is a two-digit LED debug, with a small power and reset switch. For users looking to go extreme, ASRock has also included a CPU Xtreme OC switch, although the more enthusiast of users might opt for ASRock's TRX40 Taichi. Memory compatibility looks strong with support for up to DDR4-4666, with scope to install up to 256 GB across eight memory slots. 

The rear panel has just two USB 3.1 G2 Type-A ports, with four USB 3.1 G1 Type-A and a single USB 3.2 G2 Type-C with support for up to 20 Gbps. Networking on the ASRock TRX40 Creator is impressive with dual Ethernet consisting of an Aquantia AQC107 10 GbE and Realtek RTL8125-AG 2.5 GbE pairing, and an Intel AX200 Wi-Fi 6 wireless interface. Also present is a BIOS Flashback button, a clear CMOS switch, and a PS/2 combo port. The five 3.5 mm colour-coded audio jacks and S/PDIF optical output are powered by a Realtek ALC4050H and ALC1220 pair of audio codecs, while a Texas Instruments NE5532 headset amplifier is present to bolster the quality of the front panel audio connector.

The ASRock TRX40 Creator as the naming structure would suggest is pitched to content creators and professionals with its well-rounded networking controller set, support for up to three PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots, and subtle and neutral aesthetics. Unlike other ASRock models of late, its decision not to include Thunderbolt 3 may be a disappointment to some, but they have integrated a USB 3.2 G2 Type-C port with half the available bandwidth (20 Gbps) on the rear panel. Another thing that should be rectified is the naming scheme, as both ASRock and MSI have a TRX40 Creator model in its line up; more should be done to create better brand awareness and not to confuse users. The ASRock TRX40 Creator will launch with an MSRP of $449.

TRX40 Power Delivery Specifications & Comparison ASRock TRX40 Taichi
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  • Arsenica - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    Something funny about the Gigabyte TRX40 Designare is that they go out their way to not include Thunderbolt branding for the bundled card. They only call it "a 40GB/s GC-Titan Ridge add-in card which allows you to take advantage of exceptionally fast transfer speeds!" Reply
  • YB1064 - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    $800 for a motherboard? I don't think any number of Xtreme XXX in the name justifies such a ridiculous price tag. Reply
  • colonelclaw - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    Does the lack of Thunderbolt 3 on 11 of the 12 point to it still being too expensive to manufacture? Or something else? Seems odd to me that 8 out of 12 boards has ethernet > 1G, but only a single board has TB3. Doesn't seem very HEDT! Reply
  • gavbon - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    Not to mention the single option is via an add-on card. I will reach out and see what I can find out Reply
  • Smell This - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link


    Could TB3 be spec'd-out?
    I mean, at 12v/60w (max TB3?) asking too much for cabling/hardware in the ever-ending quest for speed/bandwidth in exchange for heat?

    Is the add-on proprietary to AsRock?
    Reply
  • eek2121 - Friday, November 29, 2019 - link

    Disclaimer, this is going solely off memory and is based off stuff I read somewhere. IIRC The Macbook Pro has 4 thunderbolt 3 ports. More than likely, it's because Intel provides TB3 on the CPU separate from PCIE lanes, whereas AMD only has dedicated PCIE lanes. This means that TB3 uses PCIE lanes on AMD systems. Reply
  • phildj - Sunday, December 8, 2019 - link

    The MacBooks Pro (and the 2018 Mac Mini) all run 2 Alpine Ridge (or whatever) controllers off 2x x4 PCIe lanes. The 15/16” version connects to the DGPU using only x8. Reply
  • Digispa - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    Thunderbolt, regardless of version number is owned by Intel. I would think that board manufacturers probably don't have to pay a license fee to add it to Intel boards but have to pay a fee for AMD boards they design and sell. It is most likely a cost issue versus a compatible spec issue. Reply
  • eek2121 - Friday, November 29, 2019 - link

    Untrue, TB3 has been open sourced. It will be a part of the USB 4.0 standard. Reply
  • dotes12 - Saturday, November 30, 2019 - link

    Is it actually going to be called USB 4.0? They were really getting on a roll with USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 SuperSpeed+. Reply

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