Wednesday, May 29th 2019

ASRock X570 Aqua is a $1000 Zen2-ready Liquid-Cooled Monsterboard

We were pleasantly mistaken when we thought ASRock would stop at the X570 Phantom Gaming X or the X570 Taichi for AMD's new "Valhalla" enthusiast desktop platform. It turns out that they have a roughly-$1,000 monster motherboard in the pipes, called the X570 Aqua. Pictured below, the board is based on a slight variation of the X570 Phantom Gaming X PCB. The biggest change of course is the aluminium shroud that covers most of the board's front side. There's also a metal back-plate.

Beneath the metal shroud is what gives the board its name: a massive liquid-cooling monoblock that cools not just your processor (including heavyweights such as overclocked Ryzen 9 3900X chips), but also the CPU VRM, and the feisty AMD X570 chipset. The coolant channel first goes over the CPU through a large micro-fin lattice, then onto the X570 chipset, and finally over the CPU VRM on its way out. Much like the Phantom Gaming X, this board features daisy-chained dual-channel DDR4 memory slots designed to make the most OC out of 2-module setups.
Expansion includes three PCI-Express 4.0 x16 slots, the top two are wired to the AM4 SoC, and the bottom-most one is electrical gen 4.0 x4, wired to the chipset. There are three gen 4.0 x1 slots in between them. Storage connectivity includes two M.2-22110 slots (64 Gbps, PCIe gen 4.0 x4), from which one includes SATA 6 Gbps wiring; and six other SATA 6 Gbps ports. The board serves up not one, but two 40 Gbps Thunderbolt 3 ports, complete with USB 3.1 and DisplayPort passthrough to the boot! USB connectivity includes six USB 3.1 gen 2 at the rear panel, including two type-C ports, and four USB 3.1 gen 1 headers. Networking includes a 10 GbE connection driven by an AQuantia AQC107 controller, a 1 GbE connection pulled by an Intel i211-AT, 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) WLAN pulled by Intel "Cyclone Peak" PHY, and Bluetooth 5.0. The onboard audio solution is premium Realtek ALC1220 fare.

We've heard from several sources that this board could command a $1,000 price, which is over two times that of the X570 Phantom Gaming X. Value-addition comes in the form of a slightly beefed up 8-layer PCB, two 40 Gbps Thunderbolt 3 ports, 10 GbE replacing 2.5 GbE, additional 10 Gbps USB 3.1 gen 2 ports, the aluminium front- and back cladding, and of course, the $200-ish nickel-plated copper monoblock. ASRock is only producing 999 pieces of this board, and the one on display is uniquely marked "002/999," so there's that.
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58 Comments on ASRock X570 Aqua is a $1000 Zen2-ready Liquid-Cooled Monsterboard

#26
jmcslob
It looks like those ECS boards that were NZXT branded....
Both look like puke... bleh
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#27
springs113
EatingDirt, post: 4056342, member: 176500"
Huh? Buildzoid 100% said the X370 Taichi is very likely capable running a potential 16 core CPU.

Buildzoid will my X370/X470/B450/B350 mobo be good enough for Ryzen 3rd gen

So, well... that's that.
running stock and OC'n are 2 different things, no CPU in my house except my laptops are currently running stock. In fact none of my CPU ever stayed stock. I rather have the headroom than just to be probably ok. I'll see what the aqua/equivalent and formula have to offer. Im not here to debate because at the end of the day my purchase decision will be determined by what suits my needs best in both looks and functionality. I have plenty of boards that gave features that ive not yet used, but I rather have it than to be in need/want of it and not have it.
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#28
NdMk2o1o
springs113, post: 4056389, member: 39497"
running stock and OC'n are 2 different things, no CPU in my house except my laptops are currently running stock. In fact none of my CPU ever stayed stock. I rather have the headroom than just to be probably ok. I'll see what the aqua/equivalent and formula have to offer. Im not here to debate because at the end of the day my purchase decision will be determined by what suits my needs best in both looks and functionality. I have plenty of boards that gave features that ive not yet used, but I rather have it than to be in need/want of it and not have it.
Mate it's well noted from early reviews that the asrock taichi's are some of the best am4 boards available, overclock or not, if you have some proof that says otherwise then do enlighten us, cause it seems to go against all of the reviews that are available on the net as well as a lot of users who actually own the boards on here and can attest to it.
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#29
EarthDog
NdMk2o1o, post: 4056400, member: 83825"
Mate it's well noted from early reviews that the asrock taichi's are some of the best am4 boards available, overclock or not, if you have some proof that says otherwise then do enlighten us, cause it seems to go against all of the reviews that are available on the net as well as a lot of users who actually own the boards on here and can attest to it.
It's a different ballgame with a 12c+ CPU and overclocking. It will be ok, the Taichi, but weve seen some really beefy vrms come out on x570 for a reason. ;)

If these didn't need some beefy vrms we wouldn't see such a distinct change across all AIBs.
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#30
yakk
Best case scenario the rest of the AMD motherboard makers will at least catch up to the x370 Tai Chi (ideally x470) in terms of vrms and component quality with x570 boards.

Win for consumers.
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#31
chaosmassive
this product gives away hints what would ryzen 3000 be like. since the mainboard manufacturer (Asrock in this case, and we know that Asus prepared more than 30 SKU just for upcoming ryzen 3K) wont risk RnD cost, time, manpower
if they knew that Ryzen 3K would be suck, they wont sink in that much investment (Im looking at you, FX CPU. Just see how many mainboard maker make SKU for that garbage compared to Ivy and Haswell at that time).
Posted on Reply
#32
EarthDog
chaosmassive, post: 4056415, member: 159641"
this product gives away hints what would ryzen 3000 be like. since the mainboard manufacturer (Asrock in this case, and we know that Asus prepared more than 30 SKU just for upcoming ryzen 3K) wont risk RnD cost, time, manpower
if they knew that Ryzen 3K would be suck, they wont sink in that much investment (Im looking at you, FX CPU. Just see how many mainboard maker make SKU for that garbage compared to Ivy and Haswell at that time).
Dude, there were DOZENS of boards for bulldozer and PDriver... across multiple chipsets. The problem is that most boards couldn't handle overclocking the 8c part and some weak boards that touted support of them, would throttle at stock.

Intel has ALWAYS rocked more mobo SKUs and it makes sense why if you think about it. Nobody wanted to touch those CPUs as they were a lot slower and used more power out of the box.
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#33
Mescalamba
TheLostSwede, post: 4056316, member: 3382"
A lot of gamers like PS/2 for n-key rollover and lower latency.
Bit more important is that PS/2 doesnt usually crap out in extreme OC.

But I love PS/2 for keyboard in general. Gaming mostly, so you right ofc.
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#34
Metroid
There are a lot of people with more money than sense and this is a good example, the x570 15 watts chipset will be their main excuse to buy this. Although I see this positive in the initiative, I see negative in the price, there was no reason to price this more than $300, they were not happy and charged 3 times more.
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#35
MEC-777
Seriously, who designs these things? Random lines and angles with no continuity. Looks terrible, IMO.
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#36
bug
Installing M2 drives onto this baby should be a breeze. It would be super cool if the watercooling took care of those once installed, but since that's not listed and not all drives are the same thickness, that's probably not the case.
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#37
EarthDog
If its all connected it will to some extent. :)
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#38
EatingDirt
yakk, post: 4056356, member: 158293"
I'd buy a Tai Chi version of this in an instant, even if the VRMs on my x470 are so over designed they don't even get warm running flat out 24/7 anyways.

Upgrading a Phantom Gaming board like this is interesting, but would've much preferred a Tai Chi.
As I stated earlier, the Taichi & Phantom Gaming are the basically the same boards, the only difference being that the phantom gaming has an extra LAN port & added chips to support it(right below the VRM heatsink). Look at the pictures and it's obvious.
https://www.asrock.com/mb/photo/X570%20Taichi(L2).png
https://www.asrock.com/mb/photo/X570%20Phantom%20Gaming%20X(L2).png

springs113, post: 4056389, member: 39497"
running stock and OC'n are 2 different things, no CPU in my house except my laptops are currently running stock. In fact none of my CPU ever stayed stock. I rather have the headroom than just to be probably ok. I'll see what the aqua/equivalent and formula have to offer. Im not here to debate because at the end of the day my purchase decision will be determined by what suits my needs best in both looks and functionality. I have plenty of boards that gave features that ive not yet used, but I rather have it than to be in need/want of it and not have it.
Did you not watch the video? I was in a hurry to get to work, but the exact quote from Buildzoid is "The X370 Taichi has a stronger VRM than the (X370)C6H and, uh, I'd say that board is totally viable for the 12 core... like maxing out the 12 core. It could probably even max out the 16 core for core clocks..."

The X370 Taichi was, in terms of power management, simply the best X370 board. It took high-end X470 boards from other manufacturers to catch up, and the Taichi still has a better VRM than some X470 boards. I imagine though, that many X570 have finally got in line with where the Taichi was with X370 because of the likelihood of a 16 core in the future.

If we're talking about this board in particular, however... even if it has the exact same VRM layout as the X370 Taichi, because it's water cooled it will more than be able to handle whatever the 16 core happens to pull because the limit is thermals, not power draw.
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#39
erocker
*
I'd like to see it with all the unnecessary plastic bits.
Posted on Reply
#40
springs113
EatingDirt, post: 4056696, member: 176500"
As I stated earlier, the Taichi & Phantom Gaming are the basically the same boards, the only difference being that the phantom gaming has an extra LAN port & added chips to support it(right below the VRM heatsink). Look at the pictures and it's obvious.
https://www.asrock.com/mb/photo/X570 Taichi(L2).png
https://www.asrock.com/mb/photo/X570 Phantom Gaming X(L2).png



Did you not watch the video? I was in a hurry to get to work, but the exact quote from Buildzoid is "The X370 Taichi has a stronger VRM than the (X370)C6H and, uh, I'd say that board is totally viable for the 12 core... like maxing out the 12 core. It could probably even max out the 16 core for core clocks..."

The X370 Taichi was, in terms of power management, simply the best X370 board. It took high-end X470 boards from other manufacturers to catch up, and the Taichi still has a better VRM than some X470 boards. I imagine though, that many X570 have finally got in line with where the Taichi was with X370 because of the likelihood of a 16 core in the future.

If we're talking about this board in particular, however... even if it has the exact same VRM layout as the X370 Taichi, because it's water cooled it will more than be able to handle whatever the 16 core happens to pull because the limit is thermals, not power draw.
Like I said earlier I know better and what suits me... I'll spend my money on what suits me not you.
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#41
svan71
White motherboards are always more money, very racist...
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#42
nemesis.ie
Apart from the ludicrous price, the slot layout is pants. They've removed the 4x slot. :( Presumably the TB interface is stealing so much b/w that had to go. IMO, on a board of this price they should add a PCIe swtich and have the chipset slots physically X16 and x8 electrically. That way you can choose yourself what you do with the 4x gen 4 b/w from the chipset, you could put in e.g. a gen 3 x8 card and get full speed from it if nothing else is hogging the chipset.

Maybe gen4 switches are not available, I can't say they would be too expensive given the premium they are asking for this board, even if it was $50+ they could do it.

I like the concept, but it needs to be 1/2 the price or I'd just make one myself/get one fabricated locally for that kind of extra money.

EarthDog, post: 4056403, member: 79836"
It's a different ballgame with a 12c+ CPU and overclocking. It will be ok, the Taichi, but weve seen some really beefy vrms come out on x570 for a reason. ;)

If these didn't need some beefy vrms we wouldn't see such a distinct change across all AIBs.
Maybe they are beefing up X570 for next year, so folks can drop in 24-core parts etc. and won't bitch that they got no upgrade path? We could see X470 "only" supporting up to 16 copre Zen3+ parts but X570 supports more core parts.

That's sort of the case going from X370 to X470. X470 are more likely to work with a 16 core than X370.

This all gives the motherboard makers a carrot rather than have X370 fully support the 2020 models and they don't sell new boards.

I still believe some X370 & 470 will support some of next years models. e.g. you have a 12 core this year at 105W TDP, that could well be down to 95 or less for some 12 core SKUs next year and easily driven by X370 VRMs.
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#43
EarthDog
nemesis.ie, post: 4056831, member: 22637"
Maybe they are beefing up X570 for next year, so folks can drop in 24-core parts etc. and won't bitch that they got no upgrade path? We could see X470 "only" supporting up to 16 copre Zen3+ parts but X570 supports more core parts
....I dont buy into that carrot idea. I dont recall it working that way. X570 is made specifically for zen 2 parts...x470 isn't. I'd believe all x570 boards will support all zen2 cpus while some x470 will struggle, especially with overclocking the hcc parts.
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#44
nemesis.ie
I was talking about Zen2+.

There is a compatibility chart floating around and X470 has most of the boxes ticked for Zen2. That may well change and shuffle down with Zen 2+.

You might not recall it working that way as this is really the first time we've had such good forward compatibility.

Robert Hallock even alluded to that in a recent interview.
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#45
EarthDog
Bulldozer/Piledriver didnt? There was at least 2 gens of chipsets there...
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#46
nemesis.ie
They did, but not for as long, AM4 will do 4 or maybe even 5, 6 might be pushing it.

There also wasn't as much of a performance leap gen to gen overall and if some X370/470 boards will support even one slot of gen 4 PCIe, that will be another plus for AM4 vs AM3.
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#47
kapone32
EarthDog, post: 4056861, member: 79836"
....I dont buy into that carrot idea. I dont recall it working that way. X570 is made specifically for zen 2 parts...x470 isn't. I'd believe all x570 boards will support all zen2 cpus while some x470 will struggle, especially with overclocking the hcc parts.
The fact that most X470 boards came with an extra 4 or 8 pin CPU connector should tell you that all X470 boards will support Zen 2 parts OC. B350 might be a bit different. Basically if it supported the 1800X or 2700x it should support whatever 3000 series chip because the power draw should have lessened with the node shrink. The 12 Core 3900X is a 105W TDP which is the exact same as the 2700x with 4 less cores.
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#48
EarthDog
kapone32, post: 4057064, member: 181865"
The fact that most X470 boards came with an extra 4 or 8 pin CPU connector should tell you
The inclusion of an additional EPS connector doesn't really tell me much. It means the VRMs can receive more power from the PSU.

IIRC, a single 8-pin EPS can handle well over 300W anyway...what more does it REALLY offer?

And for clarity (feels like the point was missed, :))... I am not saying all X470 boards will be affected, nor am I saying at stock... This is an overclocking* situation. Those with the additional power and subsequently potentially more robust VRM for boards which have that, can handle it. I'm wondering about entry level boards to mid-range and trying to drop in a 12c and overclocking it on those.

*I'm assuming there is the headroom to run all c/t at their boost clocks or more... time will tell. If it is stuck within its boost, most will be fine. Both CPUs are, mind you, are listed at 105W, the same power. I am expecting more OC headroom.
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#49
kapone32
EarthDog, post: 4057066, member: 79836"
The inclusion of an additional EPS connector doesn't really tell me much. It means the VRMs can receive more power from the PSU.

IIRC, a single 8-pin EPS can handle well over 300W anyway...what more does it REALLY offer?

And for clarity (feels like the point was missed, :))... I am not saying all X470 boards will be affected, nor am I saying at stock... This is an overclocking* situation. Those with the additional power and subsequently potentially more robust VRM for boards which have that, can handle it. I'm wondering about entry level boards to mid-range and trying to drop in a 12c and overclocking it on those.

*I'm assuming there is the headroom to run all c/t at their boost clocks or more... time will tell. If it is stuck within its boost, most will be fine. Both CPUs are, mind you, are listed at 105W, the same power. I am expecting more OC headroom.
Agreed but does the VRM power draw not come from the CPU load? There had to be a reason to add that. All reviews that I have read for X470 have said that the extra 8 pin was not needed for the CPUs. There should be more headroom, when they went from 14 to 12 (I know it wasn't a node shrink) the maximum OC went from 4.0 GHZ for some 1700s to 4.3 GHZ for all 2700s. I do believe that even the 6+2 phase VRMs on the discount X470 boards should be able to handle the OC, if the cooling is adequate. Basically I am saying that the cheaper the board the better the cooling needs to be to realize that OC. However you are right that time will tell.
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#50
Gasaraki
What a shit board. Who's going to pay $1000 for 2x M.2 slots and 2 NICs only one of which is 10GbE. I paid ~$260 for something way better than this.
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