Thursday, January 6th 2022

ASRock Announces Two Z690 Aqua Motherboards, One with Extra OC Creds

At the launch of the Z690 chipset, ASRock didn't reveal its flagship Aqua model, but now the company has finally announced not just one, but two Z690 Aqua models, one "regular" SKU and one OC SKU. The main difference between the two is that the OC SKU only has two DIMM slots, since as we know, DDR5 is extra finicky when it comes to running at high clock speeds and two DIMM boards allow for higher DRAM clock speeds, This also means that all the major board makers have now launched a two DIMM product geared towards overclockers.

The two boards are mostly identical in terms of features otherwise, but there are some minor differences that we'll point out later. As expected, both boards feature a large, nicely integrated liquid cooling plate for the CPU and the 20 phase 105 A SPS VRM setup. ASRock has gone for a 12 layer PCB, not something you see in a lot of consumer motherboards and it's unclear if it'll bring any real benefits, but as this is a premium motherboard, it's a nice touch. The heatsink of the top-most M.2 drive is home to a small OLED display, but ASRock hasn't listed the size on its website.
The Aqua boards sports two PCIe 5.0 slots that operate in either x16/x0 or x8/x8 mode, plus one PCIe 4.0 x16 slot and one PCIe 3.0 x1 slot. When it comes to M.2 slots, ASRock almost seems stingy compared to the competition, as the Aqua boards only have three PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots, two of which can also support SATA drives. However, when it comes to connectivity, ASRock beats most of the competition, depending on what these boards will cost, as you get two Thunderbolt 4 ports, both with DP passthrough, 10 Gbps Ethernet, courtesy of a Marvell AQC113CS controller and 2.5 Gbps via a Killer E3100G controller. WiFi is also courtesy of Killer, via a AX1675 WiFi 6E capable module.

ASRock has stuck with a traditional audio setup, using the Realtek ALC1220 codec paired with an ESS SABRE9218 DAC for the front headphone jack. The boards also have six SATA ports, although the non OC model has an additional two, whereas the OC board gets an extra power input in its place, two USB 3.2 10 Gbps headers, for up to four ports and two USB 3.2 20 Gbps headers for up to two ports.

The rear I/O houses four USB 3.2, two of which supports 10 Gbps speeds, although the non OC version gets an additional two 5 Gbps ports, whereas the OC version has a PS/2 port in their place. There's also an unspecified HDMI port, five audio jacks plus an optical S/PDIF out, as well as a clear CMOS and BIOS FlashBack button, in addition to the aforementioned ports. The other difference with the OC version is that it has a set of additional buttons and switches to help with extreme overclocking. However, both boards feature a debug LED display, so unless you're an extreme overclocker, you're most likely not missing out on much.
ASRock provides a small bundle with the boards that includes a digital leak detector for a custom liquid cooling setup, one short, right angled mini DP to DP cable and even eight spare thermal pads and a set of spare screws for the various heatsinks on the board. More motherboard manufacturers should do this, especially on their full-cover heatsink boards, as it's a pain to get the proper replacements sometimes. Overall the Z690 Aqua boards look decent, if not outstanding compared to the competition.

Source: ASRock
Add your own comment

15 Comments on ASRock Announces Two Z690 Aqua Motherboards, One with Extra OC Creds

#1
bonehead123
PS/2.... really... on a high-end 2022 OC board ???????

Hello ASROCk, this is 1999 calling, and we want ALL our outdated, antique ports back, like, yesterday, hehehehe :)

Also why are the DP ports labeled as "in" ? Have I missed something ?
Posted on Reply
#2
sepheronx
bonehead123PS/2.... really... on a high-end 2022 OC board ???????

Hello ASROCk, this is 1999 calling, and we want ALL our outdated, antique ports back, like, yesterday, hehehehe :)

Also why are the DP ports labeled as "in" ? Have I missed something ?
Maybe to prevent people from shoving the other end up their nose?

Why DP ports for such a board?
Posted on Reply
#3
ncrs
The DP input is for Thunderbolt when you have a dGPU - you can connect your monitor through your motherboard with a single USB-C. A niche use case for desktops.
Posted on Reply
#4
AnarchoPrimitiv
bonehead123PS/2.... really... on a high-end 2022 OC board ???????

Hello ASROCk, this is 1999 calling, and we want ALL our outdated, antique ports back, like, yesterday, hehehehe :)

Also why are the DP ports labeled as "in" ? Have I missed something ?
For the Thunderbolt/displayport passthrough
Posted on Reply
#5
Oberon
bonehead123PS/2.... really... on a high-end 2022 OC board ???????

Hello ASROCk, this is 1999 calling, and we want ALL our outdated, antique ports back, like, yesterday, hehehehe :)
I still use PS/2 for my keyboard. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Posted on Reply
#6
Dr_b_
bonehead123PS/2.... really... on a high-end 2022 OC board ???????

Hello ASROCk, this is 1999 calling, and we want ALL our outdated, antique ports back, like, yesterday, hehehehe :)

Also why are the DP ports labeled as "in" ? Have I missed something ?
This junk post is already debunked
-PS/2 is for OC, its hardwired vs USB
-DP port-in is for TB passthru
Posted on Reply
#7
TheLostSwede
Dr_b_This junk post is already debunked
-PS/2 is for OC, its hardwired vs USB
-DP port-in is for TB passthru
Ignore him, he always posts crap like that.
Posted on Reply
#8
ExplodingCaps
bonehead123PS/2.... really... on a high-end 2022 OC board ???????

Hello ASROCk, this is 1999 calling, and we want ALL our outdated, antique ports back, like, yesterday, hehehehe :)

Also why are the DP ports labeled as "in" ? Have I missed something ?
You should tell that to the other too, like z690 unify x, tachyon, and apex. Can't you tell they all have PS/2 port for obvious reason?
Posted on Reply
#9
Tigger
I'm the only one
Tis a nice board, wish it was black though, i would deffo go for the two slot version.
Posted on Reply
#10
skizzo
guys, it LITERALLY has a fucking pictogram of a MOUSE and KEYBOARD next to the port!

It's not a long shot to think that the PS/2 port used for decades for those devices, with photos right next to it.....would be intended to use for a mouse and/or keyboard.

but let's pretend we are nice open community teaching others knowledge instead of ripping on them for not knowing some tiny niche because high end OC boards are super common for the mass market to know these details about. :rolleyes:
Posted on Reply
#11
Tigger
I'm the only one
For trouble shooting, i always used to connect a PS/2 keyboard guaranteed it would work.
Posted on Reply
#12
Initialised
Where's the mini ITX with integrated Pump and Resevoir?

Where the quick release fill port on the back panel?

Where is the Pump/Leak Test button on the back panel?

Lets have proper integration not bolt ons sold as such.
Posted on Reply
#13
Tigger
I'm the only one
Are they only making 500? Boards have 001/500 on them.

Edit, they are-Lastly, the prestige and superior Z690 AQUA motherboard will be limited production to only 500 units.

Here is a pic of the blok inside too
Posted on Reply
#14
Gmr_Chick
Gotta say, I like the look of this board over the Extreme Glacial from Asus.

Now, if only ASRock could put this same effort into their garbage-tier Phantom Gaming 4 line, maybe they wouldn't get called out for how outright shit said boards are.
Posted on Reply
#15
Cagruntas
bonehead123PS/2.... really... on a high-end 2022 OC board ???????

Hello ASROCk, this is 1999 calling, and we want ALL our outdated, antique ports back, like, yesterday, hehehehe :)

Also why are the DP ports labeled as "in" ? Have I missed something ?
bonehead123PS/2.... really... on a high-end 2022 OC board ???????

Hello ASROCk, this is 1999 calling, and we want ALL our outdated, antique ports back, like, yesterday, hehehehe :)

Also why are the DP ports labeled as "in" ? Have I missed something ?
bonehead123PS/2.... really... on a high-end 2022 OC board ???????

Hello ASROCk, this is 1999 calling, and we want ALL our outdated, antique ports back, like, yesterday, hehehehe :)

Also why are the DP ports labeled as "in" ? Have I missed something ?
Ps/2 ports are really good for trouble shooting and alot of people still use IBM model M keyboards. This is a good thing to have a PS/2 port
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment
Jul 3rd, 2022 04:25 EDT change timezone

New Forum Posts

Popular Reviews

Controversial News Posts