One of the most important aspects surrounding the performance of AMD’s Ryzen 3000 series is temperature. It’s no secret that AMD 7nm chips work a little warmer than previous generations, but the unique ASRock X570 Aqua is trying to shake things up. The ASRock X570 Aqua is equipped with a full-cap aluminum and copper water block that cools the power delivery, CPU socket and X570 chipset simultaneously and can be integrated into custom water cooling rings. There are many promises made with this super product, so…
X570 Aqua is a limited edition product from ASRock, designed to go only to the most dedicated and pocket-sized PC builders. In fairness, we expect most of them to go to money users without items or PC builders who want to show off their building skills (which includes system integrators who want something special for their workshop). However, at a whopping $999, there must be some treats. A special card for water owners is one of them.
The ASRock X570 Aqua is not for everyone, and users looking to opt for the aluminum-coated monolithic E-ATX model will need to use at least one custom water cooling circuit. This will add an extra fee in addition to the $999 premium THAT ASRock is charging for its X570 Aqua, which will only see 999 available to the public. At present, there is no direct competitor with a monoblock unless GIGABYTE decides to release a version of its X570 Xtreme via an Aorus WaterForce model. The price tag of $999 is not only impressive, but also includes 10G, Wi-Fi 6, and Dual Thunderbolt 3 Type-C outputs. One thing that must also be taken into account in the price is exclusivity; there are only 999 units available for purchase.
Users can customize the RGB LED strip integrated at the bottom of the board or the strips installed on the two headers via asrock polychrome sync software. The GUI is very easy to use, and ASRock allows you to select different types of lighting effects, including static, random, wave, and rainbow effects; there are fourteen different modes that do not include the ability to turn off the RGB LEDs completely.Moving along the OC Tweaker section and all the main overclocking settings of the tabs can be found here. Users looking to overclock the CPU, memory, or even both can do so with a wide variety of options including cpu frequency settings, voltages, and an option to enable the X.M.P profile on supported memory. There’s a DRAM timing configurator for users looking to tighten or loosen memory latencies, as well as the ability to change the frequency, with relevant customizable memory voltage settings also present. Below is a list of configuration limitations, including CPU frequency, CPU virtual core, DRAM frequency, and Infinity Fabric/FCLK frequency. It should be noted that these maximum values can not be achieved, even with more extreme cooling methods:
Maximum CPU Frequency = 6.300 GHz
Maximum CPU VCore = 2.5 V
Maximum DRAM Frequency = DDR4-6000
Maximum Infinity Fabric/FCLK Frequency = 3000 MHz
For an halo product priced at $999, the firmware of the ASRock X570 Aqua isn’t as complete as we would have hoped. The design is easy to use and follows a unique advanced mode with each menu hosting a wide variety of customizable settings. From the prehistoric guidance and usability of the RGB section of the firmware to the lack of the ASRock FAN-Tastic tuning utility in the BIOS, ASRock could have done more with the firmware. It’s not necessarily bad and has a lot of useful overclocking features and power to customize. It’s very responsive and well-designed, it’s just a little bit missing for a model that costs almost $1000.Experience with ASRock X570 Aqua
The Ryzen 3000 works very warmly, even at idle temperatures compared to the high-density packaged cores in their 7nm chiplets, and with the Aqua, a custom ring liquid setup with the built-in full-cover monoblock should do the trick. In terms of motherboard testing, it makes our Ryzen 7 3700X test bench processor a bit harder to cool than a processor like the Ryzen 7 3900X. The reason for this is that the cores are evenly split between two CCDs on the 3900X, while the 3700X has all eight cores in a single CCD. This means that in our overclocking tests, the ryzen 7 3700X works similarly in a custom loop compared to a closed-loop liquid cooler.
Overclocking Ryzen 7 3700X using the ASRock X570 Aqua is the typical mid-range motherboard par excellence that we expect from ASRock, with the firmware laid out in easy-to-navigate sections. All the overclocking settings users need can be found in the OC Tweaker section, with some of the more advanced precision boost overdrive settings available in the advanced menu. Typically, users overblock the CPU and memory, and the ASRock X570 Aqua has two modes to choose from, stable mode and OC mode. The only noticeable difference is the CPU voltage level. The stable overclocking mode allows users to use up to 1,500 V OF VIRTUAL CORE CPU, while the OC mode extends this to a whopping 2,500 V.
Compared to other ASRock models we tested recently, the ASRock X570 Aqua ticks the right boxes for users looking to overclock and squeeze out all unlocked performance. The key variable to consider with the Aqua is that it is designed for enthusiasts looking to benefit from reduced operating temperatures with water cooling and potentially gain additional performance available from silicon. ASRock informed us that its most advantageous tests were conducted with a Ryzen 9 3950X processor that, at the time of writing, has not yet been released. The ASRock X570 Aqua includes a small overclocker toolkit at the bottom right of the board with a two-digit LED debugger, a power button, and a reset button.
CONCLUSION AQUA ASRock X570
The ASRock X570 Aqua ($999) is a very interesting motherboard for several reasons; some that are revealing, and others not so much. Touching what will probably be the biggest consideration when looking for the Aqua for a new Ryzen 3000 system by users is the price. The X570 Aqua is priced at $999, which sets it as the most expensive X570 motherboard currently in production, or not in production with only 999 units available in retail channels. Exclusivity has a price and ASRock X570 Aqua is undoubtedly one of the most exclusive motherboard models of recent times. Users will have to use custom liquid cooling to use this beautiful, but equally incredibly expensive model, which adds an extra cost in itself.To feel all the benefits of monoblocing on the CPU, the Ryzen 9 series processors (3950X, 3900X) are more likely to see thermal advantage with the two evenly distributed core-loaded CCDs rather than with the single Ryzen 7 series (3700X, 3800X). Compared to another model with a similar specific power delivery, the differences were extraordinary, showing the true thermal benefits of water-cooled energy deliveries. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely to have made much difference, as none of the designs tested so far have come close to the limits of operation, but in the case of the Aqua, it’s keeping things fresh while it feels even cooler.
For the expensive sum of $999, the price makes it difficult to compare it to other models on the X570 chipset, but eagle-eyed users may have seen that the ASRock X570 Aqua and ASRock X570 Creator share almost identical feature sets, with the latter costing almost half the price. This is true, and from the feature set it looks like Asrock’s X570 Aqua and X570 Creator are the same board, but minus the monoblock and aluminum cover. With that in mind, just for the features, it makes the ASRock X570 Aqua unreasonably expensive, but when things go into perspective, users pay for the monobloc cooling performance, the unique style of all aluminum, and most importantly, its exclusivity because only 999 units are made available to the public through retail channels.
The ASRock X570 Aqua is a special motherboard and one of the most beautiful that has ever adorned the test stand, but all this monoblock in aluminum, copper and exclusivity come at a price. Whether that price is enough to dissuade the average consumer remains to be seen, but the ASRock X570 Aqua motherboard is a true great product that deserves all the flattery it was created for; it’s not the everyman board, but an impressive collector’s item that will almost certainly benefit from a high-end AM4 CPU. Photo: ASRock
Supports AMD AM4 Socket Ryzen™ 2000, 3000, 4000 G-Series and 5000 Series Desktop Processors
– IR Digital PWM
– 14 Power Phase design
– 256Mb AMI UEFI Legal BIOS with GUI support
– Supports “Plug and Play”
– ACPI 5.1 compliance wake up events
– Supports jumperfree
– SMBIOS 2.3 support
– CPU VCORE, VDDCR_SOC, DRAM, VPPM, VTT_DDR offset, VDDP, CPU VDD1.8, PREM VDD_CLDO, PREM VDDCR_SOC Voltage Multi-adjustment
– Integrated AMD Radeon™ Vega Series Graphics in Ryzen Series APU*
– DirectX 12, Pixel Shader 5.0
– Shared memory default 2GB. Max Shared memory supports up to 16GB.**
– Supports HDMI 2.0 with max. resolution up to 4K x 2K (4096×2160) @ 60Hz
– Supports DisplayPort 1.4 Input with max. resolution up to 4K x 2K (4096×2160) @ 120Hz***
– Supports Auto Lip Sync, Deep Color (12bpc), xvYCC and HBR (High Bit Rate Audio) with HDMI 2.0 Ports (Compliant HDMI monitor is required)
– Supports HDR (High Dynamic Range) with HDMI 2.0
– Supports HDCP 2.2 with HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.4 Ports
– Supports 4K Ultra HD (UHD) playback with HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.4 Ports
– Supports Microsoft® PlayReady
– 1 x DisplayPort 1.4 Input (DPIN2)
– 1 x Power LED and Speaker Header
– 1 x AMD Fan LED Header*
– 1 x RGB LED Header**
– 1 x Addressable LED Header
– 1 x CPU Fan Connector (4-pin)
– 1 x CPU/Water Pump Fan Connector (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)
– 3 x Chassis/Water Pump Fan Connectors (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)
– 1 x 24 pin ATX Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
– 1 x 8 pin 12V Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
– 1 x 4 pin 12V Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
– 1 x Front Panel Audio Connector (15μ Gold Audio Connector)
– 1 x USB 2.0 Header (Supports 2 USB 2.0 ports) (Supports ESD Protection)
– 2 x USB 3.2 Gen1 Headers (Support 4 USB 3.2 Gen1 ports) (Supports ESD Protection)
– 1 x Front Panel Type C USB 3.2 Gen2 Header (Supports ESD Protection)
– 1 x Dr. Debug with LED
– 1 x Power Button with LED
– 1 x Reset Button with LED
– 1 x Clear CMOS Button