A Nice Big Glass Of an ASRock Z490 AQUA Review
Life In Plastic, It’s Fantastic
ASRock went all out with their eATX Z490 AQUA motherboard, including just about every feature you could possibly want, and a few more just in case. Three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots as well as two PCIe 3.0 x1, six SATA ports, three M.2 ports and three USB-C ports, two of which are Thunderbolt will fill every possible PCIe lane you could possibly squeeze into this motherboard.
There is Intel 802.11ax WiFi , and both 10G and 2.5G LAN ports, Nichicon capacitors, a 14 power phase design and built in waterblock covering the CPU socket and VRMs, which as you should expect features RGB lights. TechPowerUp used this board to update their testing, using a i9-10900K and a 16GB G.SKILL Trident Z Neo F4-3600 RAM kit as well as a custom cooling loop using a Bitspower SC6 pump and a 360mm radiator.
The board overlocked well, with 5.3 GHz on all cores @ 1.38 V was possible, but only for short times as the heat from that 10 core i9-10900K overwhelmed even the custom cooler, the RAM was stable at 4000 MHz with standard XMP timings and voltages. 4.9GHz on the other hand was stable, and operated at a respectable 38C, 27C at stock frequencies.
The thing is, the board is just over $1000, which is a high price to pay for any motherboard, let alone a Z490.
ASRock is back with another rendition of their ultra premium AQUA motherboards, this time for Z490! The ASRock Z490 AQUA has it all: a powerful VRM, a monoblock to cool it, and stylish looks to boot. Is this what peak performance looks like?