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?