ASRock is aiming at the ultra high-end of the consumer market by launching a water-cooled motherboard for Intel’s 10th-generation desktop processors.
Intel’s Comet Lake-S desktop chips require a motherboard sporting a 400 series chipset. The high-end version of that chipset is the Z490, and ASRock is set to offer a limited edition Z490 Aqua motherboard later this month (May 20). It costs a small fortune, but in return you’re going to get a rather unique motherboard in your rig.
As Tom’s Hardware reports, the feature that makes the Z490 Aqua special is the integration of water cooling as standard. The “Aqua Cooling Armor” helps to dissipate heat produced by the processor and the Voltage Regulator Module (VRM) on the board without any extra fans needing to spin. The armor has integrated RGB lighting so you can install it in a window case to enjoy the light show. There’s also an included Aqua Water Cooling Pack, which is a set of fittings for adding hard tube piping for additional water cooling.
The motherboard supports all 10th-gen Socket 1200 Intel Core processors, offers four DDR4 4,800MHz+ RAM slots, supports Nvidia Quad SLI or AMD 3-Way CrossFireX graphics card configurations, includes 7.1 channel HD audio, and three M.2 PCIe Gen3 x4 slots. A Hyper M.2 PCIe Gen4 x4 slot is also available. There’s one Thunderbolt 3 Type-C port, five USB 3.1 Gen2 ports, eight USB 3.1 Gen1 ports, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, Wi-Fi 6, and a status OLED panel built into the casing.
If all that sounds like your perfect motherboard, brace yourself for the price. ASRock sees this as an extremely limited edition board, meaning only 999 will be produced and sold. The asking price is $1,099, which places it way outside of most budgets. If you’re looking for a stunning motherboard with loads of overclocking potential and budget isn’t a concern, the Z490 Aqua is a tempting proposition.