Asrock aqua x570 price: A $1000 Ryzen Halo Motherboard Reviewed

A $1000 Ryzen Halo Motherboard Reviewed

by Gavin Bonshoron December 19, 2019 9:00 AM EST

  • Posted in
  • Motherboards
  • AMD
  • ASRock
  • Water Cooling
  • Thunderbolt 3
  • PCIe 4.0
  • Ryzen 3000
  • X570
  • X570 Aqua



ASRock X570 Aqua OverviewVisual InspectionBIOS And SoftwareBoard Features, Test Bed and SetupSystem PerformanceCPU Performance, Short FormGaming PerformanceRyzen 3000 OverclockingPower Delivery Thermal AnalysisASRock X570 Aqua Conclusion

One of the most important aspects surrounding performance on AMD’s Ryzen 3000 series is temperature. It is no secret that the AMD 7nm chips run somewhat warmer than previous generations, but the unique ASRock X570 Aqua looks to shake things up. The ASRock X570 Aqua features a full-cover aluminium and copper water block cooling the power delivery, CPU socket, and the X570 chipset all at once, and can be integrated into custom water cooling loops. There are plenty of promises made with this super halo product, and so we’ve put it through our testing.

But what exactly do you get with a super halo motherboard?

The X570 Aqua is a limited edition product from ASRock, designed to go to only the most dedicated and pocket-deep PC builders. In all honesty, we expect most of them to go to money-no-object users or PC builders wanting to showcase their building skills (that includes system integrators who want something special for their shop floor). None the less, at a whopping $999, there’s got to be some goodies. A special AQUA-owners card is one of them.

When at a retailer showing off its wares, it would be hard to miss the ASRock X570 Aqua with a ‘sleek and robust’ full cover aluminium armor, with a trifecta of copper water blocks shaped into one unique and custom liquid cooling solution. The aluminium Aqua cooling armor is designed to keep the power delivery, the processor, and the X570 chipset cool, but with added stylings due to integrated addressable RGB LEDs. Due to the full cover aluminium armor with copper blocks, it makes this board weigh a considerable amount, but that’s a trade-off from using a quality material over waves and waves of plastic. The two connections to hook up the water block are G1/4 thread which is the most commonly used fitting type.

We partnered with Corsair and their HydroX to build a system with the Aqua, and ASRock also sent us a 5700XT Taichi to partner with it. We have a build log for that coming in due course, but here’s what we put together. The RGBs aren’t synchronized quite yet!

The PC we built with the Aqua with some help from Corsair: A Build Log coming soon

Behind the waterblock is a very high-end motherboard. The power delivery on the ASRock X570 Aqua is using a 14-phase setup with an International Rectifier IR35201 6+2 PWM controller, with the CPU section reliant on doublers, suitable for any 16-core CPU. We also get an Aquantia AQC107 10 GbE network port, with a supplementary Intel I211-AT Gigabit port which provides users with dual Ethernet on the rear panel.

Also featured is an Intel AX200 Wi-Fi 6 wireless interface which provides both 802.11ax and BT 5.0 connectivity. ASRock has gone all out with its X570 Aqua by validating support for DDR4-5200 memory out of the box across its four available memory slots. This also allows users to install up to and including 128 GB. On the bottom section of the board is three full-length PCIe 4.0 slots which operate at x16, x8/x8, and x8/x8/x4. Sandwiched in between the full-length slots are three PCIe 4.0 x1 slots for users to install additional cards eg, dedicated sound cards, RAID, and networking controllers.

At the bottom right-hand side of the PCB is a two-digit LED debugger, a reset switch, and a power switch. Around the board is three 4-pin fan headers split between a CPU fan, a CPU/water pump, and chassis/water pump fan header. This will require users with lots of cooling fans to use splitter cables, a fan hub, or a dedicated fan controller. Onto the storage and the X570 Aqua has two PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots which include individual heatsinks, and this model makes use of two ASMedia ASM1061 SATA controllers which allows the Aqua to include eight SATA ports; four from the ASM1061 controllers and four directly from the X570 chipset. This means that only the four from the X570 chipset feature support for RAID 0, 1, and 10 arrays.

ASRock X570 Aqua Block Diagram

Another prominent feature of the ASRock X570 Aqua is on the rear panel with dual Thunderbolt 3 Type-C ports, with a further six USB 3.1 G2 Type-A ports. For users looking to make full use of the graphic output capabilities of the Thunderbolt 3 ports, ASRock has included a single DisplayPort 1.4 input which allows a link between a discrete graphics card and the ports for driving multiple 4K displays from a single video output. A Realtek ALC1220 HD audio codec controls the five 3.5 mm audio jacks and S/PDIF out on the rear panel, while a Texas Instruments NE5532 is included to improve the front panel audio with capabilities to drive headphones of up to 600 Ohms.

In our performance testing, the ASRock X570 Aqua was competitive on the whole, and this is something we have come to expect from ASRock. With our CPU, the power consumption figures were very reasonable with a maximum of 140 W at the wall under load in our Prime95 Blend test, which given all of the controllers onboard means that the board is more power-conscious than the MSI MEG X570 Ace or MSI MEG X570 Godlike. Booting into Windows was relatively quick and the results for the X570 Aqua sit in the middle-ground of our X570 results. The only result in our computational performance-related benchmarks came in our DigiCortex 1.20 benchmark. All the gaming and compute benchmarks were as expected.

Moving onto the overclocking performance of the ASRock X570 and our Ryzen 7 3700X performs well. ASRock doesn’t include any preset overclocking profiles to work from, so all of the major overclocks need to be done manually. Looking at VDroop when manually overclocking and we see that ASRock at 1.250 V on the CPU VCore at 3.6 to 4.2 GHz performs exactly where we expected it to be with a consistent variation of 0.031 V from set to load value. At 4.3 GHz with a 1.350 V CPU VCore has less VDroop with a variation of just 0.019 V at full load. Our Ryzen 7 3700X processor doesn’t like 4.4 GHz with any amount of CPU VCore at maximum load, although we did manage to POST into Windows 10 without issues; any notable load would crash the CPU. Also, ASRock includes the same Eco mode within the firmware which we saw with the ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 model, but any attempt to place CPU load under Prime95 would instantly crash the system.


The ASRock X570 Aqua isn’t for everyone and users looking opt for the monolithic E-ATX aluminium clad model will have to use a custom water cooling loop at the very least. This will add a further cost on top of the $999 premium ASRock is charging for its X570 Aqua, which will see just 999 be made available to the general public. As it stands 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 $999 price tag is not only impressive-looking, but it also includes 10 G, Wi-Fi 6, and dual Thunderbolt 3 Type-C outputs. One thing that also has to be factored into the price is exclusivity; there are only 999 units available for purchase. If this works well with the audience, then rarity would add a price premium. Of course, price is relative to what a user is willing to pay, but the overall package and presentation make the Aqua feel as high-end as the cost suggests.

Ultimately those looking at the Aqua are going to be money-no-object users, or OEMs/companies wanting to build halo systems to show off their skills in system building. But, it doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun and analyse this thing. It may not be practical from the raw cost, but it does show that passion still exists in this industry.

Read on for our extended analysis.

Visual Inspection
ASRock X570 Aqua OverviewVisual InspectionBIOS And SoftwareBoard Features, Test Bed and SetupSystem PerformanceCPU Performance, Short FormGaming PerformanceRyzen 3000 OverclockingPower Delivery Thermal AnalysisASRock X570 Aqua Conclusion


ASRock X570 Aqua Review: Feature-Packed, Liquid-Cooled — Tom’s Hardware

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Editor’s Choice

Tom’s Hardware Verdict

Apart from the lack of RGB around the monoblock’s main window and outlet port, most of the this board’s cons don’t suually apply to the X570 Aqua’s target market. Once ASRock rolls out an update to its RGB software, Aqua will be a near-perfect product for those who don’t mind blowing $1000 on a motherboard.


  • +

    Excellent cooling of voltage regulator and PCH

  • +

    All aluminum-finished parts are actually aluminum

  • +

    Integrated Thunderbolt 3 with DisplayPort passthrough

  • +

    10GbE plus Gigabit Ethernet plus Wi-Fi 6

  • +

    Excellent Overclocking at moderate voltage levels

  • +

    Class-leading performance for overclocked memory

  • Half of the SATA ports connect to PCIe 2.0 controllers

  • All three PCIe x1 slots are 2.0 version

  • All PCIe 2.0 devices share bandwidth on single-lane hub

  • RGB software needs an update

  • Not much RGB for Monoblock windows

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Features and Layout

If it’s just high-end quality and commonly used features you’re looking for in an AMD-based X570 motherboard, you can probably find a board with most of them for half the price of ASRock’s $1,000 X570 Aqua. But then you won’t get a built-in monoblock (multi-device liquid cooling water block) at that price, or likely Thunderbolt 3. The X570 Aqua is designed for custom cooling enthusiasts who want to flaunt their expensive high-end components, and being the best product is only half that battle. Aesthetics matter when you’re spending this much on a motherboard.

ASRock X570 Aqua Specifications

Swipe to scroll horizontally

Socket AM4
Chipset AMD X570
Form Factor «EATX» (10.5″-deep)
Voltage Regulator 14 Phases
Video Ports HDMI, DisplayPort IN, Thunderbolt 3
USB Ports 10 Gbps: (2) Type-C (via Thunderbolt 3)5Gb/s: (6) Type A
Network Jacks 10GbE, Gigabit Ethernet, (2) Wi-Fi Antenna
Audio Jacks (5) Analog, (1) Digital Out
Legacy Ports/Jacks (1) PS/2
Other Ports/Jack Thunderbolt 3 (40Gb/s), BIOS Flashback
PCIe x16 (3) v4. 0 (x16/x0/x4, x8/x8/x4)
PCIe x8
PCIe x4
PCIe x1 (3) v2.0
CrossFire/SLI 3x / 2x
DIMM slots (4) DDR4
M.2 slots (2) PCIe 4.0 x4 / SATA
U.2 Ports
SATA Ports (8) 6Gb/s (four via ASM1061 controllers)
USB Headers (1) v3 Gen2(2) v3 Gen1(1) v2.0
Fan Headers (5) 4-pin
Legacy Interfaces System (Beep-code) Speaker
Other Interfaces FP-Audio, ARGB LED, (2) RGB LED
Diagnostics Panel Numeric
Internal Button/Switch Power, Reset, CLR_CMOS / ✗
SATA Controllers (2) ASM1061 PCIe 2. 0 x1, Integrated (0/1/10)
Ethernet Controllers Aquantia AQC107 PCIe x4, WGI211AT PCIe
Wi-Fi / Bluetooth Intel AX200 802.11ax (2.4 Gb/s) / BT 5.0 Combo
USB Controllers JHL7540 Thunderbolt 3 PCIe 3.0 x4
HD Audio Codec ALC1220
DDL/DTS Connect DTS Connect
Warranty 3 Years

Update Nov. 15: Samples are still available from Newegg but not from Amazon. With a limit of one per purchase, the number of samples remaining from the original 999 appears to be a closely guarded secret.

So few motherboards include a monoblock for custom liquid cooling that it’s not even addressed in our standard specs template, yet it’s the most expensive feature to be found on the X570 Aqua. These low-volume parts are individually machined on CNC equipment rather than being cast or cut-to-length from profile-match extrusions, which is why the ones we’ve seen for previous products typically start at $200. Such an item would almost double the price of a typical X570 board, so if this were merely a $500 motherboard, some of you could just read the Pros/Cons/Verdict and click the buy button. But, of course there’s much more to the X570 Aqua than its custom cooling abilities.

To begin with, all the stuff that looks like silver-painted plastic isn’t — it’s aluminum. Everything from the decorative port shroud to the filler panel that fits between the M.2 heat spreaders is, at least in part, aluminum. The decorative pieces are covered in the stuff (over a plastic frame), while the functional pieces are aluminum throughout.

Peeling away two of those pieces, we find the X570 Aqua’s other two headline features, its AQC107 10Gb Ethernet connection and the JHL7540 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 controller. Intel’s i211AT Gigabit Ethernet controller sits between them, and a special DisplayPort pass-through connector for Thunderbolt video (more on that later) is seen above the Aquantia controller.

While M.2 heat spreaders are generally optional and typically don’t substantively alter drive performance (NAND actually runs better warm), the upper M.2 slot cover (shown center in photo below) is also the heatsink for the 10GbE controller, and that makes it a mandatory part. If your drive doesn’t fit under a heat spreader (typically because it already has one), it will need to go into the lower M.2 slot. And that slot is limited by both its shorter 80mm exposed length and its PCH-based connection. Only the top slot gets 120mm support and the CPU I/O’s four direct pathways.

The custom monoblock is also seen above, where we find that everything but the CPU interface has a mirror finish. The CPU portion itself has a fine grain to better-hold thermal pastes that might otherwise pull away as it shrinks: we’ve seen this on untouched three-year-old builds, and most users will probably want to keep such a complicated installation together for a long time. We noticed that ASRock’s technicians had some difficulty with the thermal pads that cover the MOSFETs, so we made sure to reposition everything perfectly before doing our installation upside down to avoid similar issues.

Even the DisplayPort on the I/O panel is an input for Thunderbolt pass-through, as ASRock sells the only graphics cards that have an internal Thunderbolt output, and those cards are designed for this board. Other I/O features include two Type-C connectors with full Thunderbolt 3 support, six USB3 Gen1 outputs (5Gb/s), the network ports for those above-mentioned Ethernet controllers, a pair of Antenna jacks for the factory-installed AX200 Wi-Fi 6 module, five analog audio jacks, a digital optical audio output, a PS/2 keyboard/mouse port, a USB BIOS Flashback button, and an HDMI port that is an actual output for AMD’s Socket AM4 APUs.

The top view presents a familiar layout with three PCIe x16 slots, three PCIe x1 slots, and triple-slot spacing between the first two x16 slots to support oversized graphics card coolers that are more than two slots thick. The sixteen CPU pathway division also applies in the usual x16 to x8/x8 modes if cards are detected in the second long slot, but ASRock went out of its way to make sure that the third slot’s four PCH lanes didn’t exclude any of the motherboard’s other features. The first step in that direction may have been to eliminate the third M.2 storage slot seen on a few other boards, but those four lanes were already needed by the Thunderbolt 3 controller. What to do?

ASRock starts by reducing its eight SATA ports to six PCH lanes by putting four of its ports on a pair of legacy ASM 1061 PCIe 2.0 controllers. Yes, that means that only the other four ports can support four devices at full speed, and it also means that only those four ports can be RAIDed together, but the next step is an even bigger potential complication.

The real trick to how ASRock serves so many slots simultaneously, and the real reason why its x1 slots and SATA controllers are PCIe 2.0, is that the firm uses ASM1187e PCIe 2. 0 x1 to x7 smart switch to connect all of these. While the lack of a suitable PCIe 4.0 replacement isn’t surprising (given the thermal problems we’ve seen on AMD’s own controllers), we were surprised not to see ASRock use a PCI 3.0 version such as the ASM2812 for this task. Had the upper x1 slot been eliminated (since it’s rarely used due to being so close to the primary graphics card slot) we would think that even the four-device ASM2806 may have sufficed.

The X570 Aqua’s bottom edge features front-panel audio, trusted platform module, RGB, addressable RGB, front-pane USB 2.0 and 3.0, PWM fan, and legacy PC speaker/3-pin power LED headers, plus a status code display and buttons for power/reset/CLR_CMOS. A second USB 3.0 is found beside a USB3 Gen2 front panel and another four-pin fan header at the middle of the board. Three additional fan headers are placed along the board’s top edge, and a second RGB header is located at the top/front corner.

One thing you’re not paying for here is a back plate. Reviewers tend to like these because they ease testing outside of a case, but the practical function for completed builds is limited at best.

The X570 Aqua includes a driver/application disc, documentation, a legacy SLI bridge, a tube of thermal paste and replacement thermal pads, a dual-band Wi-Fi antenna, four SATA cables, M.2 and several replacement monoblock screws, and a special internal cable for DisplayPort to Thunderbolt passthrough using one of ASRock’s specially-designed graphics cards. Depending on whether or not the special ASRock cable fits their card’s Mini DisplayPort output in the correct orientation, users who decide to do that passthrough externally may need to supply their own cable.

MORE: Best Motherboards

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ASRock X570 Aqua: Price Comparison

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Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom’s Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.

ASRock X570 Aqua Motherboard Overclocks Ryzen 9 3900 to 5.5GHz


Hardware News Alexey Sychev

The most complex cooling system on this unique board is not required when using liquid nitrogen.


The ASRock X570 Aqua motherboard equipped with a standard monoblock was used by an American enthusiast l0ud_sil3nc3 in not quite typical conditions: a Ryzen 9 central processorThe 3900 was overclocked to 5.5 GHz using liquid nitrogen, which involved partially dismantling the complex motherboard cooling system. Recall that this motherboard was produced in a limited edition of a thousand copies, the price of the novelty also struck the imagination of many supporters of classical cooling methods.

Image source: HWBot, l0ud_sil3nc3


In the Cinebench R15 test, with a score of 4331, the processor ranked first in the model standings and second among all models with twelve cores. In the Geekbench4 Multi Core test, the alignment of forces was repeated, but with a score of 77,705 points.


#extreme overclocking


#cinebench r15

#ryzen 9 3900

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ASRock AB350M-HDV R3.

0 price, specifications, video review, reviews


9000. AM4

0 AM4 9000 AML

Support for multi-core processors is
Supported processors AMD AM4 A-Series/Ryzen
support efi yes
chipset amd b350
bios ami
support sli/crossfire no

Maximum memory 32 GB
The number of memory slots 2
memory ECC/Non-ECC/Non-ECC/Non-ECC/Non-ECC/Non-ECC/Non-ECC/Non-ECC/Non-ECC/Non-ECC/Non-ECC/Non-ECCs ddr4 dimm, 2133-3200mhz

disk controllers

IDE no
type of interface M. 2 PCI-E/SATA 3.0
SATA SATA 6GB/S: 4, RADI: 0, 1, 10
slot type m.2 ultra m.2, m key, 2242/2260/2280
number of slots m.2 1
1000Mbps based realtek rtl8111gr


rear connectors 6 usb, d-sub, dvi, hdmi, ethernet, ps/2 (keyboard), ps/2 (mouse)
processor power connector 4-pin 9007
type of cooling system passive
main power connector 24-pin
presence of interfaces 12 usb, 6 usb 3.

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