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The ASRock Z490 AQUA Is One of The Most Expensive Z490 Motherboards Available!

ASRock’s Z490 Aqua is a completely water-cooled Z490 motherboard

ASRock announces their latest flagship motherboard – the ASRock Z490 AQUA. If you heard that name before, that’s because this isn’t the first Aqua motherboard. ASRock released the X570 Aqua last year. The concept and design are basically similar, but there are several new features that the Z490 Aqua offers. And yes, at $1,100 USD, this is currently one of the most expensive Z490 motherboards available in the market. Unfortunately for ASRock, the title for the “most expensive Z490 motherboard” goes to the Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Extreme Waterforce at $1,300. More details below.

ASRock Z490 Aqua Motherboard

ASRock Z490 AQUA Motherboard – “Be Aqua, Be Cool”

The ASRock Z490 Aqua is based on Intel’s latest Z490 chipset and supports the latest 10th gen and “future gen” Intel Core processors. And by future gen, it’s the 11th Gen Rocket Lake CPU. One of the unique features that the Z490 Aqua has is the OLED display located on top of the rear IO ports, VRM-side. The OLED display can display information like temperature, voltages, system status and more.

The two PCIe x16 and M.2 slots are also PCIe 4.0 ready. Note that you won’t be able to take advantage of the PCIe 4.0 yet; since 10th gen CPUs doesn’t have that support. However, the next 11th gen Rocket Lake CPUs will have PCIe 4.0 support already. This means you can upgrade to the next CPU without the need to replace the motherboard and still enjoy PCIe 4.0 speeds.

The huge water block on the ASRock Z490 Aqua not only cools the CPU, but it also cools the beefy 16 phase power design. It uses an Intersil ISL69269 PWM controller in a 14+2 configuration. It also has several USB connections, including Thunderbolt 3. Another interesting feature is the Aquantia 10 Gigabit LAN, paired with a Realtek Dragon 2.5 Gigabit LAN; plus, a 2T2R Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax for wireless connectivity.

ASRock Z490 Aqua Motherboard Specifications

These days, it’s only normal for a high-end motherboard or flagship motherboard to have a top of the line audio quality as well. The ASRock Z490 Aqua features an ESS SABRE 9218 DAC and WIMA audio capacitors. It also has a 7.1 channel HD audio via the Realtek ALC1220 Audio Codec.

Aside from the motherboard, the package also comes with hardline water-cooling fittings. There are 90° elbow fittings, G1/4” to 14mm 90° tube fittings, G1/4” to 14mm 90° rotary fittings, G1/4” plugs, and a ball valve. There are still more features that the ASRock Z490 AQUA offers. You can check them out from the video and specifications table below.

Price and Availability

The ASRock Z490 AQUA comes with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $1,099.99 and it’s available to (pre) order now. Its expected release date will be on May 20, 2020. If you are planning to get one, you better hurry since there are only 999 units available in the market. You can grab one via the link below.

ASRock Z490 AQUA is available on Newegg.com here

ASRock Z490 AQUA Specifications

Unique FeatureASRock USB 3.2 Gen2
- ASRock Front Panel USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C Header (10 Gb/s)
- ASRock USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A Port (10 Gb/s)
- ASRock USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C Port (10 Gb/s)
ASRock Super Alloy
- XXL Aluminum Alloy Heatsink
- Premium 90A Power Choke
- 90A Dr.MOS
- Premium Memory Alloy Choke (Reduces 70% core loss compared to iron powder choke)
- Combo Caps (Nichicon 12K Black Caps)
- Nichicon 12K Black Caps (100% Japan made high quality conductive polymer capacitors)
- I/O Armor
- Matte Black PCB
- High Density Glass Fabric PCB
- 8 Layer PCB
- 2oz Copper PCB
AQUA Cooling Armor
Server-Grade Low-Loss PCB
AQUANTIA® 10G LAN
2.5G LAN
Intel® 802.11ax WiFi
ASRock Steel Slots
ASRock Full Coverage M.2 Heatsink
ASRock Ultra M.2 (PCIe Gen3 x4 & SATA3)
ASRock Ultra USB Power
ASRock Status OLED
ASRock Full Spike Protection (for all USB, Audio, LAN Ports)
ASRock Live Update & APP Shop
CPU- Supports 10th Gen and future generation Intel® Core™ Processors (Socket 1200)
- Digi Power design
- 17 Power Phase design
- Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Max 3.0 Technology
- Supports Intel® K-Series unlocked CPUs
- Supports ASRock BCLK Full-range Overclocking
- Supports ASRock Hyper BCLK Engine III
Chipset- Intel® Z490
Memory- Dual Channel DDR4 Memory Technology
- 4 x DDR4 DIMM Slots
- Supports DDR4 4700+(OC)* / 4666 / 4600 / 4500 / 4400 / 4333/4266(OC) / 4133(OC) / 4000(OC) / 3866(OC) / 3800(OC) / 3733(OC) / 3600(OC) / 3200(OC) / 2933 / 2800 / 2666 / 2400 / 2133 non-ECC, un-buffered memory non-ECC, un-buffered memory
- Supports ECC UDIMM memory modules (operate in non-ECC mode)
- Max. capacity of system memory: 128GB**
- Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) 2.0
- 15μ Gold Contact in DIMM Slots
BIOS- 128Mb AMI UEFI Legal BIOS with multilingual GUI support
- ACPI 6.0 Compliant wake up events
- SMBIOS 2.7 Support
- CPU Core/Cache, GT, DRAM, VPPM,VTTDDR, VCCSFR, VCCPLL_OC, PCH Voltage, VCCIO, VCCST, VCCSA, VPERGCOMP, CPU Internal PLL, GT PLL, Ring PLL, System Agent PLL, Memory Controller PLL Voltage Multi-adjustment
Graphics- Hardware Accelerated Codecs: AVC/H.264, HEVC/H.265 8bit, HEVC/H.265 10bit, VP8, VP9 8bit, VP9 10bit, MPEG 2, MJPEG, VC-1**
- Graphics, Media & Compute: Microsoft® DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5, Intel® Built In Visuals, Intel® Quick Sync Video, Hybrid / Switchable Graphics, OpenCL 2.1
- Display & Content Security: Rec. 2020 (Wide Color Gamut), Microsoft® PlayReady 3.0, Intel® SGX Content Protection, UHD/HDR Blu-ray Disc
- Supports HDMI 1.4 with max. resolution up to 4K x 2K (4096x2160) @ 30Hz
- Supports Auto Lip Sync, Deep Color (12bpc), xvYCC and HBR (High Bit Rate Audio) with HDMI 1.4 Port (Compliant HDMI monitor is required)
- Supports HDCP 2.3 with HDMI 1.4 Port
- Supports 4K Ultra HD (UHD) playback with HDMI 1.4 Port
Audio- 7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC1220 Audio Codec)
- Premium Blu-ray Audio support
- Supports Surge Protection
- WIMA Audio Capacitors (For Front Outputs)
- ESS SABRE9218 DAC for Front Panel Audio (130dB SNR)
- Pure Power-In
- Direct Drive Technology
- PCB Isolate Shielding
- Impedance Sensing on Rear Out port
- Individual PCB Layers for R/L Audio Channel
- Gold Audio Jacks
- 15μ Gold Audio Connector
- Nahimic Audio
LAN1 x 10 Gigabit LAN 100/1000/2500/5000/10000 Mb/s (AQUANTIA® AQC107):
- Supports Wake-On-LAN
- Supports Lightning/ESD Protection
- Supports PXE
1 x 2.5 Gigabit LAN 10/100/1000/2500 Mb/s (Dragon RTL8125BG)
- Supports Dragon 2.5G LAN Software
- Smart Auto Adjust Bandwidth Control
- Visual User Friendly UI
- Visual Network Usage Statistics
- Optimized Default Setting for Game, Browser, and Streaming Modes
- User Customized Priority Control
- Supports Wake-On-LAN
- Supports Lightning/ESD Protection
- Supports Energy Efficient Ethernet 802.3az
- Supports PXE
Wireless LAN- Intel® 802.11ax WiFi Module
- Supports IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ax
- Supports Dual-Band (2.4/5 GHz)
- Supports WiFi6 802.11ax (2.4Gbps)
- 2 antennas to support 2 (Transmit) x 2 (Receive) diversity technology
- Supports Bluetooth 5.0 + High speed class II
- Supports MU-MIMO
Slots- 3 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 Slots (PCIE1/PCIE4/PCIE5: single at x16 (PCIE1); dual at x8 (PCIE1) / x8 (PCIE4); triple at x8 (PCIE1) / x8 (PCIE4) / x4 (PCIE5))*
- 2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 Slots
- Supports AMD Quad CrossFireX™, 3-Way CrossFireX™ and CrossFireX™
- Supports NVIDIA® and SLI™
- Support NVIDIA® SLI™ with NVIDIA® Quadro graphics cards
- Supports NVIDIA® NVLink™ with dual NVIDIA® GeForce RTX series graphics cards**
- 1 x Vertical M.2 Socket (Key E) with the bundled WiFi-802.11ax module (on the rear I/O)
- 15μ Gold Contact in VGA PCIe Slot (PCIE1 and PCIE4)
Storage- 6 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s Connectors, support RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10, Intel® Rapid Storage Technology 17), NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug*
- 2 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s Connectors by ASMedia ASM1061, support NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug*
- 1 x Ultra M.2 Socket (M2_1), supports M Key type 2260/2280 M.2 PCI Express module up to Gen3 x4 (32 Gb/s)**
- 1 x Ultra M.2 Socket (M2_2), supports M Key type 2260/2280 M.2 SATA3 6.0 Gb/s module and M.2 PCI Express module up to Gen3 x4 (32 Gb/s)**
- 1 x Ultra M.2 Socket (M2_3), supports M Key type 2260/2280/22110 M.2 SATA3 6.0 Gb/s module and M.2 PCI Express module up to Gen3 x4 (32 Gb/s)**
Connector- 1 x SPI TPM Header
- 1 x Power LED and Speaker Header
- 2 x RGB LED Headers*
- 2 x Addressable LED Headers**
- 1 x CPU Fan Connector (4-pin)***
- 1 x CPU/Water Pump Fan Connector (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)
- 6 x Chassis/Water Pump Fan Connectors (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)****
- 1 x 24 pin ATX Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
- 2 x 8 pin 12V Power Connectors (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) (Intel® Z490) (Supports ESD Protection)
- 2 x USB 3.2 Gen1 Headers (Support 4 USB 3.2 Gen1 ports) (ASMedia ASM1074 hub) (Supports ESD Protection)
- 1 x Front Panel Type C USB 3.2 Gen2 Header (Intel® Z490) (Supports ESD Protection)
- 1 x Dr. Debug with LED
- 1 x Power Button with LED
- 1 x Reset Button with LED
- 1 x Retry Button
- 1 x Safe Boot Button
Rear Panel I/O- 2 x Antenna Ports
- 1 x HDMI Port
- 1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
- 2 x USB 3.2 Gen2 Thunderbolt™ 3 Type-C Ports (40Gb/s for Thunderbolt™ protocol; 10 Gb/s for USB3.2 protocol) (Supports ESD Protection)*
- 2 x Mini DisplayPort Input Ports**
- 3 x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A Ports (10 Gb/s) (ReDriver) (Supports ESD Protection)
- 1 x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C Port (10 Gb/s) (Supports ESD Protection)
- 4 x USB 3.2 Gen1 Ports (Intel® Z490) (Supports ESD Protection)***
- 2 x RJ-45 LAN Ports with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
- 1 x Clear CMOS Button
- 1 x BIOS Flashback Button
- HD Audio Jacks: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone (Gold Audio Jacks)
Software and UEFISoftware
- ASRock Motherboard Utility (A-Tuning)
- ASRock Dragon 2.5G LAN Software
- ASRock Polychrome SYNC*
UEFI
- ASRock EZ Mode
- ASRock Full HD UEFI
- ASRock My Favorites in UEFI
- ASRock Instant Flash
- ASRock Internet Flash
- ASRock Easy RAID Installer
Support CD- Drivers, Utilities, AntiVirus Software (Trial Version), Google Chrome Browser and Toolbar
Accessories- Quick Installation Guide, Support CD
- 4 x SATA Data Cables
- 1 x ASRock SLI_HB_Bridge_2S Card
- 1 x ASRock WiFi 2.4/5 GHz Antenna
- 1 x Thermal Compound
- 5 x Spare Thermal Pads
- 4 x Spare Screws for MOS and Chokes
- 4 x Spare Screws for CPU Sockets
- 6 x Spare Screws for M.2 Heatsinks
- 2 x 90° Tubing Elbow Fittings
- 6 x G1/4" to 14mm Tube Fittings
- 2 x G1/4" Plugs
- 2 x G1/4" to 14mm 90° Rotary Fittings
- 1 x Ball Valve
- 3 x Screws for M.2 Sockets
- 2 x Standoffs for M.2 Sockets
Hardware Monitor- Temperature Sensing: CPU, CPU/Water Pump, Chassis/Water Pump Fans
- Fan Tachometer: CPU, CPU/Water Pump, Chassis/Water Pump Fans
- Quiet Fan (Auto adjust chassis fan speed by CPU temperature): CPU, CPU/Water Pump, Chassis/Water Pump Fans
- Fan Multi-Speed Control: CPU, CPU/Water Pump, Chassis/Water Pump Fans
- Voltage monitoring: +12V, +5V, +3.3V, CPU Vcore, DRAM, VPPM, PCH, VCCSA, VCCST, VCCIO, VCCPLL_OC, VCCSFR, VCCSRF_OC
- 1 x Status OLED
Form Factor- EATX Form Factor: 12.0-in x 10.5-in, 30.5 cm x 26.7 cm
- 8 Layer PCB
- 2oz Copper PCB
OS- Microsoft® Windows® 10 64-bit
Certifications- FCC, CE
- ErP/EuP ready (ErP/EuP ready power supply is required)

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Peter Paul
I love computers since I was a kid. I’m always fascinated with new technology, especially in the PC world. Many years ago, I was curious if the reviews I read were true and real. So, why not test them myself and share my first-hand experience? And thus, here we are. Thanks for reading!

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