ASRock introduces the Z690 Aqua and Z690 Aqua OC motherboards

At CES 2022, ASRock announced two premium and limited edition Z690 motherboards. The ASRock Z690 Aqua and Z690 Aqua OC motherboards boast impressive specifications, including a custom monoblock that cools both processor and power delivery, 10 GbE, 2 GbE and Wi-Fi 6E networking, as well as two Thunderbolt 4 Type-C ports, eight SATA ports and three PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots.

In 2019, ASRock introduced its highly premium but expensive Aqua series through the ASRock X570 Aqua, which we reviewed. We also reviewed the ASRock Z490 Aqua, and our overall thought was that the Aqua was extremely ‘cool’ both in terms of performance and aesthetics. Rewind to 2022, and ASRock has launched two new Aqua series motherboards for Intel’s Alder Lake, one for conventional users and one designed for extreme overclockers looking to maximize computing performance and memory under zero cooling.

ASRock Z690 Aqua E-ATX motherboard

The ASRock Z690 Aqua has ‘wave’ features, including a large custom monoblock designed to cool the processor and a large advertised 19 + 1 phase power supply using the latest premium power of 105 A. It also includes stainless steel formwork via 12-layer E-ATX PCB , with plenty of integrated RGB lighting for users to host their epic water-cooled disco. The ASRock Z690 Aqua also includes an OLED screen, which can display many different forms of information from voltage, frequency and can be configured in the BIOS.

The dominant bottom of the board are two full-length PCIe 5.0 slots that can run on x16 or x8 / x8, one full-length PCIe 4.0 x4 and one full-length PCIe 3.0 x1 slot, with three PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots all including M.2 coverage refrigerator. For SATA, there are a total of eight ports, four of which come from chipsets with support for RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10 arrays, while the ASMedia ASM1061 SATA controller powers the other four. Like most premium Z690 motherboards, the Z690 Aqua can support up to DDR5-6400 memory, with a combined capacity of 128 GB on four slots.

ASRock Z690 Aqua OC E-ATX motherboard with two DDR5 memory slots and overclocking tools

The ASRock Z690 Aqua OC shares the same set of basic functions, but has two memory slots with support for DDR5 memory. Like many ‘OC’ branded boards, this one is for improving memory performance when overclocking. ASRock also states that it includes an external clock generator to increase OC potential, as well as exactly a premium 19 + 1 phase power supply like the ‘ordinary’ Z690 Aqua. It also includes an overclocking toolkit in addition to memory slots for overclocking on the go. However, both models have a power and standby button, with a two-digit LED debugger.

ASRock Z690 Aqua back panel (Z690 Aqua OC releases two USB 3.2 G2 Type-A ports for PS / 2 port)

On the back panel, the ASRock Z690 Aqua includes two Thunderbolt 4 Type-C with two DisplayPort 1.4 video inputs, two USB 3.2 G2 Type-A and four USB 3.2 G1 Type-A ports. The ASRock Z690 Aqua OC has the same layout, except it drops two USB 3.2 G1 Type-A ports for the PS / 2 combined keyboard and mouse port. Both models have paired Marvel Aquantial AQC113CS 10 GbE controllers and a 2.5 GbE Killer E3100, as well as a Killer AX1675 Wi-Fi 6E CNVi. For users planning to use integrated graphics, there is one HDMI 2.1 video output, as well as five 3.5mm audio jacks and an S / PDIF optical output powered by a Realtek ALC1220 HD audio codec and an ESS Saber 9128 DAC. The end of the back panel is a clear pairing of the CMOS and BIOS Flashback buttons.

Both the ASRock Z690 Aqua and Z690 Aqua OC will be limited to just 500 units each with their own unique production number. ASRock has not informed us of expected availability or pricing, but we expect it to come with a price that is tempting.

Source: ASRock

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Naveen Kumar

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