Nothing shouts “gamer” or “PC modder” than an LED light show of a desktop PC tower, or at least that seems to be the line of thinking that ASRock wants to convey. Of course, that’s pretty much the stereotypical image most people have of PC gamers and users who love to customize their desktops. Of course, those aren’t just for show and often allude to the power that lies inside. That may exactly be the case with ASRock’s latest flagship motherboard whose futuristic design matches the advanced water-cooling technology inside.
There’s just no escaping the laws of physics. The faster you run your CPU and GPU, the hotter things get. While fans and heatsinks are fine for regular desktops, high-performance computer builders have to make the somewhat ironic move of having water running through the computer. Of course, it’s not literally running through the sensitive parts and the tubes and enclosures required to safely put water-cooling on a motherboard is always a great excuse to change how the motherboard looks on the outside.
On the inside, the ASRock Z490 AQUA is billed to be just as advanced, especially in one of the most neglected aspects of a computer system: audio. The motherboard boasts of an ESS9218 DAC chip and WIMA audio caps not just for gamers but also for audiophiles.
The need for speed doesn’t just apply to CPUs and GPUs, though, but also for communicating on the Internet as well with other peripherals. Support for Thunderbolt 3, 10 Gbps LAN, and 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 make short work of networking and accessory issues.
As you might expect, all that power and beauty comes at a price, something that ASRock hasn’t yet disclosed. That said, it has revealed that only 999 Z490 AQUA water-cooled motherboards will be made, making it an even pricier limited edition item for gamers and modders to mull over.