ASRock TRX40 Creator

Going through the different vendor's product stacks alphabetically, our first TRX4 model comes via the ASRock TRX40 Creator. As the name might suggest, the ASRock TRX40 Creator is focused at content creators and professional users looking to use features such as Aquantia AQC107 10 GbE, Intel's AX200 Wi-Fi 6 wireless interface. Also featured are support for up to DDR4-4666 with up to 256 GB across eight slots, a USB 3.2 G2 20 Gbps Type-C port on the rear panel, and three PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots.

The ASRock TRX40 Creator is an ATX sized model which combines a very sleek and simple aesthetic with its silver aluminium heatsinks and black PCB. Keeping the TRX40 chipset cool is an actively cooled heatsink, while the rear panel cover doubles up as the power delivery heatsink. Touching on the power delivery itself, the ASRock TRX40 Creator is using an 8-phase design which is controlled by an ISL66247 8-phase controller, with eight ISL99390 90 A power stages. Providing power to the CPU is a pair of 8-pin 12 V ATX power connectors which are located along the top left and right of the board. There are four full-length PCIe 4.0 slots which operate at x16/x8/x16+x8, with three PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots which each includes an M.2 heatsink. For SATA devices, there are eight SATA ports which support RAID 0, 1, and 10 arrays.

Located around the edge of the board are five 4-pin headers which are split into one for a CPU, one for a water pump, and three for chassis fans. In the bottom right-hand corner is a two-digit LED debug, with a small power and reset switch. For users looking to go extreme, ASRock has also included a CPU Xtreme OC switch, although the more enthusiast of users might opt for ASRock's TRX40 Taichi. Memory compatibility looks strong with support for up to DDR4-4666, with scope to install up to 256 GB across eight memory slots. 

The rear panel has just two USB 3.1 G2 Type-A ports, with four USB 3.1 G1 Type-A and a single USB 3.2 G2 Type-C with support for up to 20 Gbps. Networking on the ASRock TRX40 Creator is impressive with dual Ethernet consisting of an Aquantia AQC107 10 GbE and Realtek RTL8125-AG 2.5 GbE pairing, and an Intel AX200 Wi-Fi 6 wireless interface. Also present is a BIOS Flashback button, a clear CMOS switch, and a PS/2 combo port. The five 3.5 mm colour-coded audio jacks and S/PDIF optical output are powered by a Realtek ALC4050H and ALC1220 pair of audio codecs, while a Texas Instruments NE5532 headset amplifier is present to bolster the quality of the front panel audio connector.

The ASRock TRX40 Creator as the naming structure would suggest is pitched to content creators and professionals with its well-rounded networking controller set, support for up to three PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots, and subtle and neutral aesthetics. Unlike other ASRock models of late, its decision not to include Thunderbolt 3 may be a disappointment to some, but they have integrated a USB 3.2 G2 Type-C port with half the available bandwidth (20 Gbps) on the rear panel. Another thing that should be rectified is the naming scheme, as both ASRock and MSI have a TRX40 Creator model in its line up; more should be done to create better brand awareness and not to confuse users. The ASRock TRX40 Creator will launch with an MSRP of $449.

TRX40 Power Delivery Specifications & Comparison ASRock TRX40 Taichi
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  • amb9800 - Saturday, November 30, 2019 - link

    TB3 has not been open sourced. It's been royalty-free from the start, but any TB3 device still needs to be certified by Intel. Thus far the only TB3 devices that exist integrate Intel TB3 controllers, and very few non-Intel platforms have integrated TB3 (basically just a couple of X570 ASRock boards). Reply
  • Chaitanya - Friday, November 29, 2019 - link

    In order to integrate Thuberbolt, Intel needs access to microcode which is why very few boards even on AM4 come with it and even those solutions are iffy at best. Reply
  • eek2121 - Friday, November 29, 2019 - link

    Untrue, TB has been open sourced and will be a part of the USB 4.0 standard. The real answer is likely one I provided earlier: Intel CPUs have dedicated bandwidth for TB3, AMD CPUs hang it off the PCIE bus. Reply
  • amb9800 - Saturday, November 30, 2019 - link

    TB3 being incorporated into USB 4.0 definitely does not mean it has been "open sourced." Every TB3 device must still be certified by Intel. Reply
  • ender8282 - Saturday, November 30, 2019 - link

    I love the TB3 port on my laptop and docking station. It's way convenient. Honestly though I've never understood the use case on a desktop. If you've got an ATX motherboard and a decent sized case what need does it really solve? Reply
  • TechKnowbabble - Friday, December 20, 2019 - link

    According to this video the GIGABYTE TRX40 AORUS XTREME has a Thunderbolt 3 header called THB_C, but on the site the only mention to this i can find is a "GIGABYTE add-in card connector" which the AORUS Master and Wifi Pro have mention of also. I dont know why it is listed differently from the Designare or not mentioned in this article but it appears that all the Gigabyte TRX40 boards support thunderbolt 3 with add in card.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o21xINJF1tE&fe...
    Reply
  • NelsonK - Saturday, January 18, 2020 - link

    It might as well be -BetaMax-. Thunderbolt is Intel's baby, and you gotta dance to their tune to get the engineering specs -- Intel doesn't publish 'em. Only well-resourced (i.e., volume) manufacturers can feasibly spend to design and incorporate it, then produce to a scale that justifies the investment. Sure, that's not precisely a licensing fee, but it's one heckuva barrier to entry.

    These firms can all afford it, but, since VHS (USB) is good enough, why bother? USB "3.2" is pretty darn close and even uses the same Type-C port. In fact, you can even play your VHS tapes on this BetaMax -- USB devices will run at their native speeds when connected to Thunderbolt.

    And with USB 4, there will be no difference in speed. Is there even a practical difference in speed now? Do ya really need more than 10 Gbps? A few of you might, but not enough to pay the piper.

    This is a no-brainer for the board makers: USB 3.1 Gen 2 ("3.2") Type-C offers a lot more speed than most devices can hope to keep up with internally. In the instances where somebody wants to daisy-chain video, they're either mining (which just needs the chain, not so much the speed), or they're using a laptop and don't have space for a video card. Well, these are mainboards, folks. You've got a bunch of fat-pipe PCIe 4.0 16-lane slots that your graphics cards won't even make full use of 99.99% of the time they're running, as they throttle down to 2.0 or 1.0.

    BetaMax was better, but it died even before S-VHS was a real thing. ThunderBolt just got similarly voted down (massively) by pretty much all of big name manufacturers users trust enough and -might- have paid extra to get a board that has it.

    Looks like we're goin' with VHS once again, boys and girls... ;-)
    Reply
  • wilsonkf - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    Check your last page. Do you really mean "ASUS X570" Product Stack? Also other brands... Reply
  • gavbon - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    Good spot Wilson, I really appreciate it. I've been neck-deep in X570, I must have been in AM4 mode! Reply
  • tamalero - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    hey Anana, any chance you could build a full comparison table between number of ports, pci-e slots, wifi, ethernet..etc..? Reply

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