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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  • dan82 - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    I wish those boards had more Type C ports and dropped some of those A ports. A type C port can easily be turned in an A, but vice versa is against the spec.

    Also serious question: what is the reason to keep A 2.0 ports around? Are there any devices that don’t work on modern ports?
    Reply
  • jeremyshaw - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    Probably much easier to route one old and slow data pair vs 1-4 high speed data pairs.

    I have many devices that will likely never need more than USB 2.0 - my Mouse and KB included. USB microphone as well. The best external device I've got that benefits from USB3 speeds is my Bluray burner, and we all know how popular those are. External USB flash drives are usually limited by the cheap NAND inside, and most of my external storage is on my network.

    For others, I suppose USB capture cards? Really decent USB 3.0 flash drives? Even if I connected my phone to my PC, it's still limited to USB 2.0. Maybe a decent external card reader? These boards reviewed here are all ATX, so I'll rule out USB NICs. I've got to be missing something in my list.
    Reply
  • eek2121 - Friday, November 29, 2019 - link

    There is still the odd device that doesn't work on USB 3.0. Also the last 2 machines I've built did not have fully functioning USB 3.0/3.1 ports in Linux, indicating lack of driver support for operating systems other than Linux. In short: USB 3.x is still a WIP despite being out on the market for quite a while. Reply
  • Llawehtdliub - Saturday, November 30, 2019 - link

    Plz no. Dont do an Apple. Just beczus you cant think of a reason to use doesnt mean others cant.
    There is a reason to leave them.
    Reply
  • dotes12 - Saturday, November 30, 2019 - link

    Bring back PS/2 ports too? /s Reply
  • asmian - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    I'm a little confused by comments on the X570 boards that will probably apply to these also. With these new PCIe4 slots (and M.2 slots), is it the case that they are all completely independent and you can mix/match PCIe2/PCIe3/PCIe4 cards/drives freely at each one's maximum possible negotiated link speed? Or will putting (say) a PCIe2 RAID controller in any slot reduce all slots to the lowest common denominator, PCIe2 speed? Reply
  • voicequal - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    PCIe lanes are wired directly to the PCIe controller on either the CPU or chipset, so link speeds between slots are independent. PCIe 4.0 is backward compatible with previous generations 3.0, 2.0 & 1.0, so running a PCIe 2.0 card in a slot capable of 4.0 will run at 2.0 speeds and not affect adjacent lanes on other slots.

    Some motherboards allow you to reduce the maximum speed of PCIe lanes from 4.0 to something lower -- this can help to troubleshoot signal integrity issues. This setting sometimes does affect lanes across multiple slots. But as long as you leave it to Auto, the lanes will run at the highest compatible speed between card and controller.
    Reply
  • WaltC - Friday, November 29, 2019 - link

    Yes, in most cases the slots auto-configure to the device connected. Gen 3 devices should happily coexist with Gen 4 devices with each running at spec. In the case of the GPU, you can run it at Gen 3 if you prefer even if it is a Gen 4 GPU natively--there's separate switch for that in the bios, but the slots auto-configure for other devices and the GPU bios switch doesn't affect any other slots.

    I was surprised to see that several of the mboards had no rear clear-CMOS button on their backplates, and thought that was an interesting omission from the article--and the article also failed to mention dual-bios mboards--which the GB Aorus Xtreme & Master have (pictured mechanical switches) --one would hope they all might have them. Seems as if both these important features would be worth a mention...
    Reply
  • dotes12 - Saturday, November 30, 2019 - link

    Is there any downsides of going to PCIe 4.0? Maybe something similar to DDR3 and DDR4 memory where the bandwidth increases, but the latency goes up too? Reply
  • PopinFRESH007 - Sunday, December 29, 2019 - link

    not really no Reply

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