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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  • PopinFRESH007 - Sunday, December 29, 2019 - link

    PCIe is a serial point to point topology so each link or "lane" is independent (ignoring things like PCIe switches). This is different to the legacy PCI bus which is a shared parallel bus which would behave as you've described. Reply
  • Dionysos1234 - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    Any information on what memory is supported? ECC? Reply
  • Llawehtdliub - Saturday, November 30, 2019 - link

    Yes ECC is supported Reply
  • Vatharian - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    Has anyone from ASUS actually thought even for a second about the PCI-Express slots placement? Using dual GPUs, until converted truly to single slot with water cooling, blocks most of the slots. In my case I'd need 4 or 5 slots, which leaves ROG Zenith II Extreme from their linup. And ASRock Creator. As much as I hate Gigabyte I must admit their Aorus line has sensible layouts, and MSI's are mixed bag. Reply
  • nevcairiel - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    These boards are clearly not designed for Dual GPU purposes, but instead actually offer quite some space for the primary GPU (3 slots is mandatory for many high-end air cooled cards these days), and additional slots for other 1 slot cards. Reply
  • eek2121 - Friday, November 29, 2019 - link

    Nearly every board I looked at in the article has spacing for multiple GPUs. Reply
  • eek2121 - Friday, November 29, 2019 - link

    I noticed you said 3 slots. I have a high end GPU, it takes 2 slots. The 3rd slot is extremely far away from the 2nd slot and could comfortably fit a GPU. Factor in the width of an m.2 drive when looking at the pictures above and you'll realize you are mistaken (many of the boards have m.2 slots in between, That is all the space you need for air cooling a GPU, since most high end hardware only takes up 2 slots, the 3rd 'slot' is actually where an M.2 drive would sit, and the real third slot is below it, leaving plenty of space for cooling fan air circulation). Reply
  • Spunjji - Friday, November 29, 2019 - link

    Serious question - are dual-GPUs even used these days?

    I know they're out for gaming, but I don't know the state of play regarding GPU compute.
    Reply
  • Bccc1 - Friday, November 29, 2019 - link

    For GPU rendering (e.g. Redshift, Octane and VRay Next) dual GPUs are quite common and even quad GPUs can be used quite efficiently. Reply
  • eek2121 - Friday, November 29, 2019 - link

    I don't kow about the "blocking most of the slots" terminology. On my X399 board, only 1 slot is blocked (and technically you still could put a card in that slot, I actually had a low profile x4 card next to my GPU without any heat issues). On many X570 boards, spacing is such that no slots are blocked. In both cases, there are single slot GPUs, just not high end ones. As you've stated, using a custom loop allows for even high end GPUs to use only 1 slot. Reply

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