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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  • HJay - Saturday, November 30, 2019 - link

    Life really does begin at 50.
  • HJay - Saturday, November 30, 2019 - link

    Your point is valid and I'm not ready to switch from external interfaces to an internal RME unit yet. However, the performance and quality of the peculiar on-board audio arrangement is still of great interest. Experiencing AMD's AM3 FX chipset USB implementation (See: "Silicon Errata for SB950") was rather eye opening and very helpful in understanding why running USB audio across that implementation was less than optimal. The USB arrangement of AM4 seems to be an improvement over the AM3 and AM3+. But AMD's TRX40 seems to reveal a non-satisfactory level of concern for PC audio -suggesting that AM4 might be more appropriate. This motherboard review is a great start but there are still many holes to fill in regarding this, in particular with the S1220.

    Selecting an appropriate motherboard upfront before throwing thousands of dollars worth of audio software and hardware at it is critical. I did note compatibility issues between earlier AM4 systems and some Universal Audio cards and the desired RME card is around $900. So, I'm just not ready to ride the bleeding edge with these new boards but will eagerly listen to the experiences of others and cheer them along.

    As a side note, I did recommend to my favored audio repair software vendor that they contact AnandTech to provide, or work out, some audio benchmarking tests or packages.
  • Bccc1 - Saturday, November 30, 2019 - link

    I still don't get your point. I agree that the USB implementation is important, that AMD messed that up in the past (thanks for the ref to the errata list) and that the way onboard audio works on TRX40 is maybe more error prone.
    But why is that different / better with the S1220? And how do you define an audio creator? I was thinking of an audio engineer, someone who does tracking/mixing/mastering/sound design. I can't imagine someone in that field would ever use onboard audio, except maybe for mobility reasons on a notebook.

    I will probably use my RME Madiface XT with a StarTech USB card (PEXUSB3S44V) as I don't trust any onboard USB.

    Regarding the compatibilty issues, do you have links/detailed information? The only thing I found was an issue, where the card wasn't detected in PCIe slots connected to the chipset. Which is a shame, but less of a problem with TRX40 as most slots are directly connected to the CPU.
  • tamalero - Saturday, November 30, 2019 - link

    I'm no expert here but could perhaps say this because of the audio problems of some cpus (crackling cutting) because of the high latency of Ryzen and the first Threadrippers?
    Or perhaps power issues (delivery to PCIE ports because the big power consumption of the new TR chips?)
  • Dug - Saturday, November 30, 2019 - link

    I think it's time to move past USB if you are a "Real content creator"
  • valinor89 - Friday, November 29, 2019 - link

    "The TRX40 chipset is based on the 14 nm process node from Global Foundries"
    "AMD leveraged GlobalFoundries 12nm to build the TRX40 chipset"

    Is it 12 or 14?
  • tamalero - Saturday, November 30, 2019 - link

    I remember that Global Foundries is 14nm while TSCM is 14+ (12nm)
  • gavbon - Monday, December 2, 2019 - link

    I have corrected it, it is Global Foundries 14 nm process. Thank you for the heads up
  • scineram - Wednesday, December 4, 2019 - link

    That's not what Ian said.
  • PopinFRESH007 - Sunday, December 29, 2019 - link

    I believe what Ian was referring to is the IO chip on the CPU package which is 12nm.

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