Vortez Visits ASRock At Computex 2024: 520Hz & OLED Monitors, Next-Gen Intel Motherboards and More...

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅06.06.2024 02:14:37

We were lucky enough to visit ASRock at Computex 2024 this week, who were at the event showcasing a lot more than the motherboards they've become so well known for. Secure on home ground - Taipei is the site of ASRock's HQ - the component specialists have the fruits of recent year's efforts on display including monitors, GPU and (of course) an impressive range of upcoming motherboards.

Both Intel and AMD have new desktop chipsets and CPUs due later this year so it was unsurprising to see both platforms well represented at the ASRock booth. Intel offerings were somewhat coyly referred to as 'Next-Gen Desktop Motherboards supporting Arrow Lake' rather than with a codename and actual socket descriptor. AMD have been a lot more open by comparison, allowing their partners to freely refer to their Chipset and Socket.

Among the Intel models are their high-end Taichi gaming range and more mainstream Phantom Gaming designs, with the highlight being the Next-Gen Taichi Aqua. A truly premium design, the next-gen Aqua has 33 power phases, 2 PCIe 5.0 x16 slots, 6 M.2 slots (two of which support PCIe Gen5 x4 signalling) and both 10GbE and 5GbE LAN. Its silver, black and white livery looks stunning and it's sure to turn a few heads when it's released in 2H '24.

The base Taichi is also an attractive design focussing on black with mirror-surface livery. It's a step down in specification from the flagship Aqua but is nonetheless equipped with 25 power phases, a PCIe Gen5 x4 M.2 slot (with 5 other Gen4 slots around the board) and 5GbE / 2.5 GbE networking. Of course, like all the next-generation Intel boards, it features Wifi 7 too.

Moving to AMD, we should also highlight the base Tachi X870E model. Supporting Ryzen 9000, 8000 and 7000-series processors, it boasts 27 power phases, two PCI 5.0 x16 slots, 4 M.2 NVMe slots (one of which is PCIe Gen5 x4), 5GbE and WiFi 7. It's not quite a high-end as its Intel counterpart but should certainly get the job done.

Staying with AMD, ASRock were also showcasing their range of AMD Radeon RX 7000-series GPUs. Sitting at the top of the stack were Taichi White and Phantom Gaming White variants of the RX 7900 XTX and RX 7900 XT respectively, but they also had white variants of the Steel Legend RX 7600 XT and RX 6600 Challenger. Something to bear in mind if you're building an all-white system when the new platforms drop this year.

We'd also be remiss if we didn't mention the Radeon RX 7900 XTX Workstation 24GB. It's a 2-slot design ready for local systems requiring one or more of these brutish GPUs as part of its rendering pipeline or AI inferencing array. A 2-slot design means that up-to 4 can be accommodated in specific workstation configurations, giving it enormous compute potential.

For the first time we also have the opportunity to see ASRock's range of gaming monitors and they're certainly an eclectic bunch. The headline is clearly the Phantom Gaming PG27FFX2A, not for it's model number but rather because it's a IPS panel supporting a eye-popping 520Hz refresh rate. This 1080p Freesync Premium design with HDR400 capability also integrates a WiFi antenna and height-adjusting stand as a comprehensive gaming solution.

Slightly more down to earth is the PG27FRS1A, a curved 27" 1080p display that boasts support for 280Hz refresh rates. Once again making use of FreeSync Premium VRR technology, it's a pretty interesting option for hardcore gamers who prefer decently sized curved monitors. It also has a QHD (1440p) counterpart, the PG27QRT2A, that has a similar curved frame and 180Hz refresh rate but higher native resolution.

Blending productivity and gaming is the ultrawide PG34QR13A. This curved 34" 180Hz panel has a native WQHD (3440 x 1440p) resolution, height-adjustable stand, FreeSync Premium VRR and something called PG Mini-OLED:

This miniature displays is integrated into the front of the stand and sits just below the monitor screen. It operates as a compact display for data you want to hand but not necessarily taking up screen real-estate such as temp sensor readouts. The value of this will be in the API it hooks into; it has the potential to be both a useful and cool addition to the display's featureset.

Rounding out the monitor designs are a pair of crisp QHD OLED displays. The PGO27QFS and PG027QFV are both AMD FreeSync Premium Pro gaming monitors but also show off the deep blacks and rich colours that are hallmarks of OLED panels. They also boast 240Hz and 360Hz refresh rates respectively and a wide selection of I/O including up-to quad video-in, USB 3.2 and integrated 7dBi WiFi antenna.

Finally we come to this frankly insane system that's totally immersed in liquid coolant. Designed in conjunction with Thermaltake, they claim it's a non-flammable, chemically-stable solution compatible with most materials in use by component manufacturers. It harkens back to the mineral-oil-cooled systems of old, and like those systems probably requires a forklift to move safely.

So that's a very quick rundown of ASRock at Computex 2024. As always it's a pleasure to check out what they have in store for the year ahead, particularly this year when the big chipmakers are teasing new platforms and every component partner tries to one-up the next. Huge thanks to them for taking the time to take us through their booth.

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