ASRock Haswell boards to feature waterproofing, better audio, 802.11ac

By on May 8, 2013, 3:00 PM

Through a recently published teaser on its website, ASRock has shed some light on its upcoming range of Haswell-based motherboards. One feature, in particular, may surprise you though: waterproofing. That's right -- ASRock is planning to waterproof some of its Intel 8 boards.

Unfortunately, ASRock does not go into much detail on the subject. The company simply touts "waterproof by conformal coating" -- the application of which will likely appeal to the subset of computer enthusiasts who rely on liquid-cooling. The degree of protection afforded by ASRock's coating could fall anywhere between partly water-resistant to nearly submersible, but obviously other components (i.e. graphics cards) will be left to fend for themselves during unfortunate aqueous events.

ASRock is also promising that some new boards will feature 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and an HDMI-in port. Yes, an in port. The company says its HDMI-in feature will allow users to toggle between different video sources at the push of a hotkey. The passive port will work even when the primary PC is powered off. This feature could prove useful for peripheral computing devices like tablets and laptops.

Also set to arrive in ASRrock's upcoming Intel 8 offers is "Purity Sound". The combinative onboard audio technology boasts a 115dB SNR DAC and features Realtek's 7.1-channel ALC1150 chip, a TI 5532 headphone pre-amp and improved shielding. The design also touts a capless direct-drive architecture which should eliminate sound distortion caused by capacitors.




User Comments: 30

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Win7Dev said:

HDMI input sounds kind of interesting as does the waterproofing. I would more likely consider watercooling if I had a waterproof board. No need to worry about any shorts or a dead motherboard then.

Blkfx1 Blkfx1 said:

HDMI input sounds kind of interesting as does the waterproofing. I would more likely consider watercooling if I had a waterproof board. No need to worry about any shorts or a dead motherboard then.

Still gotta worry about a dead GPU,CPU,RAM....etc :P. However, it is still an interesting feature.

JC713 JC713 said:

Yeah water-cooling will be better, but the coolant will leak onto the GPU still like blkfx said. That is about it though most of the time since the GPU is right below the CPU.

BlueDrake said:

Yeah water-cooling will be better, but the coolant will leak onto the GPU still like blkfx said. That is about it though most of the time since the GPU is right below the CPU.

Most likely GPU's are a possible next target, among other components but we don't know for sure. It's something just being done now, so lets see what future parts will include. I can't see some things being part of that, but we'll see about that down the road.

Guest said:

Just cut out all the crap and put that audio in an average mobo, I would be very happy to pay 20 dollars more for a great sound. I haven't seen a good onboard sound in an average mobo in years.

Ranger12 Ranger12 said:

All this could be yours for only $999.99!!!

But seriously, hope the price is somewhat affordable.

JC713 JC713 said:

Most likely GPU's are a possible next target, among other components but we don't know for sure. It's something just being done now, so lets see what future parts will include. I can't see some things being part of that, but we'll see about that down the road.

Waterproofing GPUs could allow for safer GPU watercooling.

All this could be yours for only $999.99!!!

But seriously, hope the price is somewhat affordable.

They have to be cheap to sell. Waterproofing isnt a big selling point. I read about a cheap nano waterproofing solution.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Just cut out all the crap and put that audio in an average mobo, I would be very happy to pay 20 dollars more for a great sound. I haven't seen a good onboard sound in an average mobo in years.
So back in the day there was good onboard sound? Seriously get your head out your a**, there is nothing wrong with onboard audio. If you are one of the few that needs more, quit complaining and get an add-in card.

2 people like this | dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Yeah water-cooling will be better, but the coolant will leak onto the GPU still like blkfx said. That is about it though most of the time since the GPU is right below the CPU.

Until a board manufacturer can guarantee that electrical integrity remains after water entering the PCI-E and RAM slots, I'm going to take the "conformal coating" as a gimmick. Somehow I don't see any kind of coating existing within a slot connector that 1. would retain electrical connectivity, and 2. remain viable once the slot has been filled (and/or vacated) by a device given the contact tolerances required.

mrcavooter mrcavooter said:

Gaming rig/beta fish tank...counting down the days until my two joys become one!

JC713 JC713 said:

Gaming rig/beta fish tank...counting down the days until my two joys become one!

Mineral oil PC?

Until a board manufacturer can guarantee that electrical integrity remains after water entering the PCI-E and RAM slots, I'm going to take the "conformal coating" as a gimmick. Somehow I don't see any kind of coating existing within a slot connector that 1. would retain electrical connectivity, and 2. remain viable once the slot has been filled (and/or vacated) by a device given the contact tolerances required.

Well said. I agree, there is a limit of badass vs functionality.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Mineral oil PC?
So, whats the life span of a Beta fish on mineral oil?

mrcavooter mrcavooter said:

So, whats the life span of a Beta fish on mineral oil?

Mineral oil PC?

Well, I'll have you both know that the life expectancy of a mineral oil beta fish is very short. Horribly short.

On another note, if you don't read any posts from me tomorrow...my girlfriend found out about our experiment. Send HELP!

Guest said:

Most pc case place the the mobo standing vertically, so when leak happens it will drip to another component below rather than the mobo itself, so it will be more benefit if we had such waterproof GPU/CPU/RAM or waterpoof PSU :D

But, it still an interesting feature, though

VitalyT VitalyT said:

It is a good list of improvements this product offers, all but the watergoofing

Guest said:

Can I take a shower and play crysis in the same time? When can I buy one?

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

HDMI input sounds kind of interesting as does the waterproofing. I would more likely consider watercooling if I had a waterproof board. No need to worry about any shorts or a dead motherboard then.

I can't see any sense in waterproofing unless you're one of these LN2 overclockers. Today's self contained liquid coolers don't leak (unless you're one of the unlucky one's). If it does drip, then it's your GPU that's gonna come second, not the mobo, assuming you use a tower case.

2 people like this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I've seen several comments, suggesting the GPU would be the most likely victim of any leaks. Perhaps placing a drip pan on top of the GPU would solve this issue. lol

ghasmanjr ghasmanjr said:

Gaming rig/beta fish tank...counting down the days until my two joys become one!

Mineral oil PC?

Until a board manufacturer can guarantee that electrical integrity remains after water entering the PCI-E and RAM slots, I'm going to take the "conformal coating" as a gimmick. Somehow I don't see any kind of coating existing within a slot connector that 1. would retain electrical connectivity, and 2. remain viable once the slot has been filled (and/or vacated) by a device given the contact tolerances required.

Well said. I agree, there is a limit of badass vs functionality.

Electrical connections can still be made through something that is waterproof. Gorilla glass is a well known example of something that is waterproof but can conduct the subtle electric field of your body to control your phone. This is 100% possible.

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Electrical connections can still be made through something that is waterproof.
I hope you are not suggesting the use of a conductive sealant within a card or memory slot. That would introduce stray resistance if not a dead short, between all the pins within the slot.

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

Just cut out all the crap and put that audio in an average mobo, I would be very happy to pay 20 dollars more for a great sound. I haven't seen a good onboard sound in an average mobo in years.

You can always make your own :o

JC713 JC713 said:

I've seen several comments, suggesting the GPU would be the most likely victim of any leaks. Perhaps placing a drip pan on top of the GPU would solve this issue. lol

lol. A back plate may help somewhat. It may be a solution for short term until you notice the leak (few minutes).

ghasmanjr ghasmanjr said:

I hope you are not suggesting the use of a conductive sealant within a card or memory slot. That would introduce stray resistance if not a dead short, between all the pins within the slot.

A conductive material is one that features a low resistance. Are you referring to capacitance?

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

A conductive material is one that features a low resistance. Are you referring to capacitance?
No, I mean conductive. Capacitance is the ability to maintain a charge, not conduct electricity.

You are wrong about conductive materials. Any material that will conduct electricity is conductive and can be used as a conductor. Every conductor has a resistance, the only question is how much resistance. Any and all stray resistance can change electronic properties of any circuit. Why do you think they use special fluids in submersible electronics. These fluids are electrically non-conductive (aka: Electric Insulator) and will properly cool without changing electronic properties of the components submerged.

ghasmanjr ghasmanjr said:

No, I mean conductive. Capacitance is the ability to maintain a charge, not conduct electricity.

You are wrong about conductive materials. Any material that will conduct electricity is conductive and can be used as a conductor. Every conductor has a resistance, the only question is how much resistance. Any and all stray resistance can change electronic properties of any circuit. Why do you think they use special fluids in submersible electronics. These fluids are electrically non-conductive (aka: Electric Insulator) and will properly cool without changing electronic properties of the components submerged.

Yes, every conductor has a resistance but the purpose of using copper for wiring is because it features a low resistance. Why do you think that is used to wire your house and not tin? Tin is cheaper but has a helluva lot larger resistance. You will not see random stray resistance pockets from the thin waterproofing coating.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

You will not see random stray resistance pockets from the thin waterproofing coating.
You will if the waterproofing substance used is electrically conductive. Which is what I was questioning above. If a substance used in waterproofing card/memory slots are electrically non-conductive, you take the risk of insulating the contacts within the connector.

Waterproofing card/memory slots with either conductive or non-conductive substance would be a bad idea. However using a conductive substance would be far worse than using non-conductive.

Edit:

I have no idea why you are speaking about the conductive properties of copper, that has nothing to do with the conductive properties in sealants.

2 people like this | ghasmanjr ghasmanjr said:

Edit:

I have no idea why you are speaking about the conductive properties of copper, that has nothing to do with the conductive properties in sealants.

I'm a chemist. When I see "conductive material", I immediately relate any and all things to copper because I understand the quantum theory behind why it is such a good conductor.

I do agree that waterproofing the expansion slots would be a terrible idea. I never denied that. I merely said it was possible. I could have said highly unlikely because that emphasizes the low probability.

JC713 JC713 said:

Science fight!

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I do agree that waterproofing the expansion slots would be a terrible idea. I never denied that. I merely said it was possible. I could have said highly unlikely because that emphasizes the low probability.
At least we got that out of the way. Perhaps we can drop the conductive material discussion, as we are probably trying to say the same thing.

Guest said:

Ah, I always love the hubbub about onboard audio. Just get a receiver and run optical or HDMI audio to it. Voila, suddenly your onboard audio issues are moot. What makes this interesting is that the motherboard can now properly drive a nicer set of headphones, which is something that enthusiasts have had to bend over backwards to achieve in the past.

Now, you may be thinking "But why do I need the motherboard to drive headphones well if I just have a reciever already?" Well, you aren't bringing it to a LAN party, are you?

It would be awesome to see that feature make its way to mobile devices.

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