Asrock Announces AMD X570 Motherboard With Thunderbolt 3, Only Supports Intel CPU Coolers

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Every now and then, a motherboard manufacturer will deploy what can only be called an unusual motherboard. There have been motherboards with PCI Express and AGP on the same board, the Aopen TubeAmp offered a vacuum tube amplifier, and Asrock once launched a board with dual sockets, with both LGA775 and Socket 478 on the same product. The ECS PF88 Extreme Hybrid even promised AMD and Intel support on the same motherboard, via a dual implementation of each socket (the two chips could not be used simultaneously). The DFI Hybrid had an onboard Atom processor alongside an Intel Core socket.

Asrock’s X570 Phantom Gaming mini-ITX motherboard isn’t quite as crazy as some of these, but it still deserves a line in the record books. It’s an AMD motherboard that uses an Intel heatsink mounting system.

X570-Socket-Intel-Cooler

The company has a list of which motherboards are compatible with its mini ITX motherboard available on the website. Comparing shots of the X570 Asrock board with an X470 motherboard shows why the company adapted an Intel CPU socket cooler — the X570 chipset is large enough to make it difficult to mount a standard AMD AM4 cooler. The AM4 standard is more rectangular than the squared-off Intel standard. The socket is pictured above, a zoomed-out shot of the motherboard is below:

I’m a bit surprised to see this. Intel and AMD CPU sockets (and CPUs) are different sizes. The CPU sockets sit at different heights above the motherboard. Heatsinks cross-compatibility is not uncommon, but manufacturers typically provide platform-specific mount kits for Intel and AMD. This may be why Asrock has published a specific list of known-compatible coolers — in this case, it probably isn’t a good idea to assume that any Intel LGA115X cooler will support an AMD CPU if mounted to said CPU using an Intel mounting kit. Common sense should serve you in good stead here — don’t overtighten anything when working with PCBs and fragile pins — but I would definitely lean on the side of being conservative if you choose to experiment with this motherboard.

The other nifty feature with this motherboard is support for Thunderbolt 3, which makes this one of the first motherboards to offer that feature on an AMD mini-ITX board. Asrock has been early out of the gate with support for Thunderbolt 3 on AMD hardware overall. We’ll be curious to see if the X570 + Intel cooler thing lasts. Frankly, it seems exceedingly strange that it would — AMD would almost certainly have designed a different cooler standard or locked out X570 on mini-ITX if it thought it couldn’t cool its own hardware in that form factor. Either way, the Asrock X570 Phantom Gaming mini-ITX is a unique board. Hat-tip to Overclock3D for the link.

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