ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming X

 

Visual inspection

The ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming X has an elegant design with subtle graphics and RGB implementation in three areas of the motherboard. The PCIe area is covered by a metallic plate that is also part of the chipset heatsink, a similar backplate is installed on the back of the motherboard, to protect the pins and add more depth to the design.

 

The Phantom Gaming X has a 14 phase VRM in a 12 + 2 configuration. The MOSFETs are manufactured by Vishay and are the SiC634 models, while the Chokes are SMD 60A models. To achieve the 14 phase VRM, ASRock decided to use four Intersil ISL6617A doublers paired with a ISL69138 PWM controller. The capacitors present on the motherboard are Nichicon Black Series, renown for their endurance and high quality.

 

The power delivery for the CPU is achieved through two Power connectors, one 8pin and an additional 4 pin connector. The extra 4Pin connector is not required for daily usage or even overclocking. These types of additional power connectors are included for extreme overclocking sessions, often with LN2.

 

The cooling of the VRM system is done by two metallic heatsinks that are connected by a single nickel-plated copper heatpipe. These heatsinks have plenty of surface area for cooling and plenty of fins to help dissipate all the heat.

 

The motherboard features 8 (eight) 4-pin fan headers: starting at the top of the board, the first two headers are located above the top heatsink and RAM slots. The next two fan headers are located under the CPU socket and under the RAM slots. The last three headers are placed on the lower edge of the motherboard, and on the right side of the chipset heatsink.

 

The upper right corner has the four memory DIMM slots that support a maximum RAM capacity of 128GB. The rated speeds available are starting at 2133MHz and go up to DDR4 4266+(OC).

 

The Phantom Gaming X has two internal USB 3.0 headers, both located under the ATX 24Pin connector. Fortunately, one of these connectors is a right angled while the other is vertical, this offers more flexibility when routing the cables.

 

Behind the two internal USB 3.0 headers there is a Front Panel Type C USB 3.2 Gen2 Header. This header is ideal for the new generation of cases that have USB Type C ports integrated into the front panel.

 

The PCIe x16 slots are reinforced with metal, this is done for the design aspect of the motherboard but also for preventing damage caused by the movement of the graphics card, if the system is being moved.

 

The Z390 Phantom Gaming X has a full metal plate that covers the entire lower section of the motherboard. This plate is also part of the chipset heatsink and will offer passive cooling for all three M.2 SSD slots.

 

The SuperI/O chip used on this motherboard is a NuvoTon NCT6791D, used on other motherboards as well. This chip is responsible for the system management of the board. Due to space constraints, this chip is installed on the back of the motherboard.

 

The audio system has as its center piece, the Realtek ALC1220 chip and a dedicated NE5532 headphone amplifier. The filtering is achieved by using five Nichicon Fine Gold series capacitors and the now basic line across the PCB that surrounds the entire audio system.

 

The fast storage options available on this motherboard are three M.2 slots that are located in between the PCIe slots and of course, under the cover of the board. The same plate that cools the chipset of the board also has preinstalled thermal pads on each of the M.2 slots, this way each SSD will be passively cooled.

 

The Z390 Phantom Gaming X features eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports, six of these ports are powered by the Z390 chipset. The other two are supported by an ASMedia ASM1061 controller located just below the RAM slots.

 

Above the power and reset onboard buttons we can see two Bios chips labeled with the bios version is installed from the factory. A dual bios chip system is a must these days thanks to overclocking and internet Bios updating.

 

On the backside, we have the I/O panel.
The I/O panel is as follows (from left to right):
– 2x Antenna Ports
– 1x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Port
– 1x HDMI Port
– 1x DisplayPort 1.2
– 1x Optical SPDIF Out Port
– 3x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A Ports (10 Gb/s) (ReDriver) (Supports ESD Protection)
– 1x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C Port (10 Gb/s) (ReDriver) (Supports ESD Protection)
– 4x USB 3.2 Gen1 Ports (Intel® Z390) (Supports ESD Protection)*
– 3x RJ-45 LAN Ports with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
– 1x Clear CMOS Button
– HD Audio Jacks: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone (Gold Audio Jacks)

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