ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac Review

Published by Luca Rocchi on 14.03.19

With the Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac, ASRock has a new mini-ITX motherboard in its portfolio, which comes with a very reasonable feature mix. There are for example two M.2 slots, one Intel Ethernet port and a WiFi AC module. In addition the layout has been well thought with a CPU socket that isn't too close to the PCIe slot. At this point we are curious to find out what's it exactly that should make this a great product.



Specs and Delivery

Chipset Intel Z390
Memory Dual Channel DDR4, 2 x DIMM, Max. 32 GB DDR4, 4500 OC, Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
Slots
  • 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16
Audio Realtek ALC1220
Storage Intel Z390 chipset
  • 2 x M.2 2280
  • 4 x SATA 6Gb/s ports
Network Intel I219V Gigabit LAN Controller
Internal Connectors
  • 1 x Chassis Intrusion Header
  • 1 x RGB LED Header
  • 1 x Addressable LED Header
  • 1 x CPU Fan Connector (4-pin)
  • 1 x CPU/Water Pump Fan Connector (4-pin)
  • 1 x Chassis Fan Connector (4-pin)
  • 1 x 24 pin ATX Power Connector
  • 1 x 8 pin 12V Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
  • 1 x Front Panel Audio Connector (15μ Gold Audio Connector)
  • 1 x USB 2.0 Header (Supports 2 USB 2.0 ports)
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Header (Supports 2 USB 3.1 Gen1 ports)
Extrenal Connectors
  • 2 x Antenna Ports
  • 1 x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Port
  • 1 x HDMI Port
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.2
  • 1 x Intel Thunderbolt 3
  • 1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
  • 4 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A Ports (10 Gb/s)
  • 2 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Ports
  • 1 x RJ-45 LAN Port with LED
  • 1 x Clear CMOS Button
  • HD Audio Jacks
Forfactor Mini-ITX


Power design

VCC

VCCGT

Controller Phases Doppler Highside MOSFETs Lowside MOSFETs Controller Phases Doppler Highside MOSFETs Lowside MOSFETs
Intersil ISL69138 5 - 5 x Intersil ISL99227B Intersil ISL69138 2 - 2 x Intersil ISL99227B


Gallery

  • ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac
  • ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac
  • ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac
  • ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac
  • ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac
  • ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac
  • ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac
  • ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac
  • ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac
  • ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac


Benchmarks


Conclusion

General   + -
A closer look at the motherboard lineup from ASRock reveals that the Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac is a high-end model, regarding their gaming branded Z390 based products. Therefore it comes with a bunch of really neat features, like for example several USB 3.1 ports, Polychrome RGB Lighting and two M.2 slots as well as a great looking design. The price of 190 Euro is basically in-line with the competition yet it's no bargain - as are any Z390 based motherboards.   - Design
- Layout
 
       
Layout   + -
The layout of the ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac has been well thought - as expected. Storage wise we find four SATA ports placed in the bottom right corner and two M.2 slots. While one M.2 connector is locate on the backside of the motherboard, the other one is placed between the socket and the PCI-Express slot with an appropriately sized M.2 heatsink. Apart from that there is only one PCIe 3.0 x16 slot with metal reinforcement. Furthermore there are plenty of 4-pin PWM headers for both aircooling and watercooling setups. A quick look at the back I/O panel reveals there are plenty of USB ports, which in combination with the display and network connectors make for a good mix on the connector side of things. In our opinion the I/O ports could be improved since the USB ports come with the same color and they're therefore hard to distinguish.  

- Space around the CPU socket - Realtek ALC1220

- Color USB ports
       
Power design   + -
On the Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac we find Intersil Smart Power Stages with exposed metal on the top. These components are much better compared the previous generation and they make a big difference. The motherboard comes with 5 + 2 phase power design. Nevertheless it's based on Intersil's higher-end ISL69138 PWM controller regarding the VCC side. Furthermore there are five Intersil ISL99227B MOSFETs. Regarding the VCCGT section we see a similar design, ASRock has placed the same PWM controller and two MOSFETs.

Overall the VRM design is certainly good enough for a wide variety of users.
   
       
Performance   + -
At the moment our test setup includes only eight motherboards but during the upcoming weeks we will add test results of more models. Calculating the average of all benchmarks results we ran, we see that this board scores 2nd but the gap to 1st place is very tiny. It's safe to safe that the ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac is pretty quick. Checking energy efficiency we see that this board always scores first.   - Power consumption
       
Recommendation   + -
The Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac is a well equipped Z390 motherboard. This board is quick according to our 2D and 3D performance charts. On top of that it comes with a vast feature. On top of that the price of 190 Euro is reasonable and competitive.    
       
Rating
We give the ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac excellent 4 out of 5 stars.



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ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac Review - Motherboards Intel Z390 - Reviews - ocaholic