The motherboard model of the previous generation, using the Intel Z370 chipset, came out very good from ASRock, we devoted a review to it at one time. It is interesting to check what the current version of the board for building a compact PC is. At a minimum, they improved the idea of building a VRM unit – the radiator was previously equipped with a heat pipe, but now the radiators have been enlarged, and besides, on the PCH it is composite, attracted for one of the two M.2 slots.
I also note that the device belongs to the updated series of gaming boards called Phantom Gaming. Products in it will be supplemented with software bonuses, in particular, we are talking about a specialized complex from Creative to improve the sound of the system. The list of possibilities is concentrated in the general table below.
|Model||ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac|
|Official product page on the Web||asrock.com|
|Processor socket||Socket 1151|
|Processors||Core i9, Core i7, Core i5, Core i3, Pentium Gold, Celeron (Coffee Lake-S)|
|Memory||2 DIMM DDR4 SDRAM 2133/2400/2666/2800*/2933*/3200*/3600*/3733*/3800*/3866*/4000*/4133*/4266*/4333*/4500+*(OC), maximum 32 GB|
|PCI slots||1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16|
|M.2||1 x PCI Express 3.0 x4, SATA 6Gb/s (Key M, 2260/2280)
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x4, SATA 6Gb/s (Key M, 2280)
|Integrated video core (in the processor)||Intel UHD 610/630|
|Video connectors||DisplayPort 1.2
|Number of connected fans||3x 4pin|
|PS/2 ports||1 (keyboard/mouse)|
|The port is USB||1 x 3.1 Gen2 (1 rear panel connector (C), Intel JHL6240)
4 x 3.1 Gen2 (4 connectors on the rear panel, Z390)
4 x 3.1 Gen1 (2 connectors on the rear panel, Z390)
2 x 2.0 (no connectors on the rear panel, Z390)
|Serial ATA||4 x SATA 6Gb/s (Z390)|
|RAID||0, 1, 5, 10 (SATA, Z390)|
|Built-in sound||Codec — Realtek ALC1220 (7.1, HDA)
Op Amp — Texas Instruments NE5532
|Networking||Intel I219V (Gigabit Ethernet)
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 9560 (Wi-Fi 2.4/5GHz (802.11a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 5)
|Dimensions, mm||170 x 170|
|Additional features||Sockets for connecting LED devices (1x RGB, 1x Addressable), CMOS reset button (on the rear panel), external Wi-Fi antenna kit, Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 5|
|Retail price, $||253|
Packaging and equipment
The box is small, the upper compartment in it is occupied by the product itself, and under it there is already a delivery set.
You can find out about the presence of an antenna in it from the slide located on the back of the box. There is also a photo of the device, a schematic image of the rear panel, a table with the main characteristics, the rest of the slides tell about the key features. In a word, the design is quite informative.
The accessories are the same, except for the increased number of mounting screws for M.2 format devices:
- multilingual quick installation guide;
- UEFI and Phantom Gaming Tuning manual in English;
- postcard with the emblem of the series (there is a place for the stamp);
- disk with drivers and proprietary software;
- company logo sticker;
- a plug for the body, complete with a black sticker with color and symbol designation of all sockets;
- two mounting screws for M.2 format devices;
- remote Wi-Fi antenna, for fixing and fixing the position it is planned to use double-sided tape (a small piece is attached, on a foam basis);
- two SATA 6Gb / s cables, one of which has an L-shaped connector on one of the ends.
As before, this product is made for a one-time system assembly, it does not include diagnostic or mechanical elements such as switches or buttons, there is only one for resetting CMOS settings and it is located on the rear panel. The microcircuit with the firmware is also in the singular.
A considerable number of elements, as before, are behind. In the area of DRAM slots, there are even more of them, which is caused by the reworking of the power subsystem of this important node.
The structure of the organization of the backlight on the device remained unchanged – downward-facing LEDs are among the three pieces.
The upper part of the composite cooler takes an indirect part in the overall CO circuit due to the small contact area; it is prepared as a heatsink for the M.2 device.
A thermal interface is applied right from the factory, but the lower part is a direct cooler for the Intel Z390, besides, it is the second part of the radiator for the power subsystem.
The second slot is on the back of the product. It will be possible to fix only devices of type 2280 there.
The developers took into account the past mistake and moved the rack under the system speaker from under the video card. There are four SATA slots left, the rest of the channels are connected directly to the M.2 slots. All racks are transverse. The third generation of USB is provided with only one – for the body cable.
Also, one piece is prepared for the classic type of USB 2.0 interface. There is no socket for a balanced output.
There was a place for the senior codec from Realtek – ALC1220, one op amp and a pair of special capacitors.
The radiator above the power assemblies has grown a lot, it is wrapped in the direction of the I / O ports, but the height is still more than usual, you should be vigilant when choosing a CPU cooling system.
Surprisingly or not, the construction of the voltage stabilizer has remained unchanged! The same ISL69138 from Intersil Corporation as a PWM controller, the same ISL99227F assemblies from the same manufacturer, there are seven of them, the work organization scheme is 5 + 2 “phases” for the needs of the CPU and iGPU. The last pair, as then, was left without a radiator. We changed a set of capacitors, now six pieces are installed, designed for a voltage of 6.3 V! The same extended service life – 12 thousand hours at the maximum operating temperature. For graphics, a couple of tantalum elements were installed.
Now the heat pipe is much closer to the epicenter of heat, so its presence will be much more justified. I note the widespread use of unusual yellow thermal pads.
The filling of the rear panel has changed minimally – the S / PDIF output has moved to the rack to the sound jacks, so there are five of them instead of six, but all of them are emphatically ennobled with gilding.