I’ve always been a huge fan on mini-ITX motherboards, I was always impressed at how motherboard manufactures were able to fit so much in such a small space and that is no different with the ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3. ASRock was able to cram so much into this small board, even features you don’t find on full-sized ATX motherboards.
As I said at the beginning of this review there is only a handful of mini-ITX X570 motherboards out there and the big thing that separates this motherboard from the others is that it features a Thunderbolt 3 controller. So the Type-C connection on the rear I/O not only will give you USB 3.2 gen 2 connectivity, but also 40Gb/s Thunderbolt 3, which opens up a bunch of super-fast storage options as well as display options.
We all know that the X570 chipset and VRMs can run hot, but ASRock has taken care of that with some pretty interesting heatsink designs. The chipset heatsink is a combo heatsink / active fan and the VRM heatsink is pretty interesting. You don’t notice it at first, but the I/O cover is actually one big heatsink. This is actually a great way to provide better VRM cooling in the limited space you have.
Talking about limited space, ASRock did remove the AM4 mounting clips and opted to put Intel mounting holes on this board. This saves room on the board as the AM4 mounts are quite big, but it really does limit your cooling options. First you cannot use a stock AMD cooler, which comes with your CPU. This might not be a dig deal to some, but it is an added benefit of purchasing a Ryzen processor. Now you would think any LGA115x cooler would fit on this board, but that is not the case. I would really only suggest an AiO as the heatsinks on both sides of the CPU socket will interfere with most tower CPU coolers. Another thing about space is that the Gen4 M.2 slot on the rear does not have any sort of heatsink on it. Most Gen4 drives use massive heatsinks, which might make them impossible to use on this board. Even including a small thin metal heatspreader would have been nice.
This board is going to give you everything you want from an X570 board, just in a smaller form factor with a few sacrifices. If you are looking to do a Ryzen 3000 series mini-ITX build the ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 Motherboard is at the top of our list! Right now you can pick this board up for $219.99 at our favorite online retailer. Overall ThinkComputers gives the ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 Motherboard a 9 out of 10 score.
– So much on such a small board
– Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.2 gen 2, and WiFi 6
– Great VRM and VRM cooling
– Integrated I/O shield and cover
– Limited number of CPU coolers will fit
– BIOS does not have an easy mode