When Intel releases a new chipset it is always an exciting time, Z390 is no different. There are a ton of boards available from every manufacturer and we will be taking a look at quite a few over the next few weeks. Being our first Z390 board there was a lot to like about the ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming SLI/ac.
First I really like that ASRock brought the Phantom Gaming naming over from their graphics cards. Now you’ll easily be able to identify “Phantom Gaming” with ASRock. I wonder if ASRock will release any other “Phantom Gaming” product lines.
With the Z390 Phantom Gaming series ASRock is making 2.5 Gigabit LAN standard. They are making use of the Realtek Dragon RTL8125AG controller. 2.5 gigabit LAN is really good for latency and smaller files, which lends itself perfectly to gaming.
Being in the middle of the Phantom Gaming series the SLI/ac board has a great mix of features. Like the same says you’ll get SLI (and CrossFire) support as well as 802.11 ac WiFI (provided by the Intel 802.11ac WiFi Module). You also get two Turbo M.2 (PCIe x4) slots, USB 3.1 support, and an overall great look.
There really was not much to not like about this board, but we did run into an issue when it came to overclocking. Our processor would throttle when we went to overclock and we couldn’t figure out why. Turning to the Intel XTU we found our system was “Motherboard VR Thermal Throttling”, meaning that our VRMs were getting too hot, causing our CPU to throttle. The VRM heatsinks on this board are relatively small, especially compared to the ones on the Gaming 9 and Gaming 7 boards in the Phantom Gaming Series. I would say if you plan on doing any type of overclocking those would be the boards to get not this one.
Minus the VRM issue ASRock does have a good board in the Z390 Phantom Gaming SLI/ac. Right now you can pick it up at our favorite online retailer for $167.99. Overall ThinkComputers gives the ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming SLI/ac Motherboard an 8 out of 10 score.
– 2.5 Gigabit LAN
– 802.11ac WiFi
– Good Overall performance
– 3 RGB headers
– Easy to use BIOS
– VRM cooling not adequate for overclocking