ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming X Motherboard Review

Final Thoughts
I’ll just say it, this is the best Z390 board that we’ve seen from ASRock. The new design, high-end components, and the sleek RGB lighting really make this a top choice if you are building a Z390 system. Lets start with the design, ASRock has sort of adopted the same type of board design that we saw on their X570 Taichi. The whole idea is to create a cohesive board from top to bottom. So you have a great I/O cover that connects with the bottom large heatsink and really brings the whole board together. Even without RGB lighting turned on the board looks amazing. I really hope ASRock sticks with this design for future motherboards.

The RGB lighting on this board is superb as well. You have lighting on the front edge of the board and on the large heatsink on the bottom of the board. It goes together quite well and of course can be controlled with ASRock’s Polychrome Sync software.

When it comes to Z390 features this board has everything that you would want, a 14-phase VRM, three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots with metal shielding, three Ultra M.2 slots, eight SATA 6GB/s ports, and USB 3.2 gen 2. ASRock has added extra goodies too like 2.5G LAN, WiFi 6, power and reset buttons on the board, an I/O cover as well as integrated I/O shield, and even a metal blackplate for stability and cooling.

The 14-phase VRM is capable of 600A and definitely passed our overclocking test. In the past we had issues with ASRock power delivery components thermal throttling, but not on this board. We were able to achieve a very nice overclock on our i9-9900K on this board and the power delivery components were quite stable.

While ASUS has pulled out all of the stops with this board the big question is do you really need all of this. As an enthusiast you want to say yes, but I find it hard to believe anyone is going to fully make use of the three Ethernet connections plus WiFi 6. With the board costing $329.99 at our favorite online retailer, all of those extra connections seem like extra money. I think most people would be fine with WiFi 6 and 2.5g LAN, maybe throw in a second Ethernet connection, but three total? Just seems like overkill.

Also while I love the design of the bottom half of the board with the large heatsink it will make installing M.2 SSDs a pain, especially if you are say upgrading later on. You’ll have to completely remove your graphics card then take the entire heatsink off to install your M.2 drive. Also this heatsink limits the type of M.2 SSDs you can install as ones with fancy heatsinks won’t be compatible with this board.

At the end of the day you are definitely going to be happy purchasing the Z390 Phantom Gaming X from ASRock. It is going to have everything you want plus more. Also the VRM design will be able to handle overclocking an i9-9900K and the upcoming i9-9900KS. Overall ThinkComputers gives the ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming X Motherboard a 9 out of 10 score.

Pros:
– 2.5g LAN and WiFi 6
– 14-phase VRM
– Awesome design and RGB lighting
– Three M.2 slot
– I/O cover, and integrated I/O shield
– Easy to navigate BIOS

Cons:
– Three Ethernet plus WiFi 6 seems overkill
– Expensive for a Z390 board
– Will need to remove graphics card to install M.2 drives

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