ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming X Overview
Taking a first look at the Z390 Phantom Gaming X you can see that ASRock is going with the black, red, and silver colors that we know the Phantom Gaming line for. The board has a black PCB, the VRM heatsinks are silver, and the bottom large heatsink is black with red and silver accents. Overall the board looks quite good.
Starting with the CPU socket we of course have Intel’s LGA1151 socket. Z390 motherboards will support both 8th and 9th generation Intel Core processors. Surrounding the CPU socket we have our power delivery components. ASRock is making use of a 14 phase VRM that uses 60A power chokes, overall the VRM is capable of a maximum output of 600A, which is more or less overkill, even for a 9900K. The power delivery components are covered by two large heatsinks, which are are connected by a heatpipe.
Towards the top corner of the board you’ll find your 8-pin EPS connector and an optional 4-pin. Moving over a little bit you have your 4-pin CPU fan header and an optional 4-pin fan header. The CPU fan header has an interesting location as it sits above the VRM heatsink, which might make it hard to reach once you have the motherboard installed in a case.
Moving over to the memory slots, we have 4 DIMM slots which support up to 128GB of DDR4 4266+(OC) memory. These slots are not metal reinforced, but they do not have the locks on the bottom, which will make it easy to swap out memory once you have a graphics card installed. Along the edge of the board you’ll find your 24-pin ATX power connection, two USB 3.0 headers, and a USB 3.2 gen 2 header. It is good to see that ASRock moved the USB 3.2 header on this board. On their X570 Taichi the port lined up with the first PCI-Express slot, so if you had a graphics card installed you would block it.
Moving down the board you’ll find eight SATA 6GB/s ports, which are setup at a 90-degree angle. Six of these ports are controlled by the Z390 chipset and the last two are controlled by the ASMedia ASM1061 controller.
At the bottom of the board you are going to find the rest of your headers and connections. From left to right you have your HD audio header, 3-pin addressable RGB header, 4-pin standard RGB header, two 4-pin fan headers, Thunderbolt header, a USB 2.0 header, Clear CMOS jumper header, POST code display, reset button, power button, and another 4-pin fan header. It is great to see the power and reset buttons on the board as well as the POST code display.
When it comes to audio on the board ASRock is making use of the Realtek ALC1220 audio codec. Most of the audio components are covered, but we can spot the Nichicon Fine Gold audio capacitors.
As far as expansion slots go you have three PCI-Express x16 slots and two x1 slots. All three of the x16 slots are metal reinforced. As I mentioned the entire bottom-half of the board has a large heatsink on it. This acts as one large heatsink for the three M.2 slots and just makes the board look pretty awesome. ASRock includes a screwdriver, which allows you to remove it, revealing the three M.2 slots. The top two M.2 slots support 80 mm drives, while the bottom slot supports longer 110 mm drives.
Finally as we come to the rear I/O there is actually a 4-pin fan header right before it, which is perfect for a rear exhaust fan. The rear I/O has a nice cover on it, which really goes well with the rest of the board. Another nice addition to this board is the integrated rear I/O shield. On the rear I/O from left to right you have a small clear CMOS button, WiFi antennas, a PS/2 port, two USB 3.1 gen 1 ports, DisplayPort, HDMI, three Ethernet ports, four USB 3.2 gen 2 ports (3x Type-A, 1x Type-C), and your audio connections. The red Ethernet port is the 2.5G port which is powered by the Realtek Dragon RTL8125AG, the other two are powered by the Intel I2119V and Intel I211AT.
Flipping the board over we have a large metal backplate that covers most of the board. This does not only help with cooling, but adds some structural integrity to the board too.