ASRock X399 Phantom Gaming 6 Review 7

ASRock X399 Phantom Gaming 6 Review

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Introduction

ASRock Logo

AMD has been gaining traction at a blistering pace over these past couple of years, both in the desktop and server spaces. The Ryzen line has put the company back on the map in a big way. One of the most impressive families of the now famous AMD Ryzen processors is that of the Threadripper HEDT and server chips. With the latest top models featuring up to 32 cores and 64 threads, the origin of the name isn't a mystery. The mystery that does remain is: How well does it game?

ASRock has an answer with the new X399 Phantom Gaming 6. Based on the styling of their other Phantom Gaming products and featuring the signature 2.5 Gigabit gaming LAN, the ASRock X399 Phantom Gaming 6 has a lot to offer for professionals who also like to have a little fun. The board supports Threadripper CPUs with up to a 180 W TDP, so you won't be busting out a 32 core 2990WX, which is probably for the best. Gaming applications can only take advantage of so much multi-threading, so after a point, the extra wouldn't be a good investment.

The ASRock X399 Phantom Gaming 6 I have here today boasts a full-coverage M.2 heatsink, dual Gigabit LAN, and ASRock Hyper BCLK Engine II. Not only are there three M.2 slots and eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports, but the feature ASRock is most excited to present, and rightfully so, is the new Phantom Gaming 2.5 Gb/s LAN. The new hardware ups throughput potential by a theoretical factor of 2.5 over Intel Gigabit offerings, and the software utility will let gamers prioritize gaming traffic for better latency as well. The ASRock X399 Phantom Gaming 6 is a bold take on ASRock's tried and true motherboard formula.



Specifications

Specifications
CPU Support:AMD TR4 Socket Ryzen Threadripper Series CPU (up to 180 W TDP)
Power Design: CPU Power: 8 phase
Memory Power: 2 phase
Chipset:AMD X399
Integrated Graphics:N/A
Memory:8x DIMM, Support Dual Channel DDR4-3400+(OC) MHz
BIOS:AMI UEFI BIOS
Expansion Slots: 3x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots
2x PCIe 3.0 x1 slots
Storage: 8x SATA 6 Gb/s port
3x M.2 port (SATA3/PCIe 3.0 x4)
Networking:1x Intel I211AT
1x Dragon RTL8125AG
Rear Ports:1x Optical SPDIF out port
2x LAN (RJ45) ports
1x USB 3.1 (Gen2) Type-C port
1x USB 3.1 (Gen2) Type-A port
8x USB 3.1 (Gen1) ports
5x 3.5 mm Audio jacks
1x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard combo port
Audio:1x Realtek ALC1220 Codec
Fan Headers:8x 4-pin
Form Factor:ATX Form Factor: 12.0 in x 9.6 in, 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm
Exclusive Features:
  • Phantom Gaming 2.5 Gigabit LAN
  • Triple Ultra M.2
  • Full-coverage M.2 Heatsink
  • PCIe steel slots
  • ASRock Live Update and APP Shop
  • Polychrome RGB
  • Super Alloy
  • Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 5
  • USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A and Type-C
  • ASRock full spike protection
  • Supports NVIDIA 3 way SLI
  • Supports AMD 3 way CrossFire

Packaging and Contents


The front of the ASRock X399 Phantom Gaming 6 box is dominated by a highly stylized "PG" and "PHANTOM GAMING" in the center. ASRock and a host of brand badges feature along the top, and "X399 PHANTOM GAMING 6" is on the bottom right.

The back of the box hits all the standard points: a top-down shot of the board, a number of panels detailing prominent features, a diagram outlining the rear I/O, and the specifications list. ASRock is pushing the 2.5 Gb/s LAN feature hard for this new lineup, and it is featured most prominently top and center. The overall box design is very well done.


Opening the box reveals all the included accessories sitting on top of a cardboard divider. Underneath the divider is the Phantom Gaming 6 in an anti-static bag. Once pulled from the bag, the board is left sitting zip-tied in a tray of high density foam, a tradition for ASRock boards.


Stepping back to the accessories, the ASRock X399 Phantom Gaming 6 has a typical assortment on offer. Notable additions are an SLI hard bridge and a rear I/O cover that is finished in a matching Phantom Gaming theme. There is also a silver piece with three holes, which is an M.2 WiFi bracket.

The full list of accessories includes:
  • Manual and support DVD
  • Post card and software setup guide
  • 4x SATA 6 Gb/s sleeved cables
  • 1x WiFi bracket
  • 1x SLI HB bridge L
  • 1x Rear I/O cover
  • 3x M.2 mounting screws

Board Layout


The ASRock X399 Phantom Gaming 6 uses large brushed and black heat sinks with silver accenting over the chipset. The PCB is black with silver and red streaks patterned diagonally on the bottom half. The larger VRM heatsink doubles as a shield over the rear I/O, a smart solution to save space without sacrificing cooling performance.

The back of the ASRock X399 Phantom Gaming 6 is a similar black, but not empty. ASRock has placed a few key controllers on the back of this board, most notably for the 2.5 Gb/s LAN. This is the same as I saw on the Z390 Phantom Gaming 9, which makes sense. Although very attractive overall, the board is less neutral than ASRock's Taichi boards because of the red accenting.


The CPU socket is as open as can be reasonably expected when surrounded by DIMM slots. I would expect most coolers to do alright here, but liquid coolers definitely have an advantage, especially if you plan to use all eight DIMM slots.


There are three M.2 slots on the ASRock X399 Phantom Gaming 9; the first is between the first and second PCIe slots, while the other two sit side by side just below the chipset, between the second and third PCIe x16 slots.

The full-coverage heatsink is implemented in the first top M.2 slot since mounting would be tricky for the other two. This is a little disappointing as I have praised other recent ASRock boards for moving this heat sink down and away from the GPU. The more crowded layout of the X399 board pretty much forces ASRock's hand here, and to be honest, it shouldn't really have any effect on M.2 performance.


There is also an M.2 WiFi slot just under the audio ports on the rear I/O. ASRock included a bracket for the antenna ports should a card not come with a bracket.


The ASRock X399 Phantom Gaming 6 offers three PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, all encased in steel armor. The board has a total of eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports, and all are angled 90 degrees from the board.


The ASRock X399 Phantom Gaming 6 has a decent rear I/O offering including two LAN ports and an Optical S/PDIF Out port.
  • 1x PS/2 keyboard and mouse combo connector
  • 8x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports
  • 1x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A ports
  • 1x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port
  • 2x RJ-45 LAN ports
  • 1x Optical SPDIF out port
  • 5x 3.5 mm audio jacks
Networking on the ASRock X399 Phantom Gaming 6 is handled by a GigaLAN Intel I211AT and the Realtek Dragon RTL8125AG for 2.5 Gigabit LAN.
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Jul 4th, 2022 23:47 EDT change timezone

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