Reviews have been written, benchmarks run, and graphs plotted. The Ryzen 3000 series has lived up to the hype in almost every way. There is finally real competition in the mainstream CPU marketplace, and with competition comes greater consumer choice. One of the biggest debates that is still ongoing with this launch is which chipset to buy. Do you need X570?
Unlike Intel, AMD has made a commitment to supporting the AM4 socket over multiple CPU generations. So far, the team in red has held to that promise, and the new Zen 2 processors are widely supported on older-generation motherboards. While this is great for consumers, it also creates more complexity as more choice inevitably must. Do you need a new X570 motherboard? Due to the cost of the new chipset, the new generation of boards is more expensive feature for feature than the last two generations. This is largely due to PCIe 4.0, a costly and complex feature to implement.
In the graphics department, no card on the market has saturated even PCIe 3.0 yet, at least in the x16 configuration. The largest immediate benefit is with high-speed storage. NVMe drives in RAID configurations can and will take advantage of the extra bandwidth to push never before seen sequential read and write speeds. With your average game, even the switch from SATA to NVMe can be hard to notice, let alone to an even faster and more expensive RAID array. This is more relevant for content creation and media production, where high-speed storage can save significant time and therefore money, which is further bolstered by the near-HEDT core counts on the high-end Ryzen 3000 CPUs. Of course, graphics cards will eventually catch up as well, so for the discerning gamer who only upgrades every three to five years, the new standard could prove a good investment as well.
ASRock introduced the Phantom Gaming line last year as a more aggressively styled alternative to their existing Taichi product lines. The Phantom Gaming family covers a broad range of components, from motherboards all the way to cases. In the motherboard space, the first iteration of Phantom Gaming shared a lot of design and parts with the award-winning Taichi boards. In an update to their Z390 Phantom Gaming line up, ASRock introduced a new, more modern look to their product stack with the Z390 Phantom Gaming 7 and Z390 Phantom Gaming X.
The X570 Phantom Gaming X is the top dog in ASRock's X570 lineup, excluding the limited addition Aqua. Sitting at $50 over the X570 Taichi, the main draw of the Phantom Gaming X is the 2.5 Gb/s LAN it offers. In fact, among the four major board vendors, the ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming X is the most affordable in the high-end mainstream segment. It features a 14 phase VRM, integrated rear I/O shield, full coverage M.2 heatsink, excellent RGB LED lighting, and even a backplate.
So, it has the looks and features, but does it have the performance to be the top motherboard in a line of excellent boards?
|CPU Support:||AMD AM4 socket Ryzen 2000 and 3000 series processors|
|Power Design:|| CPU Power: 14 phase |
Memory Power: 2 phase
|Integrated Graphics:||Dependent on installed CPU|
|Memory:||4x DIMM, Support Dual Channel DDR4-4666+(OC) MHz|
|BIOS:||AMI UEFI BIOS|
|Expansion Slots:|| 3x PCIe 4.0 x16 slots (x16/x0/x0 or x8/x8/x0 or x8/x4/x4)|
3x PCIe 4.0 x1 slots
|Storage:|| 8x SATA 6 Gb/s port |
3x M.2 port (SATA3/PCIe 4.0 x4)
|Networking:||1x Intel I211AT|
1x Realtek RTL8125AG
1x Intel 802.11ax (WiFi 6)
|Rear Ports:|| 2x Antenna ports|
1x HDMI port
1x Clear CMOS Button
1x BIOS Flashback Button
1x Optical SPDIF out port
1x LAN (RJ45) port
1x USB 3.1 (Gen2) Type-C port
1x USB 3.1 (Gen2) Type-A port
6x 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:||6x 4-pin|
|Form Factor:||ATX Form Factor: 12.0 in x 9.6 in, 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm|