ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 9 Review 3

ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 9 Review

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The 9th generation of Core processors from Intel has arrived, though finding chips in stock is still a little tricky. By now, the performance of the new platform is well documented. The i9-9900K has thoroughly taken the trophy for fastest gaming CPU, but not for being the most cost effective. Given Intel's focus on the gaming market for this release, it is only fitting that motherboard manufacturers follow suite. ASRock in particular has introduced the new "Phantom Gaming" line of boards featuring 2.5 Gigabit LAN capabilities.

Before I get into what makes the Phantom Gaming special, I will briefly outline the improvements to the Z390 chipset as a whole. First, USB 3.1 Gen2 is now natively supported, where on the Z370 chipset, motherboard manufacturers would need to use third-party storage controllers. The second major change is CNVi support, which is Intel's high speed wireless solution. The 2x2 802.11ac connection boasts up to 1.73 Gb/s throughput. The Z390 chipset is compatible with 8th Gen Core processors as well.

The ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 9 I have here today is the flagship of this new lineup. The board boasts a full-coverage M.2 heatsink, dual Gigabit LAN, and ASRock Hyper BCLK Engine II. Not only are there three M.2 slots, but eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports, of which two ports are powered by an additional ASMedia controller. 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 Z390 Phantom Gaming 9 is a bold take on ASRock's tried and true motherboard formula.


CPU Support:Intel Core 9000 series and 8th Gen Intel Core
Power Design: CPU Power: 12 phase
Memory Power: 2 phase
Chipset:Intel Z390
Integrated Graphics:Dependent on installed CPU
Memory:4x DIMM, Support Dual Channel DDR4-4266+(OC) MHz
Expansion Slots: 3x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (x16/x0/x0 or x8/x8/x0 or x8/x4/x4)
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 I219V
1x Intel I211AT
1x Dragon RTL8125AG
1x Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi
Rear Ports: 2x Antenna ports
1x HDMI port
1x Optical SPDIF out port
3x LAN (RJ45) ports
1x USB 3.1 (Gen2) Type-C port
3x USB 3.1 (Gen2) Type-A port
4x USB 3.1 (Gen1) ports
1x Clear CMOS button
1x DisplayPort 1.2
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
  • Intel Wi-Fi 802.11ac
  • PCIe steel slots
  • ASRock Live Update and APP Shop
  • Dual Intel Gigabit LAN
  • Polychrome RGB
  • Super Alloy
  • Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 5
  • Hyper BCLK Engine II
  • USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A and Type-C
  • Supports NVIDIA SLI
  • Supports AMD Quad CrossFire
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