Last July, AMD released the Ryzen 3000 series desktop processors in one of the most monumental hardware launches of the modern era. This final step completed the Red brand's ascent back into the forefront of the desktop processor market that began with the launch of the first generation of Ryzen CPUs. Today, Intel is finally firing back with the launch of the 10th Generation Intel Core Processors, along with a new motherboard standard to drive them.
As should be no surprise, the focus will remain on the new motherboards. While the 10th Gen Intel Core processors will not support PCIe 4.0 connectivity due to signal integrity issues, many of the Z490 motherboards are designed to support the PCIe 4.0 specification. This is accomplished by adding clock generators to help clean up the signal. Generally speaking, when it comes to long-term platform support, AMD has been the trendsetter. Has AMD's long support of the AM4 socket on its newer generation processors inspired Intel to take similar steps?
So what is Z490 offering right now? For starters, there has been a large focus on VRM and VRM cooling design. With the top-level Intel Core i9-10900K featuring 10 cores along with HyperThreading, the ability to deliver clean, continuous power is going to be one of the primary factors that separates a good Z490 board from the competition. With the introduction of HyperThreading on Intel's mid-range line-up, power delivery is going to be vital in all segments.
The Z490 board I have the privilege to introduce is the ASRock Z490 Velocita. The widely successful Phantom Gaming line is back, and with a new member. ASRock's Phantom Gaming family of motherboards was introduced with the Z390 platform not much more than a year ago. The product line features black, red, and gray styling, 2.5 Gb/s LAN, and an emphasis on performance. This newest member of the Phantom Gaming family is no exception, even the name "Velocita" translates to "speed."
This motherboard is PCIe 4.0 ready and features a 14-phase VRM with an actively cooled, finned VRM heatsink to deliver maximum performance with even the highest-end 10th Gen Core processors. Of course, the signature 2.5 Gb/s LAN also makes an appearance, along with Nahimic Audio, as well as full coverage heatsinks for the M.2 slots and ASRock's excellent Phantom Gaming RGB implementation.
Let's take a closer look at what the ASRock Z490 PG Velocita has to offer.
|CPU Support:||Intel 10th Gen or later processors|
|Power Design:|| CPU Power: 12 phase |
Memory Power: 2 phase
|Integrated Graphics:||Dependant on installed CPU|
|Memory:||4x DIMM, supports Dual-channel DDR4-4666+(OC) MHz|
|BIOS:||AMI UEFI BIOS|
|Expansion Slots:|| 2x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots |
3x PCIe 3.0 x1 slots
|Storage:|| 8x SATA 6 Gb/s port |
2x M.2 port (SATA3/PCIe 3.0 x4)
|Networking:||1x Intel I219V Gigabit LAN|
1x Realtek RTL8125AG 2.5G LAN
|Rear Ports:||2x Antenna port holes|
1x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard port
1x HDMI port
1x DisplayPort 1.4
1x Optical SPDIF out port
2x LAN (RJ45) port
1x USB 3.2 (Gen2) Type-C port
4x USB 3.2 (Gen1) ports
1x USB 3.2 (Gen2) Type-A ports
5x 3.5 mm audio jacks
|Audio:||1x Realtek ALC1220 Codec|
|Fan Headers:||7x 4-pin|
|Form Factor:||ATX Form Factor: 12.0 in x 9.6 in, 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm|
Packaging and Contents
The front of the ASRock Z490 PG Velocita box features a gray and black background with a nicely textured appearance. "Z490 PG Velocita" is in the bottom right, with brand badging below it along the bottom-right edge. "ASRock" is in the top-left corner. The center of the box is dominated by a large silver and red Phantom Gaming logo with "Velocita" right below it. The back of the box has all the highlights: a top-down shot of the board, several panels detailing prominent features, a diagram outlining the rear I/O, and the specifications list. The box design is well executed and matches the board nicely.
Opening the box, the accessories sit on a cardboard divider over the board. Removing the divider reveals the board encased in an anti-static bag. ASRock continues the tradition of securely zip-tying the board into a high density foam tray.
The accessories are pretty standard. Notably absent is any kind of rear I/O shield because the shield is integrated into the board.
The full list of accessories includes:
- Manual, software setup guide, and support DVD
- Postcard and sticker sheet
- 4x SATA 6 Gb/s cables
- 3x M.2 mounting screws
The Velocita follows the same design as its predecessors with a silver, black, and red color scheme. While it is not as neutral as some designs, it has great visual appeal and would have no trouble fitting in with most popular hardware combinations.
The CPU socket is open enough for most air coolers. The VRM features a large, finned heatsink with not one or two, but three fans for active cooling. ASRock isn't playing around when it comes to power delivery.
The first two VRM cooling fans sit on top of the finned section of the heatsink. These are designed to push air down through the fins of the heatsink.
The third VRM fan sits under a nicely finished aluminium plate.
There are three M.2 slots on the ASRock Z490 PG Velocita; two below the first PCIe x16 slot and another below the second PCIe x16 slot. The top two slots are facing each other, one supports PCIe 4.0 (on future-generation CPUs) and the other only support PCIe 3.0.
The ASRock Z490 PG Velocita offers 2 PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, both encased in steel, as well as three PCI Express 3.0 x1 slots. The top x16 slot is PCIe 4.0 ready, featuring a clock generator to ensure a clear signal. While this feature is not supported by the 10th Gen Intel Core processors, it is expected to be supported in future launches. The board has a total of eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports on the side, angled 90 degrees from the board.
The ASRock Z490 PG Velocita has an acceptable I/O offering that includes an optical S/PDIF out port. I would have liked to see more USB options, though.
- 2x Antenna port holes
- HDMI port
- DisplayPort 1.4 port
- 4x USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A ports
- PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port
- USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A port
- USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C port
- 2x RJ-45 LAN port
- Optical SPDIF out port
- 5x 3.5 mm audio jacks
Networking on the ASRock Z490 PG Velocita is handled by an Intel I219V as well as a Realtek RTL8125AG for 2.5 Gb/s LAN.
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