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. Intel is now 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 Generation 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 ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming ITX/TB3 is another board hailing from ASRock's highly successful Phantom Gaming line. 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. The ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming ITX/TB3 follows the legacy of previous Phantom Gaming ITX boards with included Thunderbolt 3 support, as well as a unique vertical M.2 mount that allows for a large Chipset heatsink.
This motherboard features a 10-phase VRM with an actively cooled, finned VRM heatsink to deliver maximum performance with even the highest-end 10th Generation Core processors. Of course, the signature 2.5 Gb/s LAN also makes an appearance, along with Nahimic Audio, as well as a full coverage heatsink for the front M.2 slot.
Let's take a closer look at what the ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming ITX/TB3 has to offer.
|CPU Support:||Intel 10th Gen or later processors|
|Power Design:|| CPU Power: 10 phase |
Memory Power: 2 phase
|Integrated Graphics:||Dependant on installed CPU|
|Memory:||2x DIMM, supports dual-channel DDR4-4666+(OC) MHz|
|BIOS:||AMI UEFI BIOS|
|Expansion Slots:||1x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots|
|Storage:|| 4x SATA 6 Gb/s port |
2x M.2 port (SATA3/PCIe 3.0 x4)
|Networking:||1x Realtek RTL8125AG 2.5G LAN|
1x Intel 892.11ax WiFi
|Rear Ports:||2x Antenna port holes|
1x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard port
1x HDMI port
1x DisplayPort 1.4
1x Clear CMOS button
1x Optical SPDIF out port
1x LAN (RJ45) port
1x Thunderbolt 3 Type-C port
2x USB 3.2 (Gen1) ports
3x USB 3.2 (Gen2) Type-A ports
5x 3.5 mm audio jacks
|Audio:||1x Realtek ALC1220 Codec|
|Fan Headers:||3x 4-pin|
|Form Factor:||Mini-ITX Form Factor: 6.7 in x 6.7 in, 17.0 cm x 17.0 cm|