ASRock's Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac - A New Direction

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by confusis, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. confusis

    confusis John Morrison. Writer, Editor, Awesome Person.
    Thread Starter Site Staff SFF Workshop

    For some time, ASRock has been using the Fatal1ty branding on their high end products - a tie back to the days of old, where Quake was king, and bright, flashy branding was cool. However, Fatal1ty has given way to ASRock's "Phantom Gaming" brand, with a much more subtle aesthetic. All black? Yes please! Beefy heatsinks? Yessir!

    First sighted on ASRock's limited availability (unfortunately) GPU line, the Phantom Gaming brand has come to motherboards - slowly taking over the performance space within ASRock's lineup. This particular model uses the Intel Z390 chipset - what Z370 should have been, but I digress.

    Let's dive in!
    Mtthwmths, Phuncz, Lone and 6 others like this.
  2. confusis

    confusis John Morrison. Writer, Editor, Awesome Person.
    Thread Starter Site Staff SFF Workshop

    A heads up to the community: This marks my last review for SFFn. I'll continue posting news as it comes along, (including CES next week), as well as continue my community leadership here, but I'm moving on to a new project in the coming weeks/months. @3lfk1ng Will be taking over the lead in reviews, however, articles may not be as frequent as they have been.
    Mtthwmths, TheHig, bubbl3 and 8 others like this.
  3. NeoConker

    NeoConker Chassis Packer

    Nice last review! Keep us posted about the new project.

    Mine is on the way and I have a question, what RAM have you used?

    I saw some people complaining about the ram slots proximity, especially with the G.Skill Trident Z. Did you noticed something?
  4. confusis

    confusis John Morrison. Writer, Editor, Awesome Person.
    Thread Starter Site Staff SFF Workshop

    I had no problem with RAM. at the moment the board is running G-Skill Flare-X memory with no issues :)
  5. Biowarejak

    Biowarejak Maker of Awesome | User 1615
    Silver Supporter

    Good read! Kinda like the look of that VRM heatsink :)
  6. Nanook

    Nanook King of Cable Management

    Thanks for the review! This motherboard has been great so far for me.
    Biowarejak likes this.
  7. Lone

    Lone Master of Cramming
    Lone Industries

    John, thank you for all your excellent reviews!

    I like the new direction ASRock is taking here and I may have to give ASRock a try for my next build. I would personally much rather have "ASRock" branding on the heatsink instead of "Phantom Gaming", or nothing at all.
    Biowarejak likes this.
  8. Arboreal

    Arboreal Airflow Optimizer
    Silver Supporter

    #8 Arboreal, Jan 3, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
    Big thanks to you John, for all you've done at SFFn and for SSF - good luck with the next adventure.

    I too am looking forward to trying some ASrock kit sometime, I really would like a dual M.2 ITX board like the Asus Strix family.
    Ok, so Phantom Gaming may not be the greatest branding, but is does get us away from the too red Fatal1ty used until recently.
    Go go ASrock!
    TheHig, el01 and Biowarejak like this.
  9. TheHig

    TheHig King of Cable Management
    Bronze Supporter

    @confusis Best of luck in your next endeavors John!

    Really like this board also. So a request for @ASRock System :

    AM4 version with 2x M.2 and the beefy VRMs and heatsink. If the leaks regarding Ryzen 3000 hold 12 or more cores in itx sounds amazing!
    Elerek, Nanook and Biowarejak like this.
  10. Arboreal

    Arboreal Airflow Optimizer
    Silver Supporter

    YESSSSSSS! this ^ sounds an epic proposal
    TheHig, Nanook and Biowarejak like this.
  11. HeroXLazer

    HeroXLazer King of Cable Management

    If anyone has any questions about this board, I can help amswer, as I have one.
    Veryaton, Biowarejak and TheHig like this.
  12. Questors

    Questors Caliper Novice

    Like the overall looks of the board.

    What I don't like:
    1. built in M.2 heatsink and the limitations it presents
    2. SATA ports jammed in behind the RAM slots...ugh.
    These are both potential deal breakers, depending on who the system is built for and what their intended usage will be.
    Biowarejak likes this.
  13. |||

    ||| King of Cable Management

    I have put on EK Monarch RAM heat sinks on my memory and they fit just fine (although the EK logos need to be facing out, which isn't a big deal).

    TBH, I prefer this orientation with the SATA connectors, as opposed to jamming the front panel connectors in a weird location, like what Asus did. I would rather they come up with a different solution for the BIOS header pins and ideally would have used that space for a USB-C front panel header with a last available USB 3.1 Gen 2 HSIO from the chipset.
    Biowarejak likes this.
  14. Elerek

    Elerek Cable-Tie Ninja

    Wouldn't this hurt signal strength?
  15. Tephnos

    Tephnos Average Stuffer

    Got a question - is this board compatible with the Noctua C14? The Asus Z370 barely fit - the heatpipes made contact with the VRM heatsink and I had to use electrical tape to prevent it from scuffing.

    It's hard to tell if that's going to be an issue with this one too or not. These newer boards are becoming a pain for top down cooling.
    Biowarejak likes this.
  16. Nanook

    Nanook King of Cable Management

    Yes I tried the C14 with this board, and everything fits.
    Biowarejak likes this.
  17. NastyNick

    NastyNick Chassis Packer

    Can I ask a stupid question: what was John referring to when he mentioned intel’s product stack is a nightmare? I’m new to PCs and don’t know what specifically is wrong with intels software currently. I bought this board and a 9700k for an sff build. I more I read about that chip the more I wonder if I made a mistake lol.
    Biowarejak likes this.
  18. confusis

    confusis John Morrison. Writer, Editor, Awesome Person.
    Thread Starter Site Staff SFF Workshop

    @NastyNick The software is fine, it's just that currently Intel has umpteen chipsets, and several hundred (slight exaggeration) CPU SKUs.

    Coffee lake chipsets:
    1. H310
    2. B360
    3. H370
    4. Q360
    5. B365
    6. Q370
    7. Z310
    8. Z390
    9. C232
    10. C236
    11. C242
    12. C246
    Coffee lake CPU SKUs:
    1. i7-9900K
    2. i7-9900KF
    3. i7-9700K
    4. i7-9700KF
    5. i7-8086K
    6. i7-8700K
    7. i7-8700
    8. i7-8700T
    9. i5-9600K
    10. i5-9600KF
    11. i5-9400
    12. i5-9400F
    13. i5-8600K
    14. i5-8600
    15. i5-8600T
    16. i5-8500
    17. i5-8500T
    18. i5-8400
    19. i5-8400T
    20. i3-9350KF
    21. i3-8350K
    22. i3-8300
    23. i3-8100
    24. i3-8100T
    25. Pentium Gold G5600
    26. Pentium Gold G5500
    27. Pentium Gold G5500T
    28. Pentium Gold G5400
    29. Pentium Gold G5400T
    30. Celeron G4920
    31. Celeron G4900
    32. Celeron G4900T
    33. Xeon 2186G
    34. Xeon 2176G
    35. Xeon 2146G
    36. Xeon 2136
    37. Xeon 2126G
    38. Xeon 2174G
    39. Xeon 2144G
    40. Xeon 2134
    41. Xeon 2124G
    42. Xeon 2124
    43. Xeon 2104G

    Compared to AMD's current gen:
    1. X470
    2. B450
    1. Athlon 200GE
    2. Athlon Pro 200GE
    3. Athlon 220GE
    4. Athlon 240GE
    5. Ryzen 3 2200GE
    6. Ryzen 3 Pro 2200GE
    7. Ryzen 3 2200G
    8. Ryzen 3 Pro 2200G
    9. Ryzen 5 2400GE
    10. Ryzen 5 Pro 2200GE
    11. Ryzen 5 2400G
    12. Ryzen 5 Pro 2400G
    13. Ryzen 3 2300X
    14. Ryzen 5 2500X
    15. Ryzen 5 2600E
    16. Ryzen 5 Pro 2600
    17. Ryzen 5 2600
    18. Ryzen 5 2600X
    19. Ryzen 7 2700E
    20. Ryzen 7 Pro 2700
    21. Ryzen 7 2700
    22. Ryzen 7 Pro 2700X
    23. Ryzen 7 2700X

    (Excluding the HEDT and server platforms.. then the lists just get stupid long)
    Biowarejak likes this.
  19. Nanook

    Nanook King of Cable Management

    Intel is perfectly fine, and their CPUs are great. Their main advantage is that many programs are better optimized for Intel due to their past market dominance. They just have a terrible track record of “forcing” users to upgrade chipsets (motherboard) along with every (other) generation of CPU upgrades.
    Biowarejak likes this.
  20. MPP

    MPP Efficiency Noob

    I would like to buy this mainboard, I have doubts about the temperatures.
    What temperature has PCH under load and idle?