Final Thoughts & Conclusion
We have to say, albeit a little bit subjectively, we really like the direction ASRock is going with the Phantom Gaming line. The color scheme is more neutral with blacks and greys and the minimal red accents add just enough to look great but won’t throw off a build that learns towards other colors. The default white lighting is pretty intense on the chipset but looks good on the rear I/O and audio areas, but don’t worry, you can change it from the BIOS before you even get going. The heatsink designs also look really nice and are subtly aggressive.
The VRM heatsink barely got above room temperature while overclocking and that’s on a test bench with very minimal airflow, so it’s obviously not only there for looks. Overclocking actually went really well, and ASRock has stuffed a little bit of smarts in the Phantom Gaming 9 for overclocking. We just picked a speed what we wanted to run at and the PG9 made it happen. We didn’t have to jack with voltages and a million other settings, and it didn’t go crazy on voltage to get there like many boards do. If you do have the urge to jump in a finesse some settings, ASRock has everything opened up to play with.
If overclocking is not really your thing, the Phantom Gaming 9 has really great performance out of the box, just turn it on and go. Speaking of going, having not one, not two, not three but FOUR network connections, including 2.5G LAN and 1.73Gbps Wireless. Plenty of high-speed storage options, plenty of USB ports, and just plenty of everything, what more could you need?
Good job ASRock!