ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 9 Motherboard Review: Page 3 of 8

Posted by Damon Bailey on Friday, March 8, 2019 - 8:00am

A Closer Look

As our sample came as an OEM sample with no retail packaging, we’re going to skip normal packaging and unboxing section.

ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 9

The Z390 Phantom Gaming 9 is a standard ATX form-factor board based around Intel’s LGA 1151 socket and Z390 chipset.

ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 9

Intel’s 1151 socket sits near the center with the 12-phase power delivery system wrapped around the left and top sides. Four DDR4 DIMM slots sit to the right, and an M.2 slot hangs under the socket next to a PCIe x1. Three 4-pin fan headers can be found between the CPU and PCIe slots.

ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 9

The bottom half of the board has three Steel Slot PCIe x16 slots and two opened ended PCIe x1 slots. They are capable of X16/x0 or X8/X8 mode from the CPU lanes for the first two and the lowest one is PCIe x4 from the Z390 chipset. There are a total of three M.2 slots woven in between the PCIe slots, the lowest one is covered with a heatsink.

ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 9

Along the bottom of the board are your HD Audio header to the front panel, no less than three RGB headers, the Thunderbolt controller plug, a 4-pin fan header, a TPMS module connector, and a USB 2.0 header.

ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 9

The front corner has the POST code display, clear COMS jumper, built in power and reset switches, front panel I/O connections, another fan header,

ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 9

The rear of the board is pretty barren with only a few chips.

ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 9

Rear I/O is pretty much packed to the gills. You get an HDMI 1.4 and DisplayPort 1.2 for video, a dual personality PS/2 port, six USB 3.1 gen 1 (a max of 5.0 Gbps) and 8 channel audio with optical output. You also get two USB 3.1 gen 2 10gbps ports, twin Intel Gigabit LAN ports plus a Realtek 2.5G LAN, and a 2x2 Intel Wireless-AC Wifi plus Bluetooth 5.0 solution. Overclockers will enjoy the rear clear CMOS button in the corner as well.   

ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 9

The front edge of the board has eight SATA ports, a USB 3.1 connector, and two USB 3.0 headers, and the main 24-pin power.

ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 9

The top edge of the board has three 4-pin fan headers and the CPU’s 8-pin EPS and 4-pin auxiliary power connections.

ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 9

The VRM heatsinks are pretty neat with an asymmetrical pattern to them that flows with the red and grey accents on the board and cools the 12+2 phase VRM.

ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 9

The RTL8125AG chip on the back of the board runs the 2.5 Gigabit LAN port on the rear I/O panel. The other two LAN ports are Intel powered gigabit ran from i219V and i211AT chipsets respectively.

ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 9

The Hyper BCLK chip is responsible for the wide range of base clock adjustments available when overclocking.

ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 9

Interestingly, only one M.2 slot of the three on the board has a heatsink. Two screws later we get a look at the pre-applied thermal pad.

ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 9

Our non-retail sample still comes with the rear I/O shield, the WiFi antenna, and driver/utility disk.

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