ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac Motherboard Preview

ASRock's Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac motherboard should be a powerhouse board for the 9900K.

@StevenBassiriTT
Published Mon, Oct 8 2018 11:16 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 6:57 PM CST

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac Motherboard Preview 01 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 27 IMAGES

Today an embargo has lifted that allows us to show you up-close shots of Z390 motherboards. We are taking a look at one of ASRock's latest mini-ITX motherboards, that is designed to be high-end and appeal to power users who want a small practical machine. Let's take a look at the Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac, and yes, Phantom replaces Fatal1ty in regards to ASRock naming.

Specifications

ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac Motherboard Preview 02 | TweakTown.com

The Fatal1ty Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac features two M.2 slots, new WIFI, Intel LAN, Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0, USB 3.1, and SATA6Gb/s.

Pricing

The Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac is brand new; we don't have a price.

Packaging and Fatal1ty Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac Overview

Packaging and Overview

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The box embraces ASRock's new marketing, and packaging is quite good.

ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac Motherboard Preview 05 | TweakTown.com

The accessory package includes two SATA6Gb/s, IO shield, WIFI antenna, M.2 screws, case badge, postcard, driver DVD, and manuals.

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ASRock put in three fan headers. The CPU fan header is 4-pin PWM and is circled in red; it supports up to 1A. The other two circled in blue are DC/PWM mode headers with support for up to 2A each, and they are capable of supporting water cooling pumps. The UEFI and ASRock's A-Tuning program offer control over all headers. The motherboard carries a straightforward design aesthetic; black and gray. The back of the motherboard doesn't have much on it, but there is an M.2 slot back there.

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The rear IO panel features clear CMOS button, WIFI antenna connector, PS/2 keyboard/mouse, DisplayPort, HDMI 2.0, 4x USB 3.1 type-A (but it might be a typo on their end since they are all blue and no re-drivers), USB 3.1 type-C (Thunderbolt 3 capable), two USB 3.0 ports, Gbit LAN, and 7.1 gold-plated audio with S/PDIF out.

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At the rear of the motherboard and on the top-side we get Ultra M.2 slots that support up to x4 PCI-E 3.0 and SATA.

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The motherboard has a USB 3.0 internal header and USB 2.0 internal header, four SATA6Gb/s ports, and front panel headers on the right side of the motherboard. At the top of the motherboard, we find out 8-pin power connector.

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We find both an RGB LED header and an addressable RGB LED header. The CPU VRM heat sink uses a, and it has a decent amount of weight to it.

ASRock Fatal1ty Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac Circuit Analysis

Circuit Analysis

ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac Motherboard Preview 15 | TweakTown.com

The Fatal1ty Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac shows us the goods with the heat sinks removed!

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The VRM is in some sort of a 7 phase configuration. The VRM is either in a 5+2 phase configuration or a 7 phase configuration where the iGPU is powered by one of the smaller converters found under the CPU socket. I could probe around and will to find out, but the motherboard is at the lab, and I am writing this at home, just hours before I have to travel to Intel's launch event. Even in a 5+2 phase configuration, the CPU VRM is very strong since each power phase is the ISL99227 smart power stage with direct metal contact rated up to 60A, they are very good power stages, some of the best. They are controlled by an ISl69138. Output capacitors are rated 12K hours, and the inductors are 60A.

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The memory VRM is a single stage that uses Fairchild dual-N channel MOSFET FDPC5030.

ASRock Fatal1ty Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac Analysis Continued

Fatal1ty Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac Circuit Analysis Continued

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The audio solution consists of a Realtek ALC1220 rated up to 120dB and supports an integrated headphone AMP. The Texas Instruments NE5532 amplifier is used to increase audio quality at the internal header, and we find gold capacitors to help improve audio as well.

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The NIC is an Intel i219V, and the WIFI NIC is an Intel Wireless-AC 9560NGW rated up to 2x3 1.733Gbps.

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Thunderbolt 3 is from the Intel JHL6240 Thunderbolt 3 controller; it's a low power 1.2W single port part that connects to the chipset through two PCI-E 3.0 lanes. The type-C sport supports up to 3A as part of PD 2.0 specifications, and the Texas Instruments TPS659832 type-C port controller.

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A Mega Chips MCDP2800BC is used for HDMI 2.0. The nuvoton N76E885AT20 is used for RGB LED control.

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The nuvoton NCT6791D is the main SuperIO controller. A single 128Mbit BIOS ROM is found on the motherboard.

We will have the second part of this review when the NDA date is reached.

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

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Steven went from a fledgling forum reader in 2003 to one of the internet's brightest tech stars by 2010. Armed with an information systems degree, a deep understanding of circuitry, and a passion for tech, Steven (handle Sin0822) enjoys sharing his deep knowledge with others. Steven details products down to the component level to highlight seldom explained, and often misunderstood architectures. Steven is also a highly decorated overclocker with several world records.

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