Introduction and Motherboard
Fast, Mysterious, and Unbeatable is ASRock's motto for their Phantom Gaming Alliance. Over the past few years, the computer hardware component market has seen a great deal of expansion in regards to vendors producing products they had not historically produced. Motherboard vendors were creating everything from coolers to cases under their gaming brands.
ASRock decided to take a different approach and create an alliance of vendors who specialize in their own respective areas. They teamed up with CoolerMaster, T-Force, GEIL, NZXT, and INWIN to produce an ecosystem of hardware that is thoroughly tested to be compatible. For this guide we will use a Phantom Gaming motherboard.
The motherboard is the backbone of every single system, it determines what CPU you can use, what speed RAM you can use, controls your fans, provides RGB LED support, and controls expansion. In this case, our fan headers offer up to 1.5A of current, and there are dedicated water cooling pump headers that are designed to support water pumps.
We are using a Cooler Master cooler and our case has three fans, so we need a minimum of six fan headers. We also have many RGB LED devices, and in this case, our motherboard supports both addressable RGB LEDs and RGB LEDs. ASRock offers Phantom Gaming Alliance motherboards for the Z390, B365, X399, and X570 chipsets.
The motherboard comes with WIFI antenna, IO shield (although the Phantom Gaming 7 comes with an integrated IO), an SLI bridge, four SATA cables, and driver DVD and manual.
We find three NICs on this motherboard, two are Gbit NICs and one is a 2.5Gbit NIC. We get a Wireless AC card rated up to 1.73Gb/s. A clear CMOS button can be found on the rear IO as well as six USB 3.0 ports, a USB 3.1 Type-C port, a USB 3.1 type-A port, gold plated 7.1 audio outputs with S/PDIF out, a PS/2 port, an HDMI port, and a DisplayPort.