The Bottom Line
- + Mini-ITX
- + AMD AM5 socket
- + DDR5 support
- + PCIe Gen 5
- + Price
- - No USB4
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Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
While AMD X670E had our focus initially, we have recently had a stack of AMD B650E motherboards land at the office. Two of these solutions use the ITX form factor, starting with the ASRock B650E PG-ITX. The Phantom Gaming line is a mid-range option in ASRock's portfolio, the PG-ITX being the only ITX motherboard from ASRock to use the AM5 socket.
Running down the specifications, we first have the AM5 socket, briefly mentioned above, and the B650 chipset. Power delivery includes a 10+2+1 design with 105A SPS phases. Memory support is over two slots, supporting DDR5 with speeds up to 6400MHz, and a max capacity of 64GB.
Expansion is slim, being an ITX motherboard, one PCIe slot supporting Gen5, and one Key E M.2 for Wi-Fi modules. Storage support includes SATA and m.2 with one Key M Gen5 and one Key M Gen 4, with SATA offering two 6GB/s connections.
Connectivity includes the Killer Suite up front with an E3100G handling the 2.5Gbe LAN and the AX1675 for Wi-Fi 6e. The Realtek ALC1220 chipset controls audio. USB support includes one Gen2x2 via internal header alongside two USB 3.2 Gen headers. The rear I/O contains four USB 3.2 Gen 2, one using Type-C.
The ASRock B650E PG-ITX carries an MSRP of $289.99 with a three-year warranty.
Packaging, Accessories, and Overview
The PG-ITX arrived in retail packaging.
On the rear, we have specifications along the bottom features listed above.
The PG-ITX includes a Wi-Fi antenna, SATA cables, and reading materials.
Getting to the board, the PG-ITX has a fanned heatsink for the Gen5 m.2 slot and two memory slots up the right side.
The back side includes an m.2 slot at the bottom and eDP 1.4 connection near the CPU socket.
The rear I/O starts with LAN up top next to two USB 3.2 ports. Further down, we have two lightning gaming ports, HDMI, and four USB 2.0. rounding it out, we have 3.5mm audio jacks and Wi-Fi antenna connections.
Running around the board, we have front panel audio tucked in the far left, two fan headers, and the PCIe slot.
Around the corner, we have two SATA connections followed by chassis USB 3.2 Gen1 and 2.
Moving towards the top, we have the 24-pin power connection.
Across the top of the board, we find multiple fan headers alongside RGB connections, the 8-pin CPU power far right.
UEFI, Software and Test System
The BIOS on the PG-ITX follows previous designs we have seen from ASRock. We have a unique theme for this board that follows the PG-ITX theme. As for options, we start with the main menu, offering CPU build info along with installed memory.
Next up, we move into Tweaker, where you will find all overclocking controls for the board, including basic controls for CPU and memory. Slipping to the advanced menu, you can configure CPU options in the top menu, and further down, we can set up onboard devices and storage. Further down in the Advanced menu, you will find AMD overclocking controls, where you will discover PBO.
The software includes Phantom Gaming Tuning, the primary menu offering presets for the board.
OC Tweaker allows you to fine-tune the motherboard within Windows.
Additionally, users can customize fan profiles.
Motherboard Testing Supporters
We deploy a set of Sabrent DDR5 that we have tuned to run 6000MHz at CL30.
Sabrent supports our storage testing with the Rocket 4 Plus.
AMD Motherboard Test System
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 7700X
- RAM: Sabrent Rocket DDR5 4800MHz 32GB CL30 (buy from Amazon)
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090Ti (buy from Amazon)
- OS Storage: Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 1TB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: AORUS P1200W PSU (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 11 (buy from Amazon)
Cinebench R23 and AIDA64
Cinebench is a long-standing render benchmark that has been heavily relied upon by both Intel and AMD to highlight their newest platforms during unveils. The benchmark has two tests, a single-core workload that will utilize one thread or 1T and a multi-threaded test that uses all threads or nT of a tested CPU.
R23 is where we began our testing. The PG-ITX landing 1934 single thread and 19225 multi-thread.
Crossmark turned in a score of 2238, our current highest score.
In AES, we picked up 188656.
SHA3 tapped in at 5278.
Memory latency landed at 64.7 for the PG-ITX.
UL Procyon, 3DMark, and CrossMark Benchmarks
UL Procyon Suite
The UL Procyon Office Productivity Benchmark uses Microsoft Office apps to measure PC performance for office productivity work.
The Photo Editing benchmark uses Adobe® Lightroom® to import, process, and modify a selection of images. In the second part of the test, multiple edits and layer effects are applied to a photograph in Adobe® Photoshop®.
The Video editing benchmark uses Adobe® Premiere® Pro to export video project files to standard formats. Each video project includes various edits, adjustments, and effects. The benchmark score is based on the time taken to export the videos.
In our first Procyon workload, we see a score of 9149 from the PG-ITX.
We picked up 10671 in Photo.
CPU Profile started with a single thread score of 1120. Sixteen threads were showing 9419.
Timespy offered a score of 18941.
Cyberpunk 2077 shows 183 FPS at 1080p and 146 FPS at 1440p, both using the high preset.
Storage Benchmarks and Final Thoughts
3DMark Storage Benchmarks
UL's newest 3DMark SSD Gaming Test is the most comprehensive SSD gaming test ever devised. We consider it to be superior to testing against games themselves because, as a trace, it is much more consistent than variations that will occur between runs on the actual game itself. This test is, in fact, the same as running the real game, just without the inconsistencies inherent in application testing.
In short, we believe this is the world's best way to test an SSDs gaming prowess and compare it against competing SSDs. The 3DMark SSD Gaming Test measures and scores the following:
- Loading Battlefield V from launch to the main menu.
- Loading Call of Duty Black Ops 4 from launch to the main menu.
- Loading Overwatch from launch to the main menu.
- Recording a 1080p gameplay video at 60 FPS with OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) while playing Overwatch.
- Installing The Outer Worlds from the Epic Games Launcher.
- Saving game progress in The Outer Worlds.
- Copying the Steam folder for Counter-Strike Global Offensive from an external SSD to the system drive.
The storage score on the PG-ITX was 3329, on par with previous boards.
During our storage test, we logged the temps of our SSD to see how well the board thermal solution handles the heat load. For the PG-ITX, ASRock has included a fanned solution, so our Rocket 4 Plus never goes above 39c.
The power draw from this board was quite a bit lower than our X670E solutions, idle at 94W, peaking at 196W.
With very few options for ITX motherboards on AMD's new AM5 socket, the PG-ITX offers a mid-range solution with solid expansion through PCIe Gen5 on both its PCIe slot and first m.2 slots. Further, this board supports a second NVMe solution on the back of the motherboard and Key E Wi-Fi that's upgradable.
Connectivity was rather good, with lightning gaming ports for lower latency keyboard and mouse and plenty of additional USB 3.2 for storage and other peripherals. Integrated display connectivity includes the rear I/O HDMI port and eDP 1.4 connection on the back of the motherboard, while audio comprises two 3.5mm jacks and optical audio output. If we were to nitpick connectivity on this board, we would have certainly liked to see USB4 on the rear I/O.
The testing was good. The PG-ITX performed with our previous B650 Live Mixer and most of our X670E solutions; this included a Crossmark of 2238 and equally good Procyon scores of 10671 in photo workloads and 9149 in Office. Gaming was also quite good, making this a prime candidate for an SFF gaming rig, we scored 18941 in Timespy with our 7700X/RTX 3090 Ti combo, and running Cyberpunk 2077 on this, we saw 183 FPS at 1080p and 146 FPS for 1440p.
As for pricing, the B650 PG-ITX sits at the higher end of the market pricing at $289.99, with the B650I AORUS Ultra coming in at $20 cheaper and B650I ROG Strix coming in at $40 higher.