As you know I love all things Mini-ITX, so today we’ll be taking a quick look at the ASRock Z590 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB4 motherboard. This motherboard features the Z590 chipset, and it’s compatible for all Intel 10th Gen (Comet Lake) and 11th Gen (Rocket Lake) Core Processors, and it can support memory speeds of upto DDR4-4266 (OC).
For a compact mini-ITX motherboard, it’s comes packed with some exciting features including … the Killer E3100G 2.5G LAN, Intel Gigabit LAN, Killer AX1675x 802.11ax(WiFi 6E) + BT 5.2, as well as Intel Thunderbolt 4 (Type-C). For storage, it comes with 3 x SATA3 ports, 1 x Hyper M.2 (PCIe Gen4 x4) and 1 x Ultra M.2 (PCIe Gen3 x4 & SATA3). Other features include the PCIe 4.0 x16 Steel slot, USB 3.2 Gen2 ports (5 rear and 2 front), ASRock Super Alloy, 7.1 CH HD Nahimic Audio and of course ASRock’s Polychrome Sync.
In my previous rant, I wasn’t impressed with Intel’s 11th Gen (Rocket Lake) processors, and here’s the reason why …
There’s one thing I just need to get off my chest … and it has to do with Intel’s Rocket Lake processors. It’s currently still on 14nm FinFET process, and has done so for the past 6 generations of Core processors spanning 5 years. The TDP is a massive 125W, and if you run Turbo Boost, the temperatures can easily hit 95+ degrees Celsius. Plus their so called flag-ship processor, the Core i9-11900K only has 8-Cores/16-threads. That’s 2 cores less from its predecessor, the i9-10900K which originally had 10-cores.
Anyway, back to the review …
Intel’s Z590 is currently their high-end chipset for enthusiasts, gamers and content creators. It now officially supports PCIE 4.0 and comes with plenty of PCIE lanes for adding components, like graphic cards and storage devices.
Take a look at the block diagram of the Z590 chipset below. You’ll notice that it offers up to 24 x PCIE 3.0 lanes, and for PCIE 4.0 lanes you get 1×16 lane 2×8 lanes for graphics or Intel SSD, and 1 x 4 lanes for Intel Optane memory. Officially it supports memory speeds of up to DDR4-3200 by default. And finally, the Z590 supports additional features such as Thunderbolt 4, Wifi 6, 2.5G LAN, Intel RAID storage, a load of USB 3.2 ports, HD audio and of course Intel’s Optane memory.
ASRock Inc. is established in 2002, specialized in the field of motherboards. ASRock strives to build up its own brand. With the 3C design concept, “Creativity, Consideration, Cost-effectiveness”, the company explores the limit of motherboards manufacturing while paying attention on the eco issue at the same time, developing products with the consideration of eco-friendly concept.
ASRock has been growing fast and become world third largest motherboard brand with headquarter in Taipei, Taiwan and branches in Europe and the USA. The young and vibrant company targets from mainstream to enthusiast MB segments for different kinds of users, owning reputation around the world market with its reliability and proficiency.
To test this motherboard, we’ll be using some pretty high-end components which includes an Intel Core i9-11900K, 16GB of Patriot Viper 4 Steel DDR4-4400, Patriot VP4300 1TB PCIE Gen4 SSD, and a Zotac GeForce RTX 2080. Sorry guys, I’m STILL unable to get hold of an RTX 30 series.
I’m expecting some decent scores from all of our benchmarks … that’s because we’re using some pretty high-end components. Let’s see how this tiny motherboard will perform in comparison with other Z590 motherboards on the market.
OK, let’s not waste any more time and dive straight in … we’ll start with the specifications and features of the ASRock Z590 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB4 Motherboard on our next page.
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