ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 72019
Conclusion - Phantom Gaming Rev.2
The ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 7 is the latest addition to the Phantom Gaming lineup and is placed right in the middle. The ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 4 and 6 make up for the entry level while the Phantom Gaming 9 and X make up the high-end. The Gaming 7 is priced at $196 US, just shy of the $200 US mark. The Z390 market is very crowded at this price point but for $15 US more, you can get hands on the ASRock Z390 Taichi which I would definitely recommend over Gaming 7.
The reason is not that the Phantom Gaming 7 isn't a good board, it's just that the Taichi has more features to offer and is overall a solid board for the few extra you're paying for it. But if you're really on the edge with your budget, then the Gaming 7 is still a very decent option. The thing that got my main attention was the new design scheme which is a good distinction from the current Phantom gaming motherboards. If you take a look at the recent Taichi and Phantom Gaming lines, they would feel very similar but with the new Phantom Gaming line, the boards look more distinct and appealing at the same time.
It’s 10 Phase power delivery offers smooth power flow and remains consistent in overall stability and overclocking tests. The ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming series is built for high-tier memory support and DDR4-4300 support is great. I was able to booth up the Trident Z RGB memory kit fine at it’s rated speed of 3600 MHz (CL18) but given that there are higher clocked memory kits out in the market, they won’t be an issue for this motherboard either.
The whole feature set for this motherboard such as Realtek ALC1220 audio codec, a ton of USB 3.1 (Gen 1 / Gen 2) ports, dual M.2 ports and one with an M.2 heatsink is all a user would ever want. In terms of storage, you’d find 8 SATA III ports which are good enough for enthusiasts in addition to the PCIe based storage connectivity. The Dragon AIC 2.5G LAN offers great and fast networking experience although the software support could use a more modern update. One main downside of the motherboard is the lack of wireless connectivity and while there's an onboard M.2 WiFi slot, it is located right in the middle of the main PCIe x16 slots so routing an AIC through there could be an issue. Even the topmost M.2 SSD slot requires disassembly of the entire PCH heatsink to access it for installation.
Aside from that, there are lots of connectivity options such as the expanded storage options which are available on the board. The ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 7 is placed in a very crowded Z390 market place which has loads of options to select from but as far as this motherboard's unique points are concerned, the great design aesthetics, the 2.5Gb LAN port and the great overclocking capabilities at under $200 US make it a great option for Z390 based PC builders.
The ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 7 is placed in a very crowded Z390 market place which has loads of options to select from but as far as this motherboard's unique points are concerned, the great design aesthetics, the 2.5Gb LAN port and the great overclocking capabilities at under $200 US make it a great option for Z390 based PC builders.
- Revised Phantom Gaming Design
- Full Support For 8 Core Intel CPUs
- Excellent Design and Build Quality
- Excellent VRM Cooling With XXL Design
- Excellent Overclocking Performance
- High-Quality Components With 10 Phase IRDigital PWM
- Phantom Gaming 2.5G LAN
- Dual M.2 slots (full coverage heatsinks)
- Dual USB 3.1 (Type-A + Type-C) Ports
- Lots of USB 3.1 Gen 1 Ports
- Polychrome RGB LEDs System Looks Stunning
- Creative Sound Blaster 5 Audio (ALC1220 Codec)
- PCIe Steel Slots
- No Wireless Connectivity Options Included (Requires Add-in-card)
- Hard to access M.2 SSD and M.2 WiFi ports
- Software and bundled applications aren't much of use
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