ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 7 Motherboard - Close Up

The ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 7 is styled in black and silver with red accents across the PCB and PCH cover. This is a mainstream product that retails at $195.99 US so expect lots of features packed inside this motherboard. The motherboard comes in the standard ATX form factor.

Compared to the Phantom Gaming 9, Phantom Gaming 7 has a very different design scheme. The reason being that the 2019 Phantom Gaming lineup has been upgraded to make way for the X570 series motherboards that will be introduced shortly. The new Phantom Gaming motherboards are equipped with a more sleek design with a futuristic touch rather than the aggressive design on the previous Phantom Gaming boards.

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The board uses the LGA 1151 socket to support Intel Core processors. The socket is compatible with Intel's 8th & 9th Generation core family. The socket has a protective cover on top of it that points out the exclusivity with Coffee Lake CPUs and refrains users from running an older 6th or 7th generation CPU as they won't work with these motherboards at all.

Next to the socket are four DDR4 DIMM slots which can support up to 64 GB dual channel memory. These slots are rated to support XMP profiles up to 4300 MHz (OC Plus). Each slot is labeled, making it easier to install DIMMs in the proper orientation.

The ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 7 packs a 10 phase super alloy power design. The design is packed with 2 phase power for the DRAM and uses Premium 60A power chokes, Premium Memory Alloy Chokes, Combo Caps and Nichicon 12K Blackcaps that deliver an unprecedented amount of stability and overclocking capabilities.

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As you can see, the VRMs are getting ample cooling from the two metallic heatsinks that are beefy in terms of overall size. This motherboard is designed for overclocking so expect stable operation of the electrical circuitry when this board is running.

If you look in closely, the heatsink solution comes with heat pipe cooling that runs across the entire length of the dual heatsinks. ASRock is also using an aluminum-based heatsink under the IO cover which can provide even better thermal operation under load.

The CPU is supplied power through an 8+4 pin power connector configuration. This will feed the CPU with up to 225W of power. Most Intel CPUs will be shipping with TDPs under 100W but that changes when users overclock since that changes the power limit based on applied voltages and clock speed.

Expansion slots include three PCI Express 3.0 x16, three PCI Express 3.0 x1 and dual M.2 slots. The board can support three-way multi-GPU (CrossFireX / SLI) and 2-way NVLINK. The M.2 slots are rated to support NVMe PCIe gen3 x4 and Intel Optane series memory.

ASRock is using their PCIe steel slot design on the sides of the expansion slots which provides protection to some extent. It adds more retention and shearing resistance by reinforcing the slots with metal plates. Aside from adding more protection, they do look really sweet.

Both M.2 featured on the motherboard are equipped with the M.2 Armor heatsink that comes with a large metallic plate, acting as a heatsink and further includes a thermal pad that can sustain higher temperatures when storage devices (M.2 SSDs) are stressed for long durations.

The PCH is cooled off by a large metallic heatsink which runs next to the SATA ports. The PCH heatsink has embedded RGB LEDs and provide a good light show for those that are interested in RGBs trend. You can also turn off the LEDs entirely through ASRock’s bundled software if you are not a fan of such LEDs.

Storage options include eight SATA III ports rated to operate at 6 GB/s. These can support eight different storage devices at once. There’s also a USB 3.0 front panel connector. Many fan headers and jumpers can be found beneath the storage ports.

ASRock is using their Sound Blaster Cinema 5 audio system for audio which is a combination of hardware, software audio solutions. 7.1 CH HD audio with the latest Realtek ALC1220 audio codec, individual PCB layers for R/L audio channel, 120dB SNR DAC. In addition to that, there’s also a NE5532 headset amplifier for front panel audio connector that supports up to 600 Ohm headsets.

The full list of connectors on the motherboard is listed as follows.

  • 1 x SPI TPM Header
  • 1 x Power LED and Speaker Header
  • 2 x RGB LED Headers
  • 1 x Addressable LED Header
  • 1 x CPU Fan Connector (4-pin)
  • 1 x CPU/Water Pump Fan Connector (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)
  • 3 x Chassis/Water Pump Fan Connectors (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)
  • 1 x 24 pin ATX Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
  • 1 x 8 pin 12V Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
  • 1 x 4 pin 12V Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
  • 1 x Front Panel Audio Connector (15μ Gold Audio Connector)
  • 1 x Thunderbolt AIC Connector (5-pin)
  • 2 x USB 2.0 Headers (Support 4 USB 2.0 ports) (Intel Z390) (Supports ESD Protection)
  • 2 x USB 3.2 Gen1 Headers (Support 4 USB 3.2 Gen1 ports) (ASMedia ASM1074 hub) (Supports ESD Protection)
  • 1 x Front Panel Type C USB 3.2 Gen1 Header (Intel Z390) (Supports ESD Protection)
  • 1 x Performance Mode / Easy OC Header
  • 1 x Dr. Debug with LED
  • 1 x Power Button with LED
  • 1 x Reset Button with LED

The motherboard offers two LAN ports, one is an Intel Gigabit Ethernet powered (1Gb) while the other is a 2.5 Gigabit LAN powered by the Dragon RTL8125AG chipset. The motherboard also has cutouts for dual antennas on the rear mounted I/O shield. Although the motherboard does not include built-in wireless functionality, an M.2 WiFi slot is provided for users to integrated their own (compatible) WiFi cards for extended functionality.

Finally, we have the I/O panel which includes the following ports:

  • 2 x Antenna Ports (on I/O Panel Shield)
  • 1 x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Port
  • 1 x HDMI Port
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.2
  • 1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A Port (10 Gb/s) (ReDriver) (Supports ESD Protection)
  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C Port (10 Gb/s) (ReDriver) (Supports ESD Protection)
  • 4 x USB 3.2 Gen1 Ports (Intel Z390) (Supports ESD Protection)
  • 2 x RJ-45 LAN Ports with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
  • HD Audio Jacks: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone (Gold Audio Jacks)
9.5
Wccftech Rating

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.

Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • 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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