ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX TB3

Well-known in recent times for its impressive mini-ITX motherboard, the ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX TB3 includes a very solid feature set. The ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX TB3 joins a small handful of small form factor X570 models at launch but looks to stand-out from the crowd with a major feature; a Thunderbolt 3 Type-C connector on the rear panel.

Following in line with the rest of its premium X570 product stack, ASRock has equipped the board with a hefty looking 10-phase power delivery, and official support for DDR4-4533 memory across two available slots with a total capacity of up to 64 GB. A single full-length PCIe 4.0 x16 slot is located at the bottom of the board, with a single PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slot, and just four SATA ports. The networking is handled by an Intel Gigabit LAN port, while the Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax wireless interface is controlled by the Killer AX1650 interface with support for BT 5 devices.

On the rear panel alongside the single Thunderbolt 3 Type-C connector which is the highlight of the board, the ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX TB3 also includes two USB 3.1 G2 Type-A and two USB 3.1 G1 Type-A ports. This is contradictive on the official specifications that were given to us at Computex which stated this model has two USB 3.1 G2 Type-A ports on the rear, as well as two USB 2.0 ports which also seem to be missing from the rear panel. On the display model at Computex, there is a clear CMOS button, a DisplayPort input and HDMI video output, with a PS/2 combo port, and five 3.5 mm color coded audio jacks with a S/PDIF optical output due to the use of a Realtek ALC1220 HD audio codec.

The ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX TB3 mini-ITX motherboard looks to stand out from other brands mini-ITX offerings with the Thunderbolt 3 which has been a mainstay of its desktop-focused small form factor models of recent times. A solid looking 10-phase power delivery similar to that of the ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac model we reviewed makes this even more appealing to users looking to push out the overclocks on the new Ryzen 3000 series processors. The X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX TB3 has an MSRP of $300, which is by no means cheap in comparison to its other mini-ITX models of late.

ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming 4 ASRock X570 Steel Legend
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  • shing3232 - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - link

    3950X power requirement is the same as 3900X,and 3900X works on B350. I am pretty sure it would work on X370 with Bios update. Reply
  • Irata - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - link

    I think the combination of complaining about expensive boards + wanting to get the highest end (most expensive) 16C Ryzen is a bit unusual.

    The good thing is that there is choice ? Want to go the cheap route ? Go for 3xx board. Want the "bestestest" - now you can buy a $1000 board to go with your Ryzen CPU. And everything in between is also covered.
    Reply
  • eva02langley - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - link

    It is more related to the active cooling for the chipset that raise my concerns. If the fan die, it can become really troublesome fast. Reply
  • abufrejoval - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - link

    Unless you happen to have an older Ryzen or Carrizo lying around, there could be a problem to get older boards with an up-to-date BIOS.

    Had similar issues a year ago when RAM was so expensive, I had to recycle DDR3 for Kaby Lake CPUs using Z170 motherboards that only has Skylake support. Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge and Haswell CPUs I had galore, but Skylake only as notebooks. I wound up buying a Sky Lake i3, which I then returned for a full refund after I had updated the motherboards.

    Didn't feel good about it, wasn't given a choice either.

    These days some dealers offer a BIOS upgrade service, but at €40 it pretty much eats the 3. + 4. generation benefit.

    I want 10Gbase-T or rather NBase-T. Currently that means mostly Aquantia 107, of which I have 4 already. Those are €88 a piece, but when I look at these x570 prices, they charge a 300% premium for what's essentially a low-cost chip.

    And then I hear rumors, that there is actually 10Gbit Ethernet or in fact 100Gbit Ethernet already on-die, both in the CPU chiplet and the x570 chipset variant: For IF Ethernet is simply another protocol to run on the fabric and all you need is PHY.

    It is rather unfortunate that sane CPU prices, sane SSDs and sane RAM only mean that motherboard vendors are hoping to cash in big-time.

    I can see how they would be hungry. But I don't have 'waste money' around to feed them.
    Reply
  • The_Assimilator - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - link

    Asus boards have a "BIOS flashback" feature whereby if you plug in a flash drive with a new BIOS to a specific USB port and press a button on the IO panel, the board will auto-flash itself with that BIOS - no CPU is needed, just power to the board. Reply
  • Targon - Thursday, July 11, 2019 - link

    Almost all MSI motherboards have BIOS flashback, and the Asus ROG Crosshair series also has BIOS flashback where you don't need a CPU or RAM in order to flash the BIOS. Most Asus motherboards do NOT have BIOS flashback capability. Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - link

    when they get PCI4 support Intel's boards will be equally more expensive than the previous generation. Maintaining that high frequency a signal across more than a cm or 2 requires building boards to a much higher and more expensive standard or active signal booster chips along the path.

    PCIe 5 will be far worse on that front. Estimates I saw earlier this year were that PCIe4 would add as much as $100 to the price of a board; with the cheapest x570 boards being almost $100 more than the cheapest x470's on Newegg and the average (excluding the crazy halo ones) looking like it's at least $50 higher that doesn't seem too far off. That article (ee times asia???) was predicting that PCIe5 could end up adding as much as $400 above the cost of a 3.0 capable board; which if true probably means it will end up server only or with only a narrow strip between the CPU and chipset build up to that standard. (Assuming the latter possible anyway: If the cost challenge is more preventing external interference than in needing higher quality materials a local board segment fudge might not be feasible.)
    Reply
  • abufrejoval - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - link

    PCI4 and 5, or for that matter IF will trigger rethinking motherboard layouts and form factors.

    "The [Enthusiast] motherboard" dates back to 1981 or the dawn of the IBM Personal Computer, and physics are catching up everywhere, even on the motherboard.

    Distance has a huge impact on speed, latency and power, so 'flat' and 'square' are both the first obstacles and the first who need to compromise. In the future every milimeter of distance between the die carrier and your point of interest will need to be paid for, in energy/time or extra switching silicon.

    Linear extrapolations of the past have little use, when the barriers are exponential.
    Reply
  • TheUnhandledException - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - link

    Even if you keep the board a square moving the CPU and chipset to the center of the board and having PCIe slots on either side would cut the trace to the furthest slots in half. Reply
  • The_Assimilator - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - link

    Hopefully at the same time we can ditch 12V as the rail to rule them all, so that we can bring the amperages in current systems back down to sane levels. Reply

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