The Intel Z490 Overview: 44+ Motherboards Examinedby Gavin Bonshor on April 30, 2020 10:00 AM EST
ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming 4, ac, ax & 2.5G
The ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming 4 is part of a series of four models which caters towards the entry-level market segment, with each board based upon the same design with silver heatsinks and a silver and black printed PCB. Each model from the Phantom Gaming 4 series on Z490 offers different networking capability. Everything else remains the same across all four PG4 models with two PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, six SATA ports, two full-length PCIe 3.0 slots and a Realtek ALC892 HD audio codec.
The different options available include one base model with Gigabit Ethernet, with another with Gigabit Ethernet plus Wi-Fi 5 support, another with Gigabit and a Wi-Fi 6 wireless interface, and a model with 2.5 G Ethernet. Everything else hardware-wise remains the same with two full-length PCIe 3.0 slots which operate at x16/+4, with three PCIe 3.0 slots. There are two PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, with six SATA ports; four right-angled and two straight angled. For memory, there are four slots with support for up to DDR4-4400 with a maximum capacity of up to 128 GB. ASRock is advertising the Z490 Phantom Gaming 4 and all its variants to include a 10-phase power delivery, which has an 8-pin and 4-pin pair of 12 V ATX CPU power inputs.
Starting off with networking, the base ASRock Phantom Gaming 4 model includes an Intel I219-V Gigabit Ethernet port, while the Z490 Phantom Gaming 4/ac (Wi-Fi 5) and ax (Wi-Fi 6) variants include a wireless interface. The ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming 4/2.5G includes a Realtek RTL8125BG 2.5 G Ethernet controller but doesn't include wireless connectivity. Across all four Z490 Phantom Gaming 4 models are one USB 3.2 G2 Type-C, one USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, two USB 3.2 G1 Type-A, and two USB 2.0 ports. There is a single HDMI video output, a PS/2 combo port, and three 3.5 mm audio jacks powered by a Realtek ALC892 HD audio codec.
The ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming series offers good value for money on paper, especially for users building an affordable gaming system featuring a single NVIDIA graphics card, or two supported AMD Radeon cards in single or two-way Crossfire. It has a budget controller set, but ASRock offers variety, all at a similar price point.
The base ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming 4 model has an MSRP of $150, while the Z490 Phantom Gaming 4/ac, while the ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming 4/2.5G has a price tag of $160, just $10 more for 2.5 G Ethernet. We currently don't have pricing for the Z490 Phantom Gaming 4/ac and ax models at this time.