Recently, ASRock introduced their first Z590 mini-ITX board featuring Thunderbolt4 ports – this is the Z590 Phantom Gaming ITX TB4 motherboard. Today, we’re checking how efficient it is in our ASRock Z590 Phantom Gaming ITX TB4 motherboard review.
The board supports the latest 11th and older 10th Gen Intel Core processors. And because of its efficiency, it’s considered a high-end, top-notch board for SFF PC builds.
Other than the Thunderbolt4, the Z590 Phantom Gaming ITX TB4 sports a Hyper M.2 PCIe Gen4x4 slot. Plus, it has a cooling armour solution which makes it even better. The board’s PCIe 4.0 x16 slot is guarded by ASRock’s Steel Slot Gen4 to readily aid heavy graphics cards.
If you think this board might be a good addition to your build, continue reading our review to learn more.
Let’s begin our ASRock Z590 Phantom Gaming ITX TB4 motherboard review by looking at its package and contents.
The motherboard came in a typical-looking ASRock package that’s compact and small, just like how a mini-ITX box should be. The front displays a huge logo of Phantom Gaming, while below it is the name of the board.
ASRock is written on the upper-left corner of the box, while its base displays the product’s key features.
Inside, the motherboard comes with other items and accessories. These include an instructional manual, postcards, a software setup guide, and a driver’s disc. In addition, there’s a pack of SATA data cables, Velcro cable straps, two WiFi antennas, and M.2 screws for the SSDs.
Now, our ASRock Z590 Phantom Gaming ITX TB4 motherboard review will discuss the board’s design and functions.
The Z590 Phantom Gaming ITX TB4 itself is extremely compact and measures 17 x 17cm like other mini-ITX boards. All of its slots, connectors, and ports are positioned in the right places that allow easier and more convenient access.
It comes with an RGB LED header (12V), as well as one Addressable LED header (5V).
Similar to the I/O hood, it appears solid and sports a small yet nicely-made mesh grille with PG’s logo. You’ll also see an 8-pin ATX power connector close to the motherboard’s top left-hand portion. The usual 24-pin ATX power connector is present in this section as well.
Two DIMM slots are available to support memory speeds that reach up to DDR-4 4266 (OC). Aside from these, you’ll find two M.2 slots for SSDs as well.
One can be found along the motherboard’s rear supporting the PCIe Gen3. The other is set beneath the fully-covered heatsink on the board’s front. To note, this M.2 slot supports the PCIe Gen4.
Additionally, you’ll get a total of three SATA3 connectors for extra hard drives.
The board features a variety of ports for its connectivity. These include the DisplayPort, five USB 3.2 Gen2, HDMI, and the Thunderbolt4 type-C.
It has a clear CMOS button, Killer E-3100G 2.5G LAN port and antenna connectors. These are for the Killer AX-1675x 802.11ax + BT 5.2. Lastly, a collection of audio connectors are present for the 7.1 HD audio.
Key Features of the ASRock Z590 Phantom Gaming ITX TB4 Motherboard
This section of our ASRock Z590 Phantom Gaming ITX TB4 motherboard review will discuss the product’s key features.
Thunderbolt4 technology brings higher speed and versatility to the most advanced USB-C. With this feature, the motherboard offers simple and fast connectivity. It speeds up data transfer by up to 40 Gbps and connects up to five Thunderbolt devices with one cable.
Clever Access Memory
The Z590 Phantom Gaming ITX TB4 motherboard comes with Clever Access Memory, which takes advantage of the GPU memory’s potential. It expands the data channel to remove bottlenecks, resulting in increased performance.
Polychrome RGB is a comprehensive interface that lets you control your motherboard’s RGB lighting. Here, you can also customise other RGB devices compatible with the software too. In addition, syncing the ASRock motherboard with other Polychrome RGB Sync-certified devices is possible with this interface.
Killer Ethernet E-3100 and WiFi 6E AX1675x
Killer Ethernet is made for competitive gaming and demanding uses. And this ASRock motherboard comes with the E3100 2.5G Ethernet and WiFi 6E solution. These enhance detection and prioritisation engines to deliver an ultra-fast networking experience.
Killer DoubleShot Pro
Killer DoubleShot Pro allows the simultaneous utilisation of Killer Ethernet and Killer Wireless interfaces. As a result, you will have a maximum throughput of up to 4.9 Gbps. It automatically uses high-speed network connection for high priority traffic that will be placed on the fastest link.
The Killer DoubleShot Pro has numerous benefits. First is the maximum speed, allowing your system to use all network adapters simultaneously.
Another benefit is the smart prioritisation engine that categorises and prioritises high-priority traffic like online games and media streaming. By doing these, Killer DoubleShot Pro makes the fastest network interface handle prioritised traffic.
Finally, Killer DoubleShot Pro utilises the Killer Control Centre 2.0 to give you maximum control. Here, you can monitor and manage the network connections that your apps are utilising.
PCIe 4.0 Hyper M.2 SSDs
ASRock Z590 Phantom Gaming ITX TB4 motherboard supports the next-gen PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSDs. With that, the board is capable of performing two times faster than the previous generation, giving a lightning-fast experience.
Additionally, the M.2 SSD protection provides stability and longevity. The completed M.2 armour solution helps in making the SSDs run at lower temperatures.
Reinforced Steel Slot [PCIe 4.0 Version]
The PCIe 4.0’s reinforced steel slot provides additional anchor points and a stronger latch. It also ensures stability when you install your GPU.
Nahimic Audio is a unique technology integrated into the ASRock Z590 Phantom Gaming ITX TB4 motherboard. It provides rich, detailed, and crisp audio that makes your listening experience more engaging and immersive.
With this technology, you’ll have superior quality audio whether you use a headset, headphones, or speakers.
Another feature for this board’s audio is the Sound Tracker, which indicates the directions where predominant sounds come from. Each sound is properly positioned on a radar in 360 degrees for a fully immersive in-game audio experience.
Dual Graphics Outputs
The ASRock Z590 Phantom Gaming ITX TB4 motherboard comes with the two most used connectors for high-quality graphics. With DisplayPort and HDMI, you’ll have more graphics output options.
This board supports HDMI 4K 60 Hz, which will work excellently with larger bandwidth and increased frame rate. This will result in more fluid and less blurry motion.
Post Status Checker
The Post Status Checker is an easy troubleshooting tool that allows you to quickly find the source of a problem. It shows the VGA, DRAM, CPU, and BOOT operation when you start the system.
This Super Alloy motherboard from ASRock has a premium 90A power choke, 90A Dr.MOS, and Nichicon 12K black caps. These are 100% Japan-made and are considered as conductive high-quality polymer capacitors.
Not only that, but the board also comes with I/O armour, a matte black PCB, high-density glass fabric PCB, and a 10-layer PCB.
Water Pump Header
This feature isn’t your regular CPU fan header since it supports water pumps too. The header offers a total of 2A power to support popular water pumps that are available today.
You can adjust the water pump’s voltage to get increased cooling performance while having minimal noise.
Use Triple Monitors with the ASRock Z590 Phantom Gaming ITX TB4 Motherboard
Enjoy more graphics with ASRock Z590 Phantom Gaming ITX TB4’s triple monitor support. You can choose up to three display interfaces from the board’s rear I/O to connect the monitors. And the good thing is you can use these simultaneously without additional graphics cards.
Full Spike Protection
The ASRock Z590 Phantom Gaming ITX TB4 motherboard’s full spike protection keeps your components safe from voltage spikes. With that, you won’t have to worry about your system’s sensitive components that may malfunction immediately due to power surges.
ASRock’s Live Update & APP Shop is made for your convenience. Here, you’ll find various downloadable apps and support software. This is also where you can optimise and update your motherboard with ease.
Let’s focus on the motherboard’s specification in this part of our ASRock Z590 Phantom Gaming ITX TB4 motherboard review.
ASRock Z590 Phantom Gaming ITX TB4 Motherboard’s Unique Features
The Z590 Phantom Gaming ITX TB4 has a couple of unique features like ASRock’s USB 4.0 Thunderbolt4 type-C port. There’s a front panel Type-C USB 3.2 Gen2x2 header (20Gb/s) and 3.2 Gen2 Type-A port (10Gb/s).
One of the highlights of this motherboard is the inclusion of the Killer 2.5G LAN. There’s also the Killer 802.11ax WiFi 6E and the DoubleShot Pro. Of course, ASRock integrated their full-coverage M.2 heatsink, Hyper M.2 (PCIe Gen4x4) and PSC (post-status checker).
They even added the Full Spike Protection for all audio, USB, and LAN ports. With that, your computer will always be protected against EDS or lightning damages.
The CPU and Chipset
For CPUs, the ASRock Z590 Phantom Gaming ITX TB4 motherboard supports the 10th Gen Intel Core processors. It also works excellently with Intel Core’s 11th Gen CPUs.
It sports a Digi-Power design while featuring a 10-Power Phase design as well. Plus, it supports Intel’s Turbo Boost Max 3.0 technology and their K-Series unlocked CPUs. When it comes to the chipset, the motherboard uses an Intel Z590.
Test System Specifications
For our review we are using the following test system setup:
Hands-on with the ASRock Z590 Phantom Gaming ITX TB4 Motherboard
This is the part of our ASRock Z590 Phantom Gaming ITX TB4 motherboard review that focuses on the board’s performance. Here, we’ll share how it fared and if it’s as good as what they claim.
The ASRock Z590 Phantom Gaming ITX TB4 uses the BIOS P1.40. It has an “Easy Mode” that displays the current CPU and board settings. Some of these include the temperature, voltage, plus fan & memory speed.
If you want to go for more options, head to the “Advanced Mode”. In this mode, you’ll get to adjust a variety of settings like the CPU ratios, voltages, memory speed, and more. If you choose XMP profiles for your memory to run at DDR-4 4000 speeds, you won’t have any issues.
Next in our ASRock Z590 Phantom Gaming ITX TB4 motherboard review is the board’s performance.
The board’s XMP profiles worked excellently, and we loved that we could simply slip in the RAM without any issues. Once we were able to slot it in, the Z590 Phantom Gaming ITX TB4 ran it at full speed.
Overall, the Z590 Phantom Gaming ITX TB4 was efficient, and it performed flawlessly without any problems. It packs a ton of great features, and overclocking was good.
As we end our ASRock Z590 Phantom Gaming ITX TB4 motherboard review, we’re sharing a rundown of this product.
The ASRock Z590 Phantom Gaming ITX TB4 is an excellent mini-ITX board for enthusiasts and modders. It can support the latest 11th Gen Intel Rocket Lake processors and PCIe Gen 4.0 standards. And with its size, it has all the excellent features you’ll find in a full-size ATX motherboard.
Most importantly, we had a great experience using the ASRock Z590 Phantom Gaming ITX TB4 motherboard. It delivered great performance throughout our tests, and we didn’t experience any issues with it.
Currently, ASRock has more than 25 mini-ITX boards in their catalogue for this year. And when it comes to mini-ITX boards for Intel and AMD chipsets, they’re among the best on the market. With that, it’s no surprise that the Z590 Phantom Gaming ITX TB4 is a winner with its specs and performance.
Overall, we highly recommend the ASRock Z590 Phantom Gaming ITX TB4. It’s an excellent no-compromise choice if you’re looking for a mini-ITX motherboard based on Intel Z590. If you want this board for your build, check out the company’s store locator for authorised retailers in your area.