The Z790 PG-ITX/TB4 motherboard is the highlight of our ASRock Z790 PG-ITX/TB4 Motherboard Review. It is among the latest offerings on the market supporting the Z790 chipset. And it is a powerful product for current PCs.
Motherboards under the Phantom Gaming series are robust but not as much as the flagship Taichi and AQUA models. Despite that, it is still efficient and perfect with all its power options and peripherals.
To learn more about the motherboard, continue reading our ASRock Z790 PG-ITX/TB4 Motherboard Review. It will provide you with everything you need to know about the product.
This review will discuss the motherboard design, features, functions, and specifications. And the most important – its performance.
ASRock Z790 PG-ITX/TB4 Motherboard Packaging
The Z790 PG-ITX/TB4 arrived for our ASRock Z790 PG-ITX/TB4 Motherboard Review. It shipped in a standard-looking flip-open cardboard box sturdy enough to secure the items inside the package.
Aside from the motherboard, the box has extra inclusions like a user manual and two SATA data cables.
Two M.2 SSD thermal pads and an ASRock WiFi 2.4|5|6GHz antenna are available. Plus, there are also three M.2 socket screws in the package.
ASRock Z790 PG-ITX/TB4 Motherboard Review – Design and Functionality
Continuing our ASRock Z790 PG-ITX/TB4 Motherboard Review, we will discuss the product design and functions. It sports a mini-ITX form factor measuring 170x170mm and features four mounting holes to install the chassis.
On the opposite side, you will find several controllers, ICs, and two M.2 drive slots in this area.
Its textolite is well-processed on all its soldering points. The sharp ends were not the only ones cut off, but everything was finely polished.
On the same side, the company installed an aluminium plate that helps remove heat from behind the PCB. It goes through the thermal interface to offer rigidity to the motherboard.
We will share the power supply materials and their variety of small components under the motherboard. It sports 10+1+1 phases with 105-A SPs DrMOS power supply. These are responsible for the CPU Vcore processor operating voltage.
One phase handles the SOC for internal display, while the other is for the VCC AUX.
Its rear IO has a total of eight USB ports, where two are USB 3.2 Gen 2×2. To note, both of these are Thunderbolt 4 Type-C ports. The other six are Type-A USB 3.2 Gen2 ports.
You will also find the WiFi antenna headers on the rear IO and the Realtek ALC-4082 two-plug audio stack + SPIDF. ASRock also included the Intel Killer 2.5GbE LAN port in this area.
The motherboard also has an HDMI and DisplayPort 1.4 for video outputs.
The motherboard features two DIMM slots to install memory modules. It also supports non-ECC unbuffered DDR5 memory while having a 64GB maximum memory capacity. Of course, the motherboard supports XMP profiles.
If you look at the DIMM slots, these have metal edgings for protection against interference and physical damage. Then its PCIe x16 slots feature stainless steel reinforcements to enhance durability.
The latter is vital if you often change your graphics cards, and the slot can better withstand bending loads. It usually occurs when installing heavy graphics cards.
Moreover, this kind of protection safeguards the slot from any electromagnetic interference.
Key Features of the ASRock Z790 PG-ITX/TB4 Motherboard
SPS (Smart Power Stage)
The Dr MOS design incorporates the recent SPS (Smart Power Stage) technology. It receives optimisation for monitoring the current temperature of each phase. It results in cleaner and smoother power to the CPU, optimised performance, and OC capacities.
10+1+1 Power Phase Design
The motherboard has sturdy components that offer smooth power delivery to the CPU. It also provides unparalleled overclocking potential and optimised performance with the lowest temperatures.
These are elements that everyone, from beginners to advanced gamers, would highly appreciate.
10 Layer PCB
The signal traces and power shapes from the 10-layer PCB allow memory overclocking with lower temperatures and improved energy efficiency. As a result, this motherboard can support the latest memory modules with the highest performance.
DDR5 Memory that Supports XMP and EXPO
ASRock never skimps on high-quality elements when manufacturing motherboards. The company uses low-loss materials, allowing you to take advantage of the enhanced memory overclocking performance of DDR5. It also has activated pre-tested profiles to ensure reliable performance.
Reinforced DIMM Slot
Having the surface-mounted DIMM slot reinforced onto the motherboard provides better strength and stable memory signals. As a result, it can increase the frequencies when overclocking the DRAM module.
The DIY-Friendly Layout of the ASRock Z790 PG-ITX/TB4 Motherboard
The unique electrical architecture of DDR5 DIMM makes its memory module prone to damage. To prevent this issue when removing or installing your memory, ASRock implemented a protection circuit onto the Z790 PG-ITX/TB4. The company also used this element for other DDR5 motherboards.
PCIe 5.0 with Surface Mount Tech
The PCIe 5.0 slot of the Z790 PG-ITX/TB4 uses SMT (Surface Mount Technology) instead of the conventional DIP. It boosts signal flow and maximises stability under high speed to support the capabilities of PCIe 5.0. This latest generation can deliver an impressive bandwidth of 128GBps and unleash the full potential of the latest high-end graphics cards.
Killer E3100 + AX1675
We also noticed the presence of this feature while writing our ASRock Z790 PG-ITX/TB4 Motherboard Review. It is ideal for competitive gamers and users who focus on performance.
Other than the Killler E3100 2.5G Ethernet, it also sports the WiFi 6E solution. The optimised detection and prioritisation engines provide an enhanced networking experience for multimedia and gaming applications.
Killer Doubleshot Pro
This feature lets you use the Killer Wireless and Killer Ethernet interfaces. Together, these will give you a maximum throughput of as high as 4.9GBps. It automatically uses the quickest network connection to get high-priority traffic.
Additionally, it guarantees that traffic will always stay on the fastest and most reliable link.
Thunderbolt 4 – USB4 Type-C
Thunderbolt 4/USB4 offers adequate versatility and speed to the leading USB-C, providing a simple and fast connection. The lightning-fast data can go as high as 40Gbps and allows connecting external monitors and USB devices.
Nahimic Audio makes your listening experience more engaging, whether you use a headset, headphones, or internal/external speakers. Your audio will be rich, vibrant, and full of detail.
Nahimic Audio uses powerful algorithms to guarantee noise-free communication and constant vocal level, regardless of the distance from your microphone. The engine clears the sound, lowers voice variation, and removes interference noise dynamically, resulting in less fatigue and better comprehension.
The onboard and addressable RGB headers of the Z790 PG-ITX/TB4 allow connecting compatible LED devices. These include CPU coolers, fans, LED strips, etc. Plus, you can sync POLYCHROME RGB Sync-certified accessories for unique lighting effects.
PCIe Gen4 x4 for SSD
The Z790 PG-ITX/TB4 can accommodate multiple M.2 storage devices. One can support PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD and perform two times faster than the previous generation. It can offer a lightning-fast data-transferring experience.
WiFi 6E 802.11ax
WiFi 6E uses the all-new 6GHz spectrum band to deliver increased WiFi capability for better and faster internet traffic. It also reduces latency while supporting service levels equivalent to 5G networks.
Looking at the product specifications in our ASRock Z790 PG-ITX/TB4 Motherboard Review, the motherboard uses the Intel Z790 chipset. It supports the 12th and 13th Gen Intel Core processors and integrates the Intel Xe Graphics Architecture.
Memory-wise, the motherboard has a dual channel DDR5 memory technology, two DDR5 DIMM slots, and supports XMP 3.0. The Z790 PG-ITX/TB4 uses the 7.1 CH HD audio with content protection and integrates Nahimic Audio.
ASRock also used a 2.5 Gigabit LAN 10|100|1000|2500MB/s. The company also used a wireless 802.11ax WiFi 6E module.
This motherboard sports a mini-ITX form factor with a 10-layer PCB. As we mentioned previously, the Z790 PG-ITX/TB4 measures 170x170mm. Moreover, the product supports RAID 0, 1, and 5 for SATA and M.2 NVMe storage devices.
To use the motherboard efficiently, it is compatible with Microsoft Windows 10 64-bit/11 64-bit.
USB Ports and Connectors
We listed the available ports and connectors on the motherboard to give you an idea of what it has.
Let us begin this list with the available USB ports:
- Two USB4 Thunderbolt 4 Type-C (rear)
- One USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C (front)
- Two USB 3.2 Gen1 ports (front)
- Two USB 2.0 (front)
- Six USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A (rear)
Remember that all its USB ports support ESD protection, which we think is convenient.
Now, here are the connectors you will see on the Z790 PG-ITX/TB4:
- An RGB LED header
- One addressable LED header
- A 4-pin CPU fan connector that supports fan power up to 12W
- A 4-pin CPU/water pump fan connector that supports fan power of up to 24W
- One 4-pin chassis fan connector supporting fan power up to 12W
- One 24-pin ATX power connector (hi-density power connector)
- An 8-pin 12V power connector (hi-density power connector)
- A front panel audio connector (15μ Gold audio connector)
- A USB 2.0 header that supports two USB 2.0 ports
- One USB 3.2 Gen1 header supporting two USB 3.2 Gen1 ports
- A Type-C USB 3.2 Gen2x2 header (20GB/s) on the front panel
- One clear CMOS button.
Hands-on with the ASRock Z790 PG-ITX/TB4 Motherboard
This part of our ASRock Z790 PG-ITX/TB4 Motherboard Review is where you will read about its performance. We used the motherboard for over a week to observe how it works under various situations.
But before looking at its performance, let us discuss its BIOS.
The BIOS for this motherboard is easy to use, and its layout sports a user-friendly design. You do not need to be tech-savvy to use it since it offers an EZ MODE for beginners.
The first time you start the system to use BIOS, press F2 to access its EZ MODE. This section lets you access standard functions like XMP configuration, hard disk boot, fan curve adjustments, etc.
Aside from adjusting these functions, you can also do hardware monitoring when necessary.
To shift to the Advanced Mode from EZ MODE, press F6. This section allows adjusting more detailed settings of the motherboard.
When you need to refer to standard information, you will find these on the main menu of Advanced Mode. In this section, you can find information like the BIOS version, processor details, etc.
Here are other tools you can find in Advanced Mode:
- Overclocking Tool Page
- CPU Settings to make adjustments to overclock the processor
- Load XMP settings within the memory settings to enable the XMP 3.0 single-key overclocking function
- Memory Information to view the EXPO and XMP-related setting files of its memory
- Voltage Parameter Setting
- Chipset Settings
- Thunderbolt-related Settings
- Tool-related Options
- Polychrome RGB to set lighting effects for the RGBs
- Hardware Monitoring Functions
ASRock Z790 PG-ITX/TB4 Motherboard Review Summary
ASRock updated its Z790 product line with the Z790 PG-ITX/TB4 mini-ITX motherboard. It has 10+1+1 power phases and a 105A power supply, making it suitable for demanding applications. This motherboard also has two Thunderbolt 4 Type-C ports, allowing for more expansion options on ITX hosts.
Aside from the USB4 ports and power design, it has three M.2 PCIe 4.0 slots. Another element we consider an outstanding addition to the product is the protection reinforcement (stainless steel) on its PCIe Slots and RAM. There is also its 10-layer PCB to mention.
Thanks to these excellent features, the motherboard can deliver outstanding performance. We did not experience any issues when we tested it for our ASRock Z790 PG-ITX/TB4 Motherboard Review.
These results left us happy and satisfied. It delivered a stable and fast performance with minimal lag while retaining low temperatures.
Overall, we highly recommend the Z790 PG-ITX/TB4 Motherboard. It has excellent features and dual Thunderbolt 4 ports, making it one of the best choices for a Z790 motherboard.
For more details about the Z790 PG-ITX/TB4 Motherboard, visit the official product page of ASRock.