ASRock Z690 Phantom Gaming-ITX TB4 review

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ASRock Z690 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB4 (DDR5)
DDR4 becoming as fast as DDR5

ASRock delivers a Mini ITX Z690 motherboard that is loaded with premium features and is DDR5 compatible. Armed with two M.2 slots and a plethora of speedy USB ports on the board, as well as the ALC1220 audio codec and integrated Wi-Fi 6E. Additionally, ASRock offers a proper VRM design. The ASRock Z690 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB4 offers premium performance and features on a mini-ITX architecture. The Z690 Phantom Gaming-ITX/rear TB4's panel cover and heatsink are both glossy black, with red accents on the board and within the ASRock and PG gaming emblems to distinguish them from the competition. Aside from that, ASRock boasts an 11-phase power delivery system with intelligent power stages, with the processor receiving power from a single ATX CPU power input.

Alder Lake and Z690

Z690 is the enthusiast chipset from Intel, and this motherboard is powered by it. It also marks the dawn of a new era; Intel's Alder lake processors are a wholly new and faster architecture. We have written a lot about it. The new processors will have energy and performance cores to balance power consumption in idle and load conditions. With the Alder lake platform, new features are brought to the table. DDR5 and PCIe Express 5.0 are among the first-ever for intel products.

BIG versus little 

As an alternative to Intel's previous releases, which focused solely on single-core and gaming performance, Alder Lake puts the company fully back in the multi-core ring, led by its squad of sixteen-core goliaths built on Intel's transistor-dense 10-nanometer manufacturing process. But this time, Intel delivers its own interpretation of the term BIG.little. We'll talk a little more about it on the following pages.    

ASRock Z690 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB4

Because this is a mini-ITX-sized motherboard, it only has one full-length PCIe slot, which supports PCIe 5.0 x16. Two PCIe 4.0 x4 M cards can be installed in it due to its compact form factor. You can connect three SATA ports, all of which are capable of supporting Intel RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays. There are two memory slots on the right-hand side of the motherboard, each of which can accommodate DDR5-6400 modules with a combined capacity of up to 64 GB. A single Thunderbolt 4 Type-C port offers USB 3.2 G2 Type-A connectors next to USB 3.2 G1 Type-A ports. The integrated audio consists of five 3.5 mm audio ports and one S/PDIF optical output, all of which are driven by a Realtek ALC1220 HD audio codec, which is used to deliver high-quality audio. The networking on the board is handled by an E3100G 2.5 GbE controller and a AX1675 Wi-Fi 6E CNVi, both manufactured by Killer. One HDMI 2.1 and one DisplayPort 1.4 visual outputs, as well as a clear CMOS and BIOS Flashback button, round out the rear panel's features. The board is compatible with Intel Core CPUs from the 12th generation. It's considered a high-end, top-notch board for small form-factor computer systems.


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