AMD’s high-performance Zen 2-based processors have opened up a new tier of performance to mainstream platform buyers. Key beneficiaries from the uptick in CPU performance are Mini-ITX and Small Form Factor (SFF) aficionados who can now squeeze a new level of compute performance into their mini PCs. ASRock’s X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 takes that compute powerhouse argument one step further by also throwing Thunderbolt 3 support into the mix.
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Despite featuring ‘gaming’ in the name, ASRock’s X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 motherboard is clearly geared towards users who want a small compute workstation. In addition to the obvious support of up to 16-core Ryzen 3000 processors, ASRock deploys a Thunderbolt 3 Type-C port capable of 40Gbps bandwidth, high-res display output, and up to 15W of power delivery. At 2-4x the speed of competing Type-C solutions that use a 10Gbps or 20Gbps connection, the desire for Thunderbolt 3 is obvious.
Aside from the flagship Thunderbolt 3 feature, you also get 2.4Gbps Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax support, plenty of USB connections, and a rear-mounted M.2 SSD slot. One notable feature is the LGA 115X CPU cooler mounting holes. This alleviates many cooling headaches to long-time SFF users who want to upgrade their system without buying a new heatsink.
With a healthy ten-stage power delivery solution and the usual array of RGB and integrated IO shield bonuses, how will ASRock’s X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 motherboard perform in our testing?
Features (information taken from the ASRock webpage):
- Supports AMD AM4 Socket Ryzen™ 2000 and 3000 Series processors
- Intel® Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax (2.4Gbps) + BT 5.0
- Intel® Gigabit LAN
- Supports DDR4 4533+ (OC)
- 1 PCIe 4.0 x16
- 7.1 CH HD Audio (Realtek ALC1220 Audio Codec)
- Supports Creative Sound Blaster™ Cinema 5
- 4 SATA3, 1 Hyper M.2 (PCIe Gen4 x4)
- 3 USB 3.2 Gen2 (2 Rear Type A), 4 USB 3.2 Gen1 (2 Front, 2 Rear)
- 1 Thunderbolt™ 3 Type-C
- ASRock Polychrome SYNC