ASRock Z790 Nova WiFi Has Six M.2 NVMe Slots, Reinforced GPU Support

ASROCK Phantom Gaming Z790 Nova WiFi Motherboard
(Image credit: ASROCK)

ASRock's newest Phantom Gaming Z790 Nova WiFi motherboard has six — that's right, six — M.2 NVMe slots. Needless to say, this motherboard should keep storage-lovers happy for a while. 

ASRock Phantom Gaming Z790 Nova WiFi Product Briefing

(Image credit: ASROCK)

The ASRock Phantom Gaming Z790 Nova WiFi motherboard is a standard ATX motherboard using the Intel Z790 chipset supporting the LGA 1700 socket-based 12th, 13th and 14th gen Intel CPUs.

It packs 20+1+1 90A SPS Phases, an SPS Power Stage, and 20K black capacitors with a 20,000-hour MTBF rating. The motherboard uses an eight-layer PCB with a 2oz copper layer in between. To further support its VRM configuration, it has two XXL heatsink blocks with one using a cooling fan and connected together to a heatpipe for a bit of added heat exchange when needed. 

M.2 and SATA III Storage Ports

ASRock Z790 Nova WiFi's M.2 layout

(Image credit: HKEPC)

Six full-size M.2 slots in a motherboard sounds like a lot to squeeze in. ASROCK limits the motherboard with two PCIe x16 slots (PCIe 5.0 x16 supporting up to x16 mode and PCIe 4.0 x16 slot supporting x4 mode) and one PCIe 3.0 x1 slot at the end. The vertical Key-E slot is for the type-2230 WiFi 7/ BT 5.4 with MU-MIMO module. This makes way for multiple secondary M.2 slot options. 

All the M.2 NVMe slots support type 2260 and 2280 drives. The first slot supports PCIe 5.0 drive giving 128 Gb/s throughput and the second supports PCIe 4.0 up to 64Gb/s via the CPU lanes. Via the chipset's PCIe bandwidth, three more slots operate at PCIe 4.0 mode with the one using SATA III and PCIe 4.0. HKEPC provides a better look at the motherboard's layout. 

Additionally, there are 4x SATA III slots. The M.2 NVMe and the SATA III ports support RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5 and RAID configuration.

Users should know that the M.2_1 will downgrade the PCIe1 bandwidth to x8 mode.

Re-Inforced Support to Prevent Motherboard Bending and GPU Sagging

The Z790 Nova WiFi also provides a 'backbone,' or support for heavier graphics cards: a large metal backplate is pre-installed to prevent bending. The SMT type PCIe 5.0 slot uses 15μ gold contact ensuring ideal signal flow as per ASRock's findings. It is further reinforced with extra anchor points and a stronger latch. To balance the GPU's weight, it includes a graphics card holder kit, which is installed to the chassis with two types of screws for the motherboard stand-offs (which have a bracket to hold the graphics card in place).

Other Notable Features

The onboard audio uses a Realtek ALC4082 codec with R/L audio channel in individual PCB layers, 2.5Gigabit Killer 3100 and 802.11be 2x2 WiFi 7+ BT 5.0 module. The rear I/O houses up to 9 USB Type-A ports (2x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 5x USB 3.2 Gen 2) and a USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C port.

The motherboard also includes a TPM header, a Thunderbolt AIC connector for Thunderbolt AIC cards, three temperature headers, an RGB and three addressable RGB headers with an ARGB splitter cable included to split one header into three.

ASRock also manages to put in a CMOS reset switch, a Power/ Restart switch and a Debug code indicator. To boot, ASRock says it provides high-density 2x CPU 8-pin and 24-pin connectors to provide a more stable connection and reduce the risk of damage under heavy overclocking. The motherboard is able to carry forward Intel XMP and AMD EXPO profiles.

Newegg is currently the only online retailer selling this motherboard, which costs $299.99, but it should be available at Amazon and at other retailers soon. 

Roshan Ashraf Shaikh
Contributing Writer

Roshan Ashraf Shaikh has been in the Indian PC hardware community since the early 2000s and has been building PCs, contributing to many Indian tech forums, & blogs. He operated Hardware BBQ for 11 years and wrote news for eTeknix & TweakTown before joining Tom's Hardware team. Besides tech, he is interested in fighting games, movies, anime, and mechanical watches.

  • Amdlova
    290 for six nvme and a graphics at 4060 level lol nops
  • toffty
    Why are all the pci express slots vanishing? Start including x4 slots and let me choose to include a m.2 board or other boards
  • thestryker
    Really don't like it that many motherboard manufacturers have decided to split the PCIe 5.0 lanes to have that "well you can do PCIe 5.0 M.2" checkbox. This wouldn't be so bad if they were more up front about it, but none of them are. Appreciate the author pointing it out here.

    As for PCIe slots on motherboards due to the size of video cards they've mostly ditched them on consumer boards. The Asus W680 board is the best layout I've seen, but technically that's a workstation board.
  • coromonadalix
    Can't wait for a 12 sockets loll
  • Co BIY
    M.2 should be installed on edge in Desktops. All it takes is a new mounting plate.
  • 1_rick
    "two PCIe x16 slots (PCIe 5.0 x16 supporting up to x16 mode and PCIe 4.0 x16 slot supporting x4 mode)"

    Too bad they didn't wire the second one to x8 at least, so you could've gone PCIe 4 8/8.