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ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 7 Motherboard Review: Fast Ethernet Slips Under $200

How We Test

We discussed the similarities between the Z390 Phantom Gaming 7 and Z390 Extreme4’s circuit boards at length, but the Extreme4 doesn’t have 2.5GbE. That premium feature pits the new board against ASRock’s Z390 Phantom Gaming 9. Not wanting to overemphasize the ASRock brand, we also included the closest-matching boards from MSI and Gigabyte.

Comparison Products

The Z390 Phantom Gaming 7 has a far narrower range of voltage settings than its pricier sibling, but that should be a problem for a test system that won’t be pushed past 1.305V CPU core or 1.355V DIMM. These could reflect a reduction in load capacity (where more voltage causes the device to pull more current), but ASRock did advertise its 60A chokes as somehow beneficial.

Test System Components

SoundIntegrated HD audio
NetworkIntegrated gigabit networking
Graphics DriverGeForce 399.24

Benchmark Settings

Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
PCMark 8Version 2.7.613Home, Creative, Work, Storage, Applications (Adobe & Microsoft)
3DMark 13Version 4.47.597.0Skydiver, Firestrike, Firestrike Extreme Default Presets
SiSoftware SandraVersion 2016.03.22.21CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Cryptography, Memory Bandwidth
DiskSPD4K Random Read, 4K Random Write128K Sequential Read, 128K Sequential Write
Cinebench R15Build RC83328DEMOOpenGL Benchmark
CompuBenchVersion 1.5.8Face Detection, Optical Flow, Ocean Surface, Ray Tracing
Application Tests and Settings
LAME MP3Version 3.98.3Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3: Command: -b 160 --nores (160Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.9.9Sintel Open Movie Project: 4.19GB 4K mkv to x265 mp4
BlenderVersion 2.68aBMW 27 CPU Render Benchmark, BMW 27 GPU Render Benchmark
7-ZipVersion 16.02THG-Workload (7.6GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=9"
Adobe After Effects CCRelease 2015.3.0, Version 13.8.0.144PCMark-driven routine
Adobe Photoshop CCRelease 2015.5.0, 20160603.r.88 x64PCMark-driven routine (light and heavy)
Adobe InDesign CCRelease 2015.4, Build 11.4.0.90 x64PCMark-driven routine
Adobe IllustratorRelease 2015.3.0, Version 20.0.0 (64-bit)PCMark-driven routine
Game Tests and Settings
Ashes of the SingularityVersion 1.31.21360High Preset - 1920 x 1080, Mid Shadow Quality, 1x MSAACrazy Preset - 1920 x 1080, High Shadow Quality, 2x MSAA
F1 20152015 Season, Abu Dhabi track, RainMedium Preset, no AFUltra High Preset, 16x AF
Metro: Last Light ReduxVersion 3.00 x64High Quality, 1920 x 1080, High Tesselation, 16x AFVery High Quality, 1920 x 1080, Very High Tesselation, 16x AF
The Talos PrincipleVersion 267252Medium Preset, High Quality, High Tesselation, 4x AFUltra Preset, Very High Quality, Very High Tesselation, 16x AF

Image Credits: Tom's Hardware

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  • g-unit1111
    I really like this board and can't wait to see the review of the X570 version. The one trend that I do not like is the giant M2 covers, I feel like that could get really cumbersome in the long run. But this does look like a solid product.
    Reply
  • NightHawkRMX
    Bringing pro features to mainstream. Like it.
    Reply
  • B99RUO
    I'm not 100% sure but this one looks like yet another lie from mobo manufacturers. is this a proper 10 phase power board? With temps like that i seriously doubt it. It looks like the classic doubled components phases. This should be advertised as 4+2. That explains the poor O/C (that is a PRO feature) and the huge VRM temps (vrm cooling is another PRO feature). Led's are not a PRO feature. Apart from the post code .... and 100+ deg on the vrm will make that post code light up often enough ...

    I'm not 100% sure on the phases as i can't find a clear pcb pic anywhere but judging by the Phantom series of boards (all with crappy vrm, in no way PRO) and the huge temperatures it pulls, this is an entry level 4+2 phase board, good for a maximum of six cores and preferably no OC ...
    It's place in ASrock's lineup suggest the same thing, average to entry level board masked up with LED's and 2 WIFI ants
    No way is this a value proposition when for around 30-45USD more you can get the Z390 Taichi (not the ultimate) and that there is a proper board ...*as per pricing in my country
    Reply
  • Crashman
    B99RUO said:
    I'm not 100% sure but this one looks like yet another lie from mobo manufacturers. is this a proper 10 phase power board? With temps like that i seriously doubt it. It looks like the classic doubled components phases. This should be advertised as 4+2. That explains the poor O/C (that is a PRO feature) and the huge VRM temps (vrm cooling is another PRO feature). Led's are not a PRO feature. Apart from the post code .... and 100+ deg on the vrm will make that post code light up often enough ...

    I'm not 100% sure on the phases as i can't find a clear pcb pic anywhere but judging by the Phantom series of boards (all with crappy vrm, in no way PRO) and the huge temperatures it pulls, this is an entry level 4+2 phase board, good for a maximum of six cores and preferably no OC ...
    It's place in ASrock's lineup suggest the same thing, average to entry level board masked up with LED's and 2 WIFI ants
    No way is this a value proposition when for around 30-45USD more you can get the Z390 Taichi (not the ultimate) and that there is a proper board ...*as per pricing in my country
    Phase doubling wouldn't explain why the chokes were so hot, because those are on the other side of the MOSFETs.
    Reply