ASRock has quietly introduced one of the industry's first Intel Z590-based Mini-ITX motherboards with a Thunderbolt 4 port. The manufacturer positions its Z590 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB4 platform as its top-of-the-range offering for compact gaming builds for enthusiasts that want to have all the capabilities of large tower desktops and then some, so it is packed with advanced features.
The ASRock Z590 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB4 motherboard supports all of Intel's 10th and 11th Generation Comet Lake and Rocket Lake processors, including the top-of-the-range Core i9-11900K with a 125W TDP.
One of the main selling points of the Z590 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB4 motherboard is of course its Thunderbolt 4 port, which supports a 40 Gb/s throughput when attached to appropriate TB3/TB4 devices (or 10 Gb/s when connected to a USB 3.2 Gen 2) such as high-end external storage subsystems (in case internal storage is not enough on a Mini-ITX build) and can handle two 4K displays or one 8K monitor (albeit with DSC). Furthermore, the motherboard has five USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports on the back as well as an internal header to connect a front panel USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 port which supports transfer rates up to 20 Gb/s.
The platform relies on a 10-layer PCB and is equipped with a 10-phase VRM featuring 90A solid-state coils, 90A DrMOS power stage solutions, and solid-state Nichicon 12K capacitors to ensure maximum performance, reliable operation, and some additional overclocking potential. Interestingly, the motherboard's CPU fan header provides a maximum 2A power to support water pumps.
The Z590 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB4 also has a PCIe 4.0 x16 slot for graphics cards, two slots for up to 64 GB of DDR4-4266+ memory, two M.2-2280 slots for SSDs (with a PCIe 4.0 x4 as well as a PCIe 3.0 x4/SATA interface), and three SATA connectors. To guarantee the consistent performance and stable operation of high-end SSDs, ASRock supplies its own heat spreaders for M.2 drives that match its motherboard's design.
Being a top-of-the-range product, the ASRock Z590 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB4 naturally has support for addressable RGB lighting (using the ASRock Polychrome Sync/Polychrome RGB software) and has a very sophisticated input/output department that has a number of unique features, such as three display outputs and multi-gig networking.
In addition, the mainboard has a DisplayPort 1.4 as well as an HDMI 2.0b connector. Keeping in mind that Intel's desktop UHD Graphics has three display pipelines, the motherboard can handle three monitors even without a discrete graphics card. Meanwhile, integrated Intel's Xe-LP architecture used in Rocket Lake's UHD Graphics 730 has very advanced media playback capabilities (e.g., a hardware-accelerated 12-bit video pipeline for wide-color 8K60 with HDR playback), so it can handle Ultra-HD Blu-ray, contemporary video services that use modern codecs, and next-generation 8Kp60 video formats.
Next up is networking. The Z590 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB4 comes with an M.2-2230 Killer AX1675x WiFi 6E + Bluetooth 5.2 PCIe module that supports up to 2.4 Gbps throughput when connected to an appropriate router. Also, the motherboard is equipped with a Killer E3100G 2.5GbE adapter. The adapters can be used at the same time courtesy of Killer's DoubleShot Pro technology that aggregates bandwidth and prioritizes high-priority traffic, so the maximum networking performance can be increased up to 4.9 Gbps.
The audio department of the Z590 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB4 is managed by the Realtek ALC1220 audio codec withNahimic Audio software enhancements and includes 7.1-channel analog outputs as well as an S/P DIF digital output.
ASRock's Z590 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB4 motherboard will be available starting from April 23 in Japan, reports Hermitage Akihabara. In the Land of the Rising Sun, the unit will cost ¥38,000 (around $345) without taxes and ¥41,800 with taxes.