The X399 chipset was launched greater than a yr in the past and noticed new life with the discharge of the second era Threadripper CPUs. There have been a number of additions to the motherboard lineups since then however they’ve been few and much between. As we speak we’ve got ASRock’s newest addition to their Threadripper line, the X399 Phantom Gaming 6. This motherboard seems to supply most the whole lot that the opposite boards do however is available in on the lowest worth available on the market. Let’s take a better take a look at ASRock’s price range X399 motherboard and see the way it handles itself in our testing.
- 1 Specs and Options
- 2 Retail Packaging and Equipment
- 3 Meet the ASRock X399 Phantom Gaming 6
- 4 UEFI BIOS and Overclocking Software program
- 5 Check Setup and Efficiency
- 6 Energy Consumption
- 7 Conclusion
- 1 Specs and Options
- 2 Retail Packaging and Equipment
- 3 Meet the ASRock X399 Phantom Gaming 6
- 4 UEFI BIOS and Overclocking Software program
- 5 Check Setup and Efficiency
- 6 Energy Consumption
- 7 Conclusion
Specs and Options
The X399 chipset on the Phantom Gaming 6 will help Threadripper CPUs as much as 180 W TDP which incorporates the 12 and 16 core CPUs from each generations. With solely a 6+2 part energy supply system, these Dr. MOS VRM are cooled by ASRock’s XXL Aluminum alloy heatsinks related by a warmth pipe. It simply doesn’t have the backing for the demand that a 32 core CPU would placed on it, however probably with the shrink to 7 nm for the subsequent era the CPU help might be expanded to incorporate extra cores. The team at HotRate helped a lot in further research into the specs.
As with different X399 motherboards, the Phantom Gaming 6 additionally helps as much as 128 GB of RAM in quad-channel together with ECC modules with speeds as much as 3400 MHz. Reminiscence help has been drastically expanded because the launch of the unique Threadripper CPUs nevertheless it’s nonetheless a good suggestion to purchase RAM modules that point out AMD help.
This board has a complete of three PCIe Gen Three.zero enlargement slots, all of that are full size and full bandwidth at x16 because of the abundance of PCIe lanes from the Threadripper CPU. This enables as much as Three-way SLI or Crossfire X with all playing cards receiving full x16 bandwidth.
For storage, the Phantom Gaming 6 has eight SATA3 ports which help RAID0, RAID1, RAID10, AHCI, Scorching Plug, and Native Command Queuing. ASRock has additionally included three M.2 connectors which can accommodate each NVMe and SATA based mostly M.2 modules.
There’s no scarcity of USB connectivity on this board both with a complete of 18 out there. These are damaged down into one Sort-A and one Sort-C USB Three.1 Gen2 on the rear I/O panel, eight USB Three.1 Gen 1 on the rear panel with two onboard headers supporting Four extra ports. There are solely 4 USB 2.zero connections obtainable on the Phantom Gaming 6 by means of two headers on the motherboard.
Shifting on to LAN connectivity, the Phantom Gaming 6 has one Intel I211AT Gigabit port and one Realtek Dragon 2.5 Gigabit port providing greater than double the traditional LAN bandwidth. ASRock has additionally included an M.2 Sort-E connector for an add-in WiFi and Bluetooth card however this isn’t included with the board.
Audio is dealt with by the Realtek ALC 1220 audio codec supporting 7.1 channel HD encompass sound. The audio is bodily separated from the remainder of the board with the left and proper audio alerts touring via totally different layers on the PCB for cleaner sound. ASRock is utilizing Nichicon high-quality gold audio caps and a separate Texas Devices NE5532 premium headset amplifier for the entrance panel. They’ve included gold-plated rear panel connections and a further “right-angle” entrance audio header to assist in wire administration.
Additionally included is one legacy PS/2 port on the rear I/O defend for mouse and keyboard help with out the necessity for USB drivers, fairly handy when making an attempt to put in Home windows 7 for example.
Eight x SATA3 (6 Gbps) ports (Help for RAID0, RAID1, and RAID10), NCQ, AHCI, and Scorching Plug
Three x M.2 PCIe Three.zero x4 slots and M.2 SATA3
1 x Intel I211AT Gigabit (10/100/1000) Ethernet Port
1 x 2.5 Gigabit LAN 10/100/1000/2500 Mb/s (Dragon RTL8125AG)
1 x M.2 Key “E” supporting sort 2230 WiFi/BT modules (not included)
2 x USB Three.1 Gen2 (1 Sort-C, 1 Sort-A)
12 x USB Three.1 Gen1 (Eight Sort A, Four via header)
Four x USB 2.zero (header)
Helps Home windows 10 64 bit
Legacy Home windows Help
We’ve additionally included an inventory of options sourced from the ASRock web site:
Dr. MOS design options the newest SPS (Sensible Energy Stage) know-how. It’s optimized for monitoring present and temperature of every part, thus delivering smoother and neater energy to the CPU with enhanced efficiency and OC functionality.
In comparison with conventional chokes, ASRock’s premium 60An influence chokes successfully make the saturation present as much as 3 times higher, thus offering enhanced and improved Vcore voltage to the motherboard.
Additional giant aluminum alloy heatsinks that successfully take away warmth from the MOSFET and chipset in order that your entire system might carry out extra secure.
Supreme 12Okay black capacitors with lifespans of no less than 12,000 hours. In comparison with different counterparts on high-end motherboards that merely have lifespans of round 10,000 hours, ASRock utilized Nichicon 12Okay Black Caps that provide 20% longer lifespans and supply extra stability and reliability.
A mixture of 820uF and 100uF capacitors. Collectively these capacitors present clearer, environment friendly and extra responsive CPU Vcore energy, and overclockers might obtain greater scores.
Excessive-Density Glass Material PCB design that reduces the gaps between the PCB layers to guard the motherboard towards electrical shorts brought on by humidity.
A brand new mysterious matte black and copper shade scheme to match the distinguished elements on ASRock’s high-end motherboards.
Along with the built-in RGB illumination, it additionally options onboard RGB headers and an addressable RGB header that permit the motherboard to be related to suitable LED units comparable to strip, CPU followers, coolers, chassis and so forth. Customers can also synchronize RGB LED units throughout the Polychrome RGB Sync-certified equipment to create their very own distinctive lighting results.
ASRock Stay Replace & APP Store is designed on your comfort. We offer numerous apps and help software program for customers to obtain. It’s also possible to simply optimize your system and hold your motherboard updated with ASRock Reside Replace & APP Store.
Retail Packaging and Equipment
The packaging follows the Phantom Gaming theme of purple, black, and silver sporting the massive Phantom Gaming emblem throughout the entrance. We additionally discover a bit of data pertaining to the CPU socket and help, chipset, and multi-card help. The rear of the field reveals extra detailed info on the options included in addition to an image of the rear I/O panel. The retail package deal additionally contains a handy carrying deal with.
As soon as inside we see that ASRock has completed an ideal job in defending the motherboard from unintentional delivery injury. Contained in the anti-static bag, we discover the Phantom Gaming 6 nestled right into a foam shell which is secured at 4 corners by cable ties so that you’ll want a pair of cutters to get it free.
Included with the motherboard are the standard fast begin information and driver CD, a software program setup information, and 4 M.2 securing screws. ASRock has additionally included an SLI HB bridge and a WiFi bracket for routing the antennae if putting in an M.2 Wi-Fi card.
Meet the ASRock X399 Phantom Gaming 6
Within the first full shot of the Phantom Gaming 6, we discover the PG colour scheme of purple, silver, and black. The selection of utilizing a “matte” black PCB provides it a darkish slate gray look contrasting properly with the black heatsinks and RAM slots. The one space illuminated with RGB LEDs is the PCH heatsink which bears the Phantom Gaming emblem. ASRock has included a few RGB headers on this motherboard considered one of which is addressable permitting builders to customise their look.
The absence of any plastic shrouding on the board is barely noticeable because of the XXL heatsink which does a reasonably good job of absolutely masking the rear I/O part giving it a shroud like look. Shifting down the board we’ve the three full-length PCIe slots coated with “ASRock Steel” and one of many three storage M.2 slots will get a heatsink. There’s one further M.2 slot to the left of the highest PCIe slot for a Wi-Fi/BT module.
Flipping the Phantom Gaming 6 over we will see that the PCIe Gen3 slots are all absolutely wired for x16 performance. Between the decrease two PCIe slots is the Nuvoton Tremendous I/O chip and a Nuvoton MCU for the LED management. Mid-board on the proper aspect is the Realtek Dragon LAN IC, aside from that it’s the again of a motherboard, not a lot else to notice right here.
A Nearer Look
As we will see, the Phantom Gaming 6 doesn’t have a whole lot of extras. I assume to assist maintain the pricing low however it does have every little thing it must drive a 16-core Threadripper. That large TR4 socket takes up plenty of prime actual property with its 4094 pins and doesn’t depart lots of room, add within the eight reminiscence slots for quad-channel and it’s a full home.
ASRock has used their XXL Aluminum Alloy heatsinks joined by a warmth pipe to chill the CPU and SOC energy supply sections. Between the 2 heatsinks, we discover the twin Eight-pin 12 V EPS connectors. To the left within the image under we now have two of the PWM fan headers labeled for the CPU and proper beside these is among the RGB LED headers for add-in LED strips.
Shifting on to the decrease half of the Phantom Gaming 6 on the left aspect we discover the M.2 Key “E” for WiFi/BT and immediately under is the audio part. The audio consists of the Nichion Wonderful Gold capacitors with the Texas Devices NE5532 high-speed audio Op Amp IC close to the decrease left Nichion cap. Wanting up only a bit to the left is the Realtek ALC 1220 audio codec IC. On the backside of the board two separate entrance panel audio ports, one is within the extra conventional orientation and the second is about at 90° to the board.
Shifting our means throughout the underside of the motherboard we’ve got two extra RGB LED connections one among which is addressable, a few PWM fan headers, TPM header, and the entrance panel header. There’s a pleasant addition to the Phantom Gaming 6 on this space which is the onboard energy, reset, and CLR CMOS buttons. Very handy when working from a bench desk as we do. We additionally discover two USB 2.zero headers and one of many USB Three.1 Gen1 headers, the opposite one is situated on the aspect of the motherboard close to the primary energy connection.
Via the middle of the board, we have now the three PCIe Gen3 X16 slots sporting their “ASRock Steel” to assist with EMI and shearing from heavy graphics playing cards. Nestled on this space are the three M.2 slots for storage. All three can help PCIe based mostly drives as much as Eight cm (sort 2280) with the very prime one beneath the heatsink capable of deal with the longer 11 cm (sort 22110). Solely the decrease M.2 to the suitable of the motherboard, instantly above the facility and reset buttons, will settle for each PCIe and SATA based mostly drives.
Taking a look on the again panel connections the very first thing that catches our eye is that good previous PS/2 port for older mice and keyboards. We additionally discover 10 USB ports, eight USB Three.1 Gen1, and of every Sort-A and Sort-C USB Three.1 Gen2. The black LAN port connects to the Intel I211 AT Gigabit ethernet and the pink one is for the Realtek Dragon 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet. On the finish of the I/O panel, we’ve the 7.1 channel gold plated HD audio connections and one SPDIF.
Operating kitty-corner throughout the Gaming 6 we now have extra storage connections. There’s a complete of eight SATA3 6 Gbps ports right here with help for RAID10, RAID0, and RAID1.
The 6+2 part energy supply part on the Phantom Gaming 6 appears a bit mild which explains the CPU limitations however throughout my testing, I had zero points with warmth or throttling even whereas overclocked. ASRock has used excessive high-quality 60 A Dr.MOS energy levels which combine the excessive/low MOSFETs and driver into one cool operating environment friendly package deal. These are direct phases as properly no doubling or splitting with six phases devoted to the CPU and two for the SOC portion of the CPU. These are managed by two separate AMD SVI2 compliant PWM controllers from Intersil the 7-phase ISL69147 and Four-phase ISL69144. Asrock additionally incorporates 60 A premium chokes and Nichion 12Okay Black Caps providing as much as 20% extra longevity with larger stability and reliability. As proven within the pictures under, the XXL heatsink makes good contact with the facility bits for max cooling.
Under is a slideshow of a number of the ICs on the ASRock X399 Phantom Gaming 6
UEFI BIOS and Overclocking Software program
The Phantom Gaming 6 BIOS has a reasonably commonplace format with all of the sections throughout the highest of the display. This configuration makes navigation to the required space out there on the click on of a mouse. The UEFI BIOS opens to the Principal web page which shows details about the system’s specs such because the CPU mannequin and velocity, reminiscence configuration, and BIOS model.
The OC Tweaker part is sort of thorough with all the primary choices wanted for establishing RAM and overclocking the CPU. RAM was so simple as setting the XMP, however ASRock features a subsection right here for guide manipulation of the RAM timings if one is feeling adventurous. By altering the CPU and Voltage setting to guide, it opens up all the required choices wanted to overclock the CPU such because the multiplier, CPU and SOC voltages, in addition to LLC settings for each. The ASRock UEFI additionally has a small graph that may seem in the appropriate column to assist with LLC settings. Motherboards from totally different companions aren’t the identical on this respect. The ASRock requires a decrease setting to maintain the voltage nearer to what has been set in BIOS the place others boards would require a better setting. This makes the visible assist ASRock provides fairly useful.
Shifting on we’ve got the Superior part which incorporates quite a few choice for the motherboard akin to storage, ACPI, and switches for the onboard audio and PS/2 port. We even have the AMD CBS part which has all of the choices for the CPU itself. That is the place customers will discover the facility financial savings, core management, and reminiscence choices. There are numerous choices in this part however most customers won’t ever use them.
The hardware monitoring part stories present temperatures, voltages and fan speeds. It additionally consists of an in depth fan management part for all 5 of the PWM headers.
Included within the slideshow under are footage of the totally different BIOS sections in addition to subsections.
Monitoring/Overclocking Software program – Phantom Gaming Tuning Utility
The included Phantom Gaming tuning utility software program has quite a lot of interfaces. Customers are capable of change the Home windows Energy Plan settings from the operation mode display or get system vitals like voltages and temperatures from the System Info display. The utility additionally has an “auto-tune” and “performance mode” neither of which look like supported on the X399 platform or this board. Perhaps the auto features don’t work, however the potential to manually manipulate CPU frequency and all relative voltages from the OC Tweaker part do. ASRock has additionally included a fan management web page to regulate the cooling setup referred to as Unbelievable Tuning.
I’ve additionally included a couple of footage from the Sound Blaster Cinema 5 software program. It’s fairly simple for establishing speaker, headphone, and sound choices.
Check Setup and Efficiency
Right here we take a barely totally different strategy to CPU testing with ours based mostly on a number of Hwbot.org benchmarks since that’s what we’re recognized for, overclocking and benchmarking. We use real-world testing as properly with Cinebench, x265, POV-Ray, and 7Zip in an effort to give readers a good suggestion of the overall efficiency of the product examined.
Thanks exit to EVGA for offering the 750 W G3 Energy Provide to energy the system and Toshiba OCZ for the 480 GB TR200 SSD storage operating the OS, benchmarks, and video games.
We’ll carry out our regular set of benchmarks which check rendering, reminiscence efficiency, and single/multi-threaded CPU efficiency. For 2D benchmarks, we’ll use SuperPi 1M and 32M, wPrime, and Y-Cruncher (HWBOT Model). For rendering it’s Cinebench R11.5 and R15. Reminiscence efficiency is checked towards the AIDA64 check suite. For encoding, we use x265 (HWBOT Model) and PoV Ray. A extra real-world check is included in 7zip. Testing is carried out with the CPU at inventory and the reminiscence velocity is 3200 MHz.
AIDA64 – Reminiscence Bandwidth and Throughput
AIDA64 – CPU Checks
AIDA64 – FPU Exams
Actual World Exams
Pi and Prime Based mostly Exams
The ASRock X399 Phantom Gaming 6 carried out simply as anticipated simply buying and selling blows with the ASUS ROG Zenith Excessive. There was just one outlier within the AIDA64 CPU exams the place the ASUS board had a big lead however aside from that each one the outcomes have been very shut no matter which board got here out on prime.
The gaming benchmarks have been similar to our real-world testing with each boards performing comparatively equal. The ASRock did handle a slight lead in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, however the Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation benchmark outcomes have been almost equivalent.
The ASRock Phantom gaming used barely much less energy throughout the board from idle to Prime testing. I might lend this to the truth that the ROG Zenith Excessive has a beefier energy supply system and much more bling than the Phantom Gaming 6.
Overclocking on the Phantom Gaming 6 was fairly simple. All of the choices wanted have been within the OC Tweaker part. Initially, the LLC for the CPU was left on auto and utilizing a voltage setting in BIOS of 1.35 V was virtually secure for a Prime 95 check at Four.zero GHz. Going again into the BIOS bumping the CPU LLC from three (auto) as much as two stored the voltage a bit larger beneath load and Prime95 was capable of run uninterrupted.
Setting the RAM was as straightforward as choosing the XMP profile for 3200 MHz and the board set all of the timings and voltage for the FlareX package. I did want to boost the RAM voltage only a bit to 1.365 V for stability which isn’t that unusual when coping with quad channel RAM.
When testing I used Prime 95 on a customized setting choosing 24,000 MB of RAM which is roughly 75% of the 32 GB put in within the motherboard. Everybody appears to have a special concept of what stability testing entails however I’ve discovered this technique to be fairly dependable. I might sometimes run the check for about 4 hours for my 24/7 system, however this check is just for 20 minutes which is sufficient for this demonstration.
Pushing the bounds
Stability testing at Four.1 GHz was pushing the temperatures too excessive shifting past the bounds of the Noctua cooler’s capabilities. The Phantom Gaming was nonetheless capable of deal with some benchmarks at this velocity and even run the RAM a bit quicker at 3333 MHz with the identical inventory timings and a slight voltage bump. The shot under will give an concept of the efficiency increase anticipated over the inventory operation.
The ASRock X399 Phantom Gaming 6 dealt with itself very properly contemplating it’s a “budget” X399 motherboard. For my part, the one factor it might’t do is accommodate larger core rely CPUs at this level. The aesthetics are good and the colours ought to mix with most themed builds. There aren’t a whole lot of extras on this division with the absence of shrouding and a single LED underneath the PCH, the Phantom Gaming 6 does, nevertheless, have two RGB LED headers and one addressable LED header to broaden lighting management to the case and peripherals utilizing ASRock’s Polychrome software program.
The board has loads of storage capability between the three M.2 slots with help for PCIe Three.zero X4 drives, certainly one of which accommodates SATA3, and eight SATA3 ports. There’s additionally a complete of 12 USB Three.1 Gen1 between the rear I/O and onboard headers, two USB Three.1 Gen2 on the rear panel, and 4 USB 2.zero obtainable however solely by means of onboard headers.
It additionally gives twin LAN with the Intel I211AT Gigabit Ethernet and a couple of.5 Gigabit Ethernet via the Realtek Dragon RTL8125AG. The Phantom Gaming 6 can also be prepared for a wi-fi add-in card with a further M.2 slot which accepts Key “E” Wifi/BT modules.
Overclocking on the Phantom Gaming 6 was very straightforward and the UEFI BIOS was easy to navigate. Having solely a 6+2 part energy part made me a bit skeptical at first however ASRock’s use of high-quality elements just like the 60 A Dr.MOS energy levels allowed the board to deal with a full 16 core, 32 thread overclock with ease. The overclock topped out at Four.zero GHz which is identical degree of OC reached on the ASUS ROG Zenith Excessive. This can be a fairly typical restrict for the primary era of AMD Ryzen/Threadripper CPUs.
General the Phantom Gaming 6 carried out very properly all through all of our testings and gives excellent worth at $249.99 in comparison with the ROG Zenith Excessive at greater than double the worth beginning at $600 an going up from there, the one factor it’s lacking is help for the larger CPUs. In case you’re trying to run a 16 or 12 core Threadripper and taken with saving cash then the ASRock X399 Phantom Gaming 6 is definitely value contemplating, it undoubtedly has the bang for the buck!
-Shawn Jennings (Johan45)
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