Mini-ITX With All The Fixins
ASRock have come a long way since they started, you would never have seen one of their board cost more than $200 until recently and that is what the ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming-ITX/AX is at $216. The board offers support for up to DDR4 5400, and eight power phases with Dr. MOS 90A to feed your Ryzen processor. As you would expect on a board of this size you only get a single PCIe 4.0 x16 slot, four SATA ports and two NVMe but you also get three USB 3.2 Gen2 ports of which two are Type-C as well as a half dozen Gen1 ports. You will also find Realtek’s 7.1 ALC1220 codec with Nahimic audio and 2.5G LAN, Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax (2.4Gbps) and BT 5.1 from Intel.
Kitguru installed a Ryzen 9 3950X, 16GB of DDR4-3200, an Aorus RTX 2080 Ti and a WD Black SN750 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe M.2 an Aorus 2TB PCIe Gen 4 M.2 and a Crucial MX300 750GB. The testing results were as you might expect, in line with other B550 boards from ASUS and Gigabyte, sometimes winning, sometimes placing, but never by a huge difference.
Overclocking offered mixed results but was easy to implement and get their Ryzen 9 3950X overclocked to 4.25GHz with 1.3V. However there is an issue with the power sensors on the board which caused problems when trying more intricate overclocking. The sensors are not properly registering how much power is being fed, and under report the voltage available to Precision Boost 2 algorithm the new Ryzens use to determine the what clocks should be maintained.
B550 and mini-ITX can go hand-in-hand for AM4 buyers, so does the ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming-ITX/AX provide the necessary feature set and performance to make it a desirable option? The 8-phase power delivery solution, 8-layer PCB, and ample high-speed connectivity paint a positive picture, but let’s take a closer look.