Tiny at $200: ASUS Z390-I Gaming vs. ASRock Z390 Gaming-ITX/ac Evaluation

With the rising reputation of Small Type Issue techniques, we at the moment take a look at two of essentially the most engaging and high-quality Z990 chipset sitting in an optimum value vary. Each the ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming and the ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming ITX / ac are buying and selling across the $ 200 mark. It is a very talked-about value for fans for top efficiency motherboards with a small type issue. Each motherboards have related options, together with two M.2 reminiscence slots and 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi modules. Nonetheless, there are variations between the 2 who’re price investigating.

The mini-ITX type issue is a crucial market phase for customers who wish to construct a system with much less footprint with out sacrificing efficiency. Launched a number of years in the past, the ASRock X99E-ITX / ac motherboard demonstrated that HEDT efficiency and small type issue can work hand in hand. The launch of Intel's Z390 chipset introduced a complete of six Mini-ITX fashions to market at totally different costs. Notable entries embody the $ 210 ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming and the $ 190 ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming ITX / ac, each with premium controller units and excessive energy supply. The concept smaller type elements distract customers from constructing high-end gaming techniques and supply enthusiastic efficiency is lengthy gone.

Comparability at $ 200

With the 2 motherboards for our check, they’re each aggressive of their features and talents. If customers take away just one line from this evaluate, right here's the abstract:

The ASUS board has one of the best overclocking ever on a Z390 motherboard and helps 32 GB DC reminiscence modules. The ASRock board is the one Z390 motherboard with built-in Thunderbolt Three-port. Each motherboards are extraordinarily compact in all our benchmarks even in comparison with bigger ATX fashions.

For particulars on how and why these boards might be central to your subsequent system construct, see the next pages.

The ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming Overview

Beginning with the ASUS ROG mannequin, the Strix Z390-I Gaming is a mini-ITX-sized motherboard with a slight similarity to its predecessor, the ROG Strix Z370-I. When a socket will get an replace, producers could make some constructive adjustments to the newer fashions, and the Strix Z390-I gaming has some upgrades to think about. each visually and within the specs. The ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I features a again cowl for video games with an built-in rear I / O display screen and RGB LEDs on the underside proper facet of the board. For warm-running NVMe SSDs, an M.2 heatsink is included, which additionally covers the chipset. A second M.2 slot is positioned on the again of the board.

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One of many greatest efficiency enhancements over the older mannequin is achieved via reminiscence assist being elevated to DDR4-4600. This makes the Z390-I gaming one of many fastest-promoted reminiscence on all Z390 motherboards. An necessary side is that the Strix Z390-I is one among solely three motherboards that comprise compatibility with the 32GB G.Talent and ZADAK Double Peak DDR4 reminiscence modules we mentioned and The set up of customers permits as much as 64 GB of system reminiscence right into a Mini-ITX motherboard. The controller set features a Realtek-based ROG SupremeFX S1220A HD audio codec, an Intel I219V community controller, and an Intel 9560 Wave2-enabled 802.11ac wi-fi adapter that additionally helps Bluetooth 5.zero. Along with another Z390 fashions, the Strix Z390-I Gaming has HDMI 2.zero on the again and a single DisplayPort.

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The ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I gaming carried out properly in its check suite, with the quickest POST instances of any Z370 / Z390 board we've ever seen. No pitfalls or anomalies have been demonstrated, and the Strix Z390-I Gaming has been more than pleased with the overclocking check on our i7-8700Okay. With a 1.40V CPU VCore that was 100% secure, we achieved 5.1GHz – that is the primary board the place this overclocking stage is secure.

One factor we seen is that ASUS appears to have a much less aggressive strategy to thermal throttling. This was mirrored in our POV-Ray exams on the prime finish of our exams. The voltage management was fairly tight on a regular basis and the AI-optimized profile of the boards labored very properly with 5.zero GHz overclocking between 1.20 and 1.35 V as measured with CPU-Z.

ASUS ROG appears to have all-in capabilities because it combines all of the premium parts of its ATX-sized ROG-Strix Z390-E gaming mannequin right into a smaller bundle. With a present value of round $ 200 relying on the retailer, it appears truthful to be truthful about what is obtainable and the way highly effective it’s. The ROG Strix-Z390-I is designed for the small type issue avid gamers and fans who wish to construct a high-performance Mini-ITX-based desktop PC. Overclockers will undoubtedly have an interest.

Traits of the cardboard

The ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming is ASUS 'solely Mini-ITX motherboard on the Z390 chipset and represents its gaming-centric Strix model. The Mini-ITX type issue has some limitations, corresponding to: For instance, solely a single full-length PCIe Three.zero x16 slot and solely two reminiscence slots. The rest of the characteristic, nevertheless, is just like the bigger ROG Strix Z390-E gaming, with the identical ROG SupremeFX S1220A HD audio codec offering audio playback, and an Intel pairing of I219-V 1 GbE NIC and 9560 consisting of 802.11ac 2T2R for the community features.

ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I gaming ITX motherboard

guarantee interval
Three years

product web page
Hyperlink

value
$ 210

measurement
Mini-ITX

CPU interface
LGA1151

chipset
Intel Z390

Reminiscence slots (DDR4)
Two DDR4
Assist for 32 GB
(64 GB double top)
Twin Channel
As much as DDR4-4600

video outputs
1 x HDMI 2.0a
1 x DisplayPort 1.2

Community Connection
Intel I219-V Gigabit
Intel 9560 802.11ac 2T2R

Onboard Audio
Supreme FX S1220A

PCIe slots for graphics playing cards (by CPU)
1 x PCIe Three.zero x16

PCIe slots for others (by PCH)
N / A

On board SATA
4, RAID zero/1/5/10

On board M.2
2 x PCIe Three.zero x4 / SATA, RAID zero/1/5

USB Three.1 (10 Gbps)
2 x rear of sort A
1 x sort C header

USB Three.zero (5 Gbps)
2 x rear panel sort A
1 x rear panel sort C
1 x header (two connections)

USB 2.zero
2 x rear panel sort A
1 x header (two connections)

energy connectors
1 x 24 pin ATX
1 x eight pin CPU

Fan header
1 x CPU (Four-pin)
1 x CPU / Pump (Four-pin)
1 x System (Four-pin)

IO Panel
2 x USB Three.1 G2 Kind A
1 x USB Three.1 G2 Kind C
2 x USB Three.1 G1 Kind A
2 x USB 2.zero Kind A
1 x Community RJ45 (Intel)
5 x Three.5mm audio jacks (SupremeFX)
1 x S / PDIF output (SupremeFX)
2 x Intel 9560 antenna connectors

There may be barely much less USB Three.1 G2 USB connectivity than anticipated on the again. A lot of the boards within the higher season have a minimal of 4 USB Three.1 G2 ports, whereas the smaller type issue of the Strix Z390-I gaming gives solely three G2 sort A ports. The one USB Kind-C included on the again panel is USB Three.1 G1. Though ASUS features a USB Three.1 G2 sort C header, it isn’t anticipated to be applied by default on the again panel. For customers who wish to make the most of the built-in graphics capabilities of supported eighth and ninth technology Intel Core processors, HDMI 2.0a and DisplayPort can be found. Because it stands, that is one among only some motherboards on all the Z390 chipset that comprise HDMI 2.zero.

ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I Visible Inspection of Video games

Wanting on the design of the ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I gaming, it has a mixed M.2 and chipset heatsink simply above the full-length, armored PCIe Three.zero x16 slot, just like the earlier ROG Strix Z370 -I sport mannequin. The newer Z390-I Gaming extends the design of its predecessor to incorporate full rear protection, together with the Strix branding on the prime and the hologram gaming-inspired Edge sticker beneath. One other improve is the built-in I / O display screen on the again. The again steel cowl, which additionally doubles as a part of the ability dissipation heatsink, the SoC energy dissipation warmth sink and the M.2 warmth protect / chipset heatsink. All heatsinks have a metallic grey end. The board itself is totally black and has a stylistic city print just like the ROG Edge sticker on the again of the quilt. Built-in on the board is an RGB LED illumination that emanates from the proper facet of the board on the again, and ASUS has included a single RGB addressing and a typical RGB header for the enlargement.

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The mini-ITX type issue has limitations due to its measurement. This may be seen by the 2 reminiscence slots and a single full-length PCIe Three.zero x16 slot. The reminiscence slots assist dual-channel reminiscence at speeds as much as DDR4-4600 and as much as 64 GB in complete. The ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming is one among three ASUS Z390 fashions suitable with the double-capacity G.Talent TridentZ DC RGB and ZADAK Protect DC RGB modules which we mentioned a fascinating possibility for customers who wish to stick 64 GB in a Mini-ITX card.

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One other direct consequence of the restricted space for storing extends to the headers with a USB Three.1 G1 and a USB 2.zero header. Each headers assist two ports every. Additionally included is a USB Three.1 G2 Kind-C header. One other drawback of the small type issue is the cooling assist, because the Strix Z390-I has solely three Four-pin headers. These are divided into three sections on the prime of the board. a CPU header, a pump / AIO header and a single header for system followers.

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On the reminiscence entrance, the ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming has 4 straight SATA ports supporting RAID zero, 1, 5, and 10 arrays. On the entrance of the board is an M.2 PCIe Three.zero x4 slot, which gives the advantage of an built-in heatsink. The second slot is positioned on the again of the cardboard and helps M.2 PCIe Three.zero x4 drives, with each slots supporting M.2 2280 drives. If an M.2 drive is put in in M.2_1 and is working in SATA mode, the SATA_2 port is robotically disabled.

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Earlier than beginning, ASUS was fairly shut when it comes to energy supply configurations for its Z390 fashions. For this board we see that ASUS makes use of a 6-phase design. The ASP1401CTB PWM controller controls a complete of six ON Semiconductor NCP302045 DrMOS energy levels, and the VCore truly seems to run in a three-phase configuration with two units of three interconnected NCP302045 energy levels. ASUS has not used Doppler and runs the VCore phases in parallel. The ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming makes use of 5K stable state capacitors and has a complete of 11 60A inductors. The VCCIO and VCCSA part of the ability supply additionally contains the drum energy amp ON NCP302045 45 A. It's a considerably deceptive setup, and for a comparatively easy configuration it appears to be far more difficult than it must be.

Z390 motherboard energy supply comparability

motherboard
regulator
H facet
Low Aspect
throttle
doubler

ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming
ASP1401CTB
(Four + 2)

ON NCP302045
(6)

11

ASRock Z390 Taichi
IR35201
(5 + 2)
TI 87350D (12)
ON FDPC5939SG (2)
14
IR3598
(6)

ASRock Z390 Taichi Final
IR35201

(5 + 2)
TI 87350D (12)

ON FDPC5939SG (2)
14
IR3598

(6)

ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 9
IR35201
(5 + 2)
TI 87350D (12)
ON FDPC5939SG (2)
14
IR3598
(6)

GIGABYTE Z390 Aorus Grasp
IR35201
(6 + 2)
IR3553
(12)
14
IR3599
(6)

GIGABYTE Z390 Aorus Extremely
ISL69138
(6 + 1)
SiC634
(12)
13
ISL6617A
(6)

GIGABYTE Z390 Aorus Professional WiFi
ISL69138
(6 + 1)
SiC634

(12)
13
ISL6617A

(6)

GIGABYTE Z390 Aorus Professional
ISL69138

(6 + 1)
SiC634

(12)
13
ISL6617A

(6)

GIGABYTE Z390 Aorus Elite
ISL69138

(6 + 1)
SiC634

(12)
13
ISL6617A

(6)

GIGABYTE Z390 I Aorus Professional WiFi
IR35201
(6 + 2)
IR3553

(6)
eighth

GIGABYTE Z390 Gaming SLI
ISL69138

(5 + 2)
PPak
(10)
12
ISL6617A
(5)

GIGABYTE Z390 Gaming X
ISL69138

(5 + 2)
PPak
(10)
12
ISL6617A

(5)

GIGABYTE Z390 UD
ISL69138

(5 + 2)
PPak
(10)
12
ISL6617A

(5)

MSI MEG Z390 ACE
IR35201
(6 + 2)
ON4C029N
(12)
ON4C024N
(12)
13
IR3598
(6)

Supermicro C9Z390-PGW
PXE1610
(6 + 1)
PXM1310
(Three + 1)
TDA21232
(6)
TDA21240
(2)
eighth

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The design of the heatsink for energy output and the combination of ASUS into the again steel cowl, which serves as a warmth sink, is an ingenious use of house. The rear wall doesn’t solely dispense with plastic panels, however serves as a big space for passive cooling. Programs with excessive airflow may benefit from this. There may be not a lot quantity or weight on the small warmth sink, but it surely appears greater than able to dealing with the SoC portion of the ability output.

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Between the audio ports on the rear panel and the Intel 9560 802.11ac Wave2 Wi-Fi adapter is the slender ROG SupremeFX S1220A HD audio codec. It is a renamed Realtek ALC1220 HD codec, discovered on most Z390 boards and apparently the usual for premium motherboards. The codec is surrounded by 5 golden Nichicon audio capacitors, and the realm features a bodily separation of the PCB from the remainder of the board. The S1220A codec itself just isn’t remoted and doesn’t comprise EMI shielding.

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On the again of the ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming is a pre-installed I / O protect that snaps into place with the identical screws securing the again cowl. USB connectivity is obtainable by three USB Three.1 G2 Kind-A and a single USB Three.1 G1 Kind-C connector. Different USB ports embody two USB Three.1 G1-A ports and two USB 2.zero ports, which appears reasonably weak for a board at this value level. Built-in video customers can use the video output pair, which incorporates an HDMI 2.0a and DisplayPort 1.2 connector. A complete of 5 Three.5mm colour audio jacks with a single S / PDIF optical output are processed by the SupremeFX S1220A HD audio codec. The one LAN port is powered by an Intel I219-V GbE NIC and two antenna ports for the Intel 9560 802.11ac Wave2 Wi-Fi adapter with assist for speeds as much as 1.73 Gbps; The Intel 9560 additionally gives Bluetooth 5.zero characteristic.

What's within the field

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The ROG Strix Z390-I gaming motherboard gives a wide variety of equipment, together with 4 SATA cables, black cable ties, and the 2T2R movement antenna required to make use of the 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.zero boards. A pleasant contact is the inclusion of a 20% coupon for Cablemods cable extensions and an 80 cm extension cable that helps customers lay RGB LED cables higher. good for managing cables in confined areas.

Black cable ties
Four-pin RGB 80 cm extension cable
Cellular Wi-Fi antenna from Intel 9560 802.11ac (2T2R)
2 x M.2 screws and spacers
1 package for M.2
Driver and software program set up CD
4 SATA cables (two right-angled and two straight)
Cablemod's coupon code 20% off
Sticker set together with cable labels
Thanks card ROG
Person Information

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