ASRock is once more breaking design monotony by revealing a unique, Sonic-themed LGA1700 motherboard powered by Intel’s latest Z790 chipset, DDR5, and enough power stages to feed top-rank i9 processors.
While not as bold as LiveMixer siblings, the Z790 PG Sonic has its own quirks. For starters, you get a 16-bit spinning ring on top of the rear I/O cover, a Sonic picture on top of the chipset cooler, and a dashing Sonic on the board’s rear. There are also many blue accents on the SSD heatsinks and the PCB itself. As far as colour schemes go, our favourite Hedgehog complements Intel’s branding very well. And it goes without saying that this one is clearly made for Sonic the Hedgehog fans first.
This board should please many users, not only by its looks, but also by specs, since we find four DDR5 DIMMs supporting up to 128GB of 6,800MHz memory using XMP 3.0, one PCIe 5.0 x16 slot for graphics cards, one PCIe 4.0 x16, a Wi-Fi M.2 slot, and a blazing-fast PCIe 5.0 M.2 for those expensive, super-fast NVMe SSDs. Not even mentioning the four additional PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots and eight SATA III ports for those who need more storage.
Power is handled by a 14+1+1-phase design with sturdy components that have lower temperatures, which allows for better overclocking capabilities, according to the brand. ASRock also uses Nichicon 12K capacitors offering 20 per cent longer lifespan and 2oz copper PCB for a more stable signal, the blurb continues.
Connectivity-wise, there’s one USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C, two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, four USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, and two USB 2.0 in the rear, plus one USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C, two USB 3.2 Gen 1, and four USB 2.0 for the chassis. All ports are ESD-protected. Not only that, there’s HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort 1.4, 7.1 audio, and 2.5GbE. Wi-Fi is not included, sadly, but has antenna openings ready in the I/O shield.
If what you see tickles your fancy, the Z790 PG Sonic can be found at £269.99.