Despite being the smaller B650 chipset, there is still a good range of options with the B650I Lightning WiFI motherboard. PCIe 5.0 support for storage is not always included on B650 motherboards, but we get it here.
A tour around the Phantom Gaming B650I Lightning WiFi
The mITX form factor naturally means that it is a small motherboard. However, this does not mean that there are not many options packed into the card.
The design is kept very subdued, mainly in black, without a lot of fluff or fluff. Personally, it's just the way I prefer it, but of course it's a matter of personal taste.
As is quite normal, there are only two RAM slots on the motherboard. However, they support up to 7200+ DDR 5 RAM and a maximum capacity of 96GB.
The card is powered by an 8+2+1 power phase design with a Dr. MOS power stage solution. VRM design is precisely one of the areas where ASRock is really good.
The solid VRM design together with the possibility of up to 7200 MHz RAM means that there is overclocking potential if you want to get involved.
As I mentioned earlier, there are also good storage options with two M.2 slots. There is one located on the front of the card that supports PCIe Gen5x4 speeds. The last one, found on the back of the motherboard, supports up to PCIe Gen4x4.
In addition to that, there are also two regular SATA connectors if you want to supplement with SATA storage.
If we look at the other internal connections, we get three four-pin PWM connectors for fans, together with one each of USB 2.0, USB 3.2 Gen1 and a USB C 3.2 Gen 1.
It is supplemented on the slightly more lire side by two three-pin ARGB connectors, so that light can come on the system as well.
If we look at the external connections, there is also a reasonable selection. There are a total of four USB 2.0 ports supplemented by three USB 3.2 Gen2 and a single USB 3.2 Gen2 Type C.
We get network with both LAN and WiFi. It is a 2.5G LAN connector if you prefer a wired network. If you are into WiFi, the two included antennas can be connected and used together with the built-in 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6E chip on the motherboard.
If you use analogue sound, there is the possibility of connection on the back with support for 7.1 HD Audio. The sound is controlled by a Realtek ALC897 Audio Codec.
As another nice bonus on the back we also get a BIOS Flashback button. It can be used to update the BIOS on the board automatically via a connected USB drive.
I can currently find the ASRock Phantom Gaming B650I Lightning WiFi with an online price of just under 280$. That places it at the cheap end of the market at the moment.
ASRock has packed a lot of good features into a motherboard at a really good price. After a quick look at a couple of Danish dealer pages, it was currently the cheapest B650 mITX motherboard I could find. This despite the fact that in several cases it offered a better feature list compared to any of the other bids.
The possibility of both PCIe 5.0 storage and super good network options and a strong VRM design and RAM OC options mean that you get a lot for your money with the Phantom Gaming motherboard here from ASRock.
We end up with a final score of 9 and a Great Product Award, for a price-friendly motherboard with strong features.