The ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 launched in July last year with the AMD X570 platform. This Mini ITX-sized board on the upper mainstream X570 platform certainly raised a few eyebrows. In addition to the unusual choice to provide Intel-style cooler mounting holes, ASRock turned heads by including an Intel “Titan Ridge” Thunderbolt 3 controller feeding a single Type-C Thunderbolt port with up to 40Gbps (5GB/s) of theoretical bandwidth. The motherboard also carries all the more regular premium features you’d expect with ASRock touting features including Intel gigabit ethernet, the latest Intel Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), “10-phase” power delivery in a 4×2+2 setup, 10Gbps USB3.2 gen2 ports and a PCIe 4.0 “Hyper M.2” M.2 port for ultra-fast SSDs. Full specifications are, as ever, available on ASRock’s website.
ASRock have now announced that the X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 has received official Thunderbolt Host certification from Intel, the first ever motherboard for AMD processors to do so. This certification guarantees compatibility with other Thunderbolt certified devices.
While remarkable, this move didn’t come out of nowhere. In 2019 Intel significantly loosened their grip on the Thunderbolt ecosystem, contributing the Thunderbolt 3 specification as the basis for USB4. Intel are still pushing ahead with Thunderbolt 4, but the basic technology looks set to become much more open – universal, even.
So, with USB4 on the horizon this feature set is something we can expect to see on far more devices in the future. Even so, an AMD motherboard already being certified for Thunderbolt 3 prior to the market arrival of USB4 is a welcome surprise.
This will certainly come as a boon to users previously torn between Thunderbolt 3 and AMD. ASRock’s X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 has already been praised for the feature, and now users have peace of mind to go with it.