Card Layout and Photos

I have to admit, ASRock’s RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming doesn’t have the exact same look that everyone else has. Most companies have gone with a color-neutral angular look in the past and recently all of the cards are going with boxy and simple designs. The Phantom Gaming mixes things up with a black, silver, and red look for the fan shroud. I would really prefer to not have the red, but I do like that this at least looks different. It has a metal looking finish, but it is made of all plastic, just like everyone else. The silver sections all have a machined look that gives that brushed aluminum look. The red and black section also uses a little texture as well but it isn’t as defined as the photos below might indicate. As for size, the height of the card is spot on, not sticking up much past the top of the PCI bracket. The card is then 9 inches long which is a little longer than the PCB which is around 7 ¼  inches long. That is still shorter than all of the three fan designs. The card, however, is thick with what is closer to a 2 ¾ wide design.

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For the cooling, ASRock went with dual axial fans to push air down into the heatsink and on to the PCB as well. Then the heatsink is made out of copper heatpipes and aluminum sheet metal with the fin layout in a horizontal layout. I’ve had bad luck with axial coolers with a horizontal layout recently, this layout is normally better with the blower cards to blow air out of the end so I’m curious to see how it performs later. I will say that even just looking through the two fans you can see that the heatsink doesn’t go all the way up to the top or bottom of the fan blades leaving some cooling on the table there. You can, however, see that down on the right side where the cooler extends past the PCB they left it open to blow right through there. 

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Now you can see how thick this card is, XFX is calling their cards Thicc but this one is just fat. The top view lets us see that there are a total of three heatpipes split out across the card. You can also see how the cooler is shaped very tightly around each cap and the power connection, utilizing every mm of space. It's actually very interesting that they take every bit of space they can there but leave those big gaps at the top and bottom of the fan. The end of the card shows how in a lot of areas there is over an inch space between the edge of the shroud and the bottom of the heatsink. This doesn’t help with the fat look, but it does help with airflow! Then at the bottom edge, we can see those three heatpipes running from over the GPU to pull the heat out across the heatsink. There is also a bit of a gap down at the PCI bracket but with how tight the heatsink fits the PCB and components it looks like the airflow doesn’t have much of an option other than to head towards the end of the card, even without a blower fan.

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So up on the top edge of the card, there are two notable things to point out. For starter, this card has an 8-pin power connection down at the end of the PCB. It is flipped around with the clip side facing the PCB and the PCB and backplate are both notched to fit the clip. This allowed ASRock to keep the heatsink extremely tight around the plug for more cooling capacity and if you look close you can see how the heatsink wraps around it. Also up on top is the backlit branding which is a 5 sided weird shape with the Phantom Gaming logo and name. This has addressable LEDs behind it that are controlled by ASRocks software.

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Around on the back of the RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming, the card does have a full backplate. Well almost full, it does cover all of the PCB at least, but you can see that the heatsink sticks out on the end. Anyhow the backplate is a nice all-metal design and the same color theme front the front does carry over on here. They have screen printed white and red strips along with the ASRock logo and the Phantom Gaming logo also in white. I was surprised to not see a serial number sticker on the back here, that could be because this is a pre-launch sample. Beyond that, you can still access the mounting screws for the heatsink and there isn’t any other ventilation in the backplate

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For connection options, ASRock stuck with the standard layout which gets you three full-sized DisplayPort’s and one HDMI. Like most cards they did the split layout which puts the HDMI in the middle of the DisplayPort’s which I’m not a big fan of, I think it can be confusing. But you do get a mix of connection options, as long as you don’t want or need a DVI which given this is still a 1080p card could be an issue for some. Beyond that, the PCI bracket does have some ventilation which given the horizontal fin layout could get some air blown its way. The bracket itself is your standard chromed look, I still keep hoping for more companies to move to a blacked-out PCI bracket. Maybe ASRock will be the one who does that eventually!

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So here is a look at the RGB lighting for the 5600 XT Phantom Gaming. I’ve been preaching this for a while now, but I’m not a big fan of backlit branding. It feels like almost everything anymore just lights up branding and when your PC is all together it looks like times square. So I would really prefer the lighting here light up a few accents, like the red areas on the front or a few lines on the top like the backplate has. But I do like the use of addressable LEDs which you can see even in the default mode light up different sections different colors, not a dull old solid color that rotates through the rainbow. So you can at least get a little more creative when setting the lighting to match your own build.

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