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ASRock B450M Steel Legend Review

WEB: ASRock MSRP: US $99.99 | ZAR TBD | AUTHOR: Neo

It’s been a long time since I’ve had this board in my test rig and even longer since the B450 chipset debuted. As a budget and alternative chipset to X470, it is understandable that many may shy away from it particularly those who are looking at the upper echelon of gaming motherboards from ASRock. Afterall, quite literally my favourite board to date for the X570 chipset is the ASRock X570 Taichi, par none. However, not all of us are fortunate enough to have the means for such a board and the B series is where we must find our motherboard solutions. Fortunately, this isn’t just any B450 motherboard, it’s the ASRock B450M Steel Legend and legendary it very much is.

Specifications wise, you’re not going to be moved in the slightest here. ASRock is working within a tight budget and it shows. That said Steel Legend isn’t missing any critical functionality, but it does just cover the bare essentials in 2020. There are budget components just about everywhere, but do not let that term fool you into thinking this isn’t a capable motherboard. Nothing could be further from the truth and I’ll say it this early, this is by far the most impressive B chipset board I’ve ever come across. Not only does the B450M Steel Legend hold its own against some of the best in the business performance wise, it actually holds its own against the finest and fastest X570 board there is.

 

Specifications
Socket | CPU Socket 1331 | AMD AM4 3rd, 2nd & 1st Gen AMD Ryzen with VEGA Graphics
Chipset AMD X570
Memory Support 4xDIMM DDR4 2133 – DDR4 4400(O.C.) (Dependent on CPU generation)
Storage 8x SATA 6Gbps, 3x M.2 x4 ( PCIE 4.0 x4 2x 22110)
Audio ALC S1220A, Dual Op Amp
Expansion Slots 2x PCIe 4.0 x16, 2x PCIe 4.0 x1, 1 x PCIe 4.0 x16 (x4 Electrical)
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11ax, BT 5.0, 1x 2.5Gbps LAN, 1x Intel Gigabit Lan
Rear Panel I/O 7x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-A), 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-C)
Total Fan Headers 7x 4-pin (PWM/Voltage)
Power Connectors 1x 24-pin EATX, 1x 8-pin 12V, 1x 4-pin 12V
Form Factor ATX Form Factor: 12.0-in x 9.6-in, 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm

As stated above we are looking at a budget board here and the specifications speak to this quite clearly. That said, it is impressive seeing five fan headers when there are full high end ATX boards with an equal amount or fewer. In terms of bare functionality this one has it all, from M.2 connectivity (only one socket) to USB 3.2 Type-C support. Audio isn’t up tot he usual ASRock quality, but it’s good enough for the price this board is retailing for.


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