The update of the Fatal1ty game line of boards has transformed into the Phantom Gaming series, and ASRock did not stop there, presenting another one, from the name of the model that came to our review, its motto is clearly visible — Steel Legend. Looking ahead, I would like to note that in this way we have saturated the lower segment of boards that are minimally «charged» relative to the basic models, but still not functional enough for the older series of products. In a word, we have a competitor for TUF Gaming equipment from ASUS or, say, MAG from MSI.
Refreshed the appearance, giving it a zest, still not offered by anyone on the market. Also, special attention is paid to the backlight. There are no additional controllers on the device, expansion options will depend on the type of computing device — CPU or APU, the rest of the set of ports will be provided by the AMD B450 hub. I propose to first evaluate the characteristics of the pivot table.
|Model||ASRock B450M Steel Legend|
|Official product page on the Web||asrock.com|
|Processor socket||AMD AM4|
|Processors||AMD Series: Athlon Zen, Ryzen 3, Ryzen 5, Ryzen 7|
|Memory||4 DIMM DDR4 SDRAM 2133/2400/2667/2933*/3200*/3533+*(OC), 64 GB maximum|
|PCI slots||1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16) — CPU
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x8) — APU
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x4) — Athlon Zen
1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 (x4) — B450
1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 — B450
|M.2||1 x PCI Express 3.0 x4 (Key M, 2242/2260/2280) — CPU
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x2 (Key M, 2242/2260/2280) — APU
1 x SATA 6Gb/s (Key M, 2230/2242/2260/2280)
|Integrated video core (in APU)||Radeon Series: Vega 11, Vega 8, Vega 3|
|Video connectors||DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4|
|Number of connected fans||5x 4pin|
|PS/2 ports||1 (keyboard/mouse)|
|The port is USB||2 x 3.1 Gen2 (2 connectors on the rear panel (1x C), B450)
6 x 3.1 Gen1 (4 connectors on the rear panel)
6 x 2.0 (2 connectors on the rear panel, B450)
|Serial ATA||4 x SATA 6Gb/s|
|RAID||0, 1, 10|
|Built-in sound||Realtek ALC892 (7.1, HDA)|
|Networking||Realtek RTL8111H (Gigabit Ethernet)|
|Dimensions, mm||244 x 244|
|Additional features||Pair of RGB LED strip headers (+12V), one Addressable LED strip header (+5V), AMD 2-Way CrossFireX support|
|Retail price, $||104|
Packaging and equipment
A box made of thick glossy cardboard contributes to the feeling of the non-ordinary status of the product.
In addition to accents on the backlight, attention was also paid to the “iron” component at the back — capacitors here with an extended service life when operating at elevated temperatures, an updated type of chokes.
There is nothing special in the package, the set is as follows:
- multilingual quick installation guide;
- UEFI and A-Tuning manual in English;
- postcard with the emblem of the series (there is a place for the stamp);
- disk with drivers and proprietary software;
- company logo sticker;
- two mounting screws for M.2 format devices;
- a plug for the body, complete with a black sticker with a symbolic designation of all sockets;
- two SATA 6Gb / s cables, one of which has an L-shaped connector on one of the ends.
The hinged visor above the I / O ports of the rear panel is plastic, there is an integrated platform with LED backlighting. The dimensions are full, as for the mATX format, there are eight traditional mounting holes for screw fastening in the case. Two more are provided for plastic «fungi», used a long time ago in the history of computer construction. One chip with firmware, there are no buttons and switches.
Reinforcing plate for CPU cooling systems — iron. All elements on the device use a screw mounting method. The back side is practically freed from electronic components, there are not even LEDs.
A very bright backlight is implemented by elements soldered directly on the board, under the hub cooler. There are also three platforms for connecting external equipment with illumination.
The weighty radiator is designed according to the theme set by the series.
Four PCI-E lanes are connected to the top M.2 slot, their available number depends on the selected processor. The length of the mounted device is limited to eight centimeters, there is no complete radiator.
Only SATA lines are connected to the bottom slot, the length of the drive here will be a maximum of 80 mm.
Four SATA outputs will not conflict with the video card due to their longitudinal arrangement.
Three sites were provided for USB body cables: two 2.0 and one version 3.1 Gen1.
The shielded PCI-E x16 is connected to the socket, and the other, the usual plastic one, works with the hub — only four high-speed interface lines are connected to it.
The sound part includes only the ALC892 codec and four special type capacitors. There is no operational amplifier.
Let the CPU power regulator heatsinks be stretched upwards, their height will not threaten CO compatibility.
Expectations to see a powerful converter did not come true, we have a fairly common “4 + 2 phase” scheme, an example of an implementation can be the ASUS EX-A320M Gaming model from the same market niche. But there are also new noteworthy features, now the PWM controller is not a model from the Intersil Corporation product list, which is typical for many ASRock models (and not only), but a representative of uPI Semiconductor — uP9505P. Six external drivers — uP1962S models. The lower side uses SM4336NSKP transistors manufactured by Sinopower, and the upper side uses SM4337NSKP transistors, the processor voltage has only one of them in each channel, unlike SOC Voltage.
Yellow thermal pads occupy the entire available area at the bases, which cannot be said about the dark-colored element, its location and size clearly did not reach full contact with the hub, the low heating of the latter can indirectly justify this misunderstanding.
The type and number of ports on the rear panel are quite comprehensive, it’s funny to note the complete resemblance to the list from the ASRock B365 Phantom Gaming 4 model (obviously higher in status).