ASRock x570 Steel Legend: Best mid-range motherboard
AMD Ryzen processors are at the zenith of popularity whether it is the Ryzen 3, 5, 7, or the strongest Ryzen 9 for the AM4 platform. And while in the case of entry-level models, customers mostly opt for cheaper versions of motherboards with A320 and B450 chipset. Those with Ryzen 5 and stronger models are happy to look in the direction of the ASRock X570 motherboard that is optimally tuned for the best Ryzen 3000 series processor.
As you know, the X570 chipset supports the PCIe 4.0 standard which is supported by the SoC controller in Ryzen 3000 processors and achieves twice the maximum data transfer than the previous PCIe 3.0 standard. Let’s mention that Radeon Navi graphics card models already have a faster standard of communication with the processor. But also the new generation of M.2 NVMe SSD devices. So it’s not just about advertising but also real performance gains.
This time we present you a very good motherboard based on the X570 chipset in the class of 200 dollars. A maximum of the budget was spent on the purchase of the board in this class. It is the ASRock X570 Steel Legend, which targets users in the mid-range computer category. Offering them aboard the most powerful version of the AMD AM4 chipset, at a price that will be lower even than some B550 models.
ASRock X570 Steel Legend – features
The first impression is primarily the “bright” appearance of this plate, due to the steel adjective in the model designation. It is enhanced by the metallic effect on the VRM unit cooler and the large chipset and M.2 device cooler. Metal surfaces are accompanied by metallic armor ATX connector sections and a special white-black-gray digital camouflage pattern in the form of print decorations on the printed circuit board. With RGB details, this board will definitely attract attention with its appearance that differs from the average competition.
Appearance is just one item in the motherboard selection factor list. Much more important is the one regarding the quality of the VRM power supply for the CPU. In that respect, we have only words of praise for this record. VRM design with 4 + 2 phases was used. The four phases designed to power the processor cores use “doublers”. So effectively this section works as an 8-phase module. “Doublers” are practically used by the PWM microprocessor because they control a load of individual phases more evenly. That reduces heating and increases the efficiency of individual electronic components of the VRM module.
Power consumption and cooling
The two phases intended to power the system controller do not use doublers. as they are sufficient in terms of consumption, even in the case of the Ryzen APU model. ASRock X570 Steel Legend uses Dr. Mos – highly integrated devices with two transistors and a driver, the so-called “power stage” electronics capable of working with a current of 50A per phase. All this in combination with Nichicon 12L Black polymer capacitors. A very good VRM unit is configured as a working optimum for Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 processor models. While for the most powerful Ryzen 9 series we would definitely recommend X570 Taichi models. Due to their more demanding nature in terms of motherboard electrical characteristics.
The VRM unit is cooled by a pair of aluminum-block coolers that are not even connected to the heat pipe for more even heat transfer. Since we know that the vertical part of the VRM unit is in charge of powering the CPU cores and thus heats up more than the upper part which serves to power the system controller. Surprisingly, there is no heat pipe. This in this case, once again confirms the assumption that this board is more intended for the Ryzen 5 and 7 processors.
The system memory is configured using 4 DIMM slots and easily receives DDR4 RAM modules that can reach the desired 3600 MHz. It is a desirable operating clock of 1800 MHz when the memory controller. RAM modules, and Infinity Fabric bus work in synchronous 1: 1: 1 mode, maximum performance. The Ryzen 3000 series processor board addresses a maximum of 128 GB of system memory. The curiosity is that this board uses gold-plated pins for contact with the memory, for better signal quality to achieve higher operating frequencies. Also, when making the multilayer printed circuit board. ASRock used two ounces of copper for the production of this model due to the better conductivity characteristics and better thermal properties of the motherboard in operation.
The ASRock X570 Steel Legend is primarily designed to work with a single graphics card with a full PCIe x16 bus with Gen 4 specifications. Nvidia SLI does not support multi-GeForce graphics card configuration. As evidenced by visual inspection, as there are no “switches” for x8 / x8 mode under the graphics card slot. As well as “re-drivers”. That is in this case serves to amplify the signal, due to the use of longer paths and lines for the second position of the graphics card. In general. This is also common for this class of motherboards. Because the mentioned certification is expensive since Nvidia charges extra for it.
Given that very few users use two graphics cards. That is a reasonable move calculated to achieve a more popular price. In addition to the primary PCIe x16 slot. You have another physical PCIe x16 available. But with an active 4x PCIe path and differs from the primary slot because there is no metal reinforcement position. Additionally, there are three PCIe x1 slots to accommodate additional cards for additional PC system capabilities.
The board has two M.2 slots that use the PCIe x4 Gen4 bus and receive both NVMe and SATA3 SSDs. This applies to the Ryzen 3000 CPU series. The operation of the proving slot is controlled by the SoC part within the processor. While the other is controlled by the X570 chipset. Both M.2 positions are covered by a large aluminum heatsink that also cools the chipset. And has active cooling in the form of a small fan. This is definitely a “design” detail taken from stronger Taichi models.
The chipset also provides support for the operation of 8 standard SATA 3 connections. Without any restrictions in terms of path sharing with M.2 connectors. The sound section is made around a standard solution for today’s generation of mid-range motherboards. The Realtek ALC1220 and Nichicon Fine Gold audio electrolytes are responsible for the expectedly decent sound quality with 7.1-channel surround effect reproduction. Otherwise, the audio section uses a special headphone amplifier as well as gold-plated connectors on the ATX I / O section.
For communication with the network infrastructure and fast internet operation. The X570 Steel Legend uses the proven fast and reliable Intel GigaLAN I211AT. For a good board. The availability of connectors on the ATX section is also important, as well as the availability and variety of mid-board connectors. In this respect, the Steel Legend fully meets the needs of even the most demanding users. We are satisfied with the layout and availability of connectors for additional fans. There are a total of six of them and they are mostly distributed along the outer edges of the printed circuit board. That is a very important detail. To be easily accessible, even when the board is mounted in the housing.
Then there are the two “wide” USB 3.0 5Gbps connectors for the dual presence of USB 3.0 ports, on the front of the case. At the bottom, we find a mandatory pair of classic USB 2.0 connections that are necessary nowadays for the proper functioning of various “smart” devices. Let’s not forget the support for the work of decorative addressable and ordinary RGB light strips with a maximum consumption of 36W (2.5m) per channel. Two types of tapes are supported – those on 12V and as well as models that work on 5V voltage.
The ATX I / O section highlights the presence of ultra-fast USB 3.1 ports with a maximum transfer of 10 Gbps. One is a classic USB-A. While the other is made in the form of a double-sided USB-C connector. In addition to these two fastest ports, there is an additional 6x USB-A 3.0 connection. Then PS2 for keyboard and mouse, then HDMI, DP, RJ45. And of course a section of analog audio connectors with the addition of one digital-optical output. These connectors have protection against electrostatic discharge. This is certainly a desirable feature to avoid failure of the motherboard, ie its integrated devices.
ASRock Steel Legend motherboard – impressions in work
The board is “error-free” in operation. One would expect some trade-offs compared to the stronger X570 Taichi and other competing high-end models. But the X570 Steel Legend simply didn’t give the slightest reason to criticize. It works with RAM very quickly, and the advice is to pair the slightly more decent 3200 MHz RAM modules. If you can’t already afford or find DDR4-3600 models because then the system works in maximum performance mode. With dosed overclocking. The board will “lead” the memory to the desired frequency values (3600 MHz).
Performance in “default” mode with PBO and XFR2 automatic overclocking mechanisms used by 99% of AMD Ryzen users is equal to other X570 models. The temperature ranges from 34 to a maximum of 79 degrees. The AMD Wraith Prism cooler is in the range of the mentioned Taichi and Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master model. That confirms our statement that it is ideally suited to the medium and medium-class Ryzen processor with which it works optimally.
This is confirmed by the result of benchmark tests and especially the measured consumption. Which did not deviate from the recommended values of the TDP limit prescribed by AMD. Excellent behavior and measured results. On the other hand. Prove the solution and quality of the VRM unit in this price class of motherboard.
We have also reached the very end of the presentation of the board for the AMD Ryzen 3000 series processors. Without false twists and the use of words of strange meaning. This board is a potential bestseller in the model class of $ 200. It is recommended for users who want a good, high-quality motherboard. And fast with a list of all modern technologies that go hand in hand with the latest Ryzen series processors.
If you want to tighten the main axis “Infinity Fabric-RAM memory controller” and do not compromise in terms of support for PCIe 4.0 specifications. You will definitely need this board. There’s also USB-C 10Gbps as well as the option to install an M.2 WiFi ac module. At ASRock, they thought of everything. So this board really comes with a complete list of functionalities that you will need in the operation of your AMD Ryzen system. It is very concrete in what it offers and at the same time. It has an interesting design that definitely differs from similar motherboard models.
In the end, the price of $ 200 is actually the upper limit of the middle-upper class and at first. It looks like a lot. Still, considering all that has been said about its behavior and richness of functions. The ASRock Steel Legend motherboard is a good board that will imagine all those who spent more money on some other “built-in” models. If you realistically look at your needs and desires and put them within a reasonable budget. The calculator will almost always point you in the direction of the Steel Legend board. Simply good, fast and not too expensive!