While the DDR5 price is much more affordable today, the cost of motherboards that support it isn’t exactly ‘affordable’ to mainstream users, especially long-time AMD users who just wanted to give the new memory a try. In this article, we’ll be taking a quick look at the ASRock B650 Steel Legend Wifi, based on the B650 chipset that comes with DDR5 memory support but has fewer advanced features compared to the B650 chipset motherboard. Let’s see what ASRock has to offer with their B650 Steel Legend Wifi for this round and if it’s worth the money.

Specifications

CPU supportAMD Socket AM5 Ryzen 8000 and 7000 Series Processors
ChipsetAMD B650
Memory– Dual Channel DDR5 Memory Technology
– 4 x DDR5 DIMM Slots
– Supports DDR5 ECC/non-ECC, un-buffered memory up to 7200+(OC)
– Max. capacity of system memory: 192GB
– Supports Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) and EXTended Profiles for Overclocking (EXPO) memory modules
Expansion slotsCPU:
– 1 x PCIe 5.0 x16 Slot (PCIE1), supports x16 mode*
Chipset:
– 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 Slot (PCIE2), supports x4 mode*
– 1 x PCIe 4.0 x1 Slot (PCIE3)*
– 1 x Vertical M.2 Socket (Key E), supports type 2230 WiFi/BT PCIe WiFi module
– Supports AMD CrossFire™
– 15μ Gold Contact in VGA PCIe Slot (PCIE1)
* Supports NVMe SSD as boot disks
If SATA3_0 and SATA3_1 are occupied, PCIE2 will downgrade to x2 mode.
StorageCPU:
– 1 x Blazing M.2 Socket (M2_1, Key M), supports type 2260/2280 PCIe Gen5x4 (128 Gb/s) mode*
– 1 x Hyper M.2 Socket (M2_3, Key M), supports type 2260/2280 PCIe Gen4x4 (64 Gb/s) mode* Chipset:
– 1 x Hyper M.2 Socket (M2_2, Key M), supports type 2230/2260/2280 PCIe Gen4x4 (64 Gb/s) mode*
– 2 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s Connectors**
ASMedia ASM1061:
– 2 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s Connectors* Supports NVMe SSD as boot disks
** If SATA3_0 and SATA3_1 are occupied, PCIE2 will downgrade to x2 mode.

RAID

– Supports RAID 0 and RAID 1 for SATA storage devices
– Supports RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 10 for M.2 NVMe storage devices*
* Requires additional M.2 NVMe expansion cards to support RAID 10

Network
  • LAN– 2.5 Gigabit LAN 10/100/1000/2500 Mb/s
    – Dragon RTL8125BG
    – Supports Dragon 2.5G LAN Software
    – Smart Auto Adjust Bandwidth Control
    – Visual User Friendly UI
    – Visual Network Usage Statistics
    – Optimized Default Setting for Game, Browser, and Streaming Modes
    – User Customized Priority Control
  • Wireless LAN– 802.11axe Wi-Fi 6E Module
    – Supports IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax/axe
    – Supports Dual-Band 2×2 with extended 6GHz band* support
    – 2 antennas to support 2 (Transmit) x 2 (Receive) diversity technology
    – Supports Bluetooth 5.2 + High speed class II
    – Supports MU-MIMO
Back I/O Ports– 2 x Antenna Ports
– 1 x HDMI Port
– 1 x DisplayPort 1.4
– 1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
– 1 x USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C Port (20 Gb/s)
– 1 x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A Port (10 Gb/s)
– 4 x USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A Ports (USB32_34 support Ultra USB Power.)
– 4 x USB 2.0 Ports
– 1 x RJ-45 LAN Port
– 1 x BIOS Flashback Button
– 1 x Line Out Jack (Gold Audio Jack)
– 1 x Microphone Input Jack (Gold Audio Jack)
Audio– 7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC4082 Audio Codec)
– Individual PCB Layers for R/L Audio Channel
– Impedance Sensing on Rear Out port
– Nahimic Audio
Internal I/O Ports– 1 x SPI TPM Header
– 1 x Power LED and Speaker Header
– 1 x RGB LED Header*
– 3 x Addressable LED Headers**
– 1 x CPU Fan Connector (4-pin)***
– 1 x CPU/Water Pump Fan Connector (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)****
– 4 x Chassis/Water Pump Fan Connectors (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)*****
– 1 x 24 pin ATX Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
– 2 x 8 pin 12V Power Connectors (Hi-Density Power Connector)
– 1 x Front Panel Audio Connector
– 2 x USB 2.0 Headers (Support 4 USB 2.0 ports)
– 2 x USB 3.2 Gen1 Headers (Support 4 USB 3.2 Gen1 ports)
– 1 x Front Panel Type C USB 3.2 Gen1 Header
* Supports in total up to 12V/3A, 36W LED Strip
** Support in total up to 5V/3A, 15W LED Strip
*** CPU_FAN1 supports the fan power up to 1A (12W).
**** CPU_FAN2/WP supports the fan power up to 2A (24W).
***** CHA_FAN1~4/WP support the fan power up to 2A (24W).
***** CPU_FAN2/WP and CHA_FAN1~4/WP can auto detect if 3-pin or 4-pin fan is in use.
Special FeaturesSuperb Productivity
– PCIe Gen5 (Graphics, M.2)
– Dual Channel DDR5
Rock-Solid Durability
– 14+2+1 Power Phase, 80A Dr.MOS with Enlarged Heatsink Armor
– Flexible Integrated I/O Shield
– 20K Long-lasting Black Caps (high quality and conductive polymer capacitors)
Ultrafast Connectivity
– 2.5G LAN, 802.11axe Wi-Fi 6E Module
EZ Update
– BIOS Flashback Button
– ASRock Auto Driver Installer
EZ Troubleshooter
– ASRock Post Status Checker
Included accessories– 1 x User Manual
– 2 x SATA Data Cables
– 2 x ASRock WiFi 2.4/5/6 GHz Antennas
– 3 x Screws for M.2 Sockets
– 1 x Standoff for M.2 Socket
Form factorATX Form Factor (305mm x 244mm)

Unboxing

  • ASRock B650 Steel Legend WiFi 5

Packaging-wise, it seems that ASRock has opted for a much simpler design for the B650 Steel Legend Wifi this time but you’ll still find the labels for the base features available on the B650 chipset on the box. As AMD has already mentioned that they will solely focus on DDR5 for the AM5 platform, DDR4 is completely out of the question. Though DDR5 is much more affordable nowadays, you can get some rather decent DDR5 kits at a much lower cost compared to the time when it was first launched.

The content of the box is rather basic I’d say, apart from the motherboard itself, you’ll find some paper documents such as the user’s guide and installation guide, SATA cables, WiFi antenna, velcro straps, and some screws for the M.2 SSD and other components.

  • ASRock B650 Steel Legend WiFi 6

The B650 Steel Legend Wifi, unlike the B650E Steel Legend Wifi, features a white PCB this time which I think is ASRock’s plan to fulfill the needs of users who are aiming for a white-colored theme build. The overall design did somewhat remind me of the Sabertooth Z97 Mark S, which was one of my personal favorites back then.

ASRock highlighted that the B650 Steel Legend Wifi supports the AMD Socket AM5 Ryzen 8000 and 7000 Series Processors and up to DDR5-7200+ in their specs table, which I think is more than enough for most users nowadays who just want the system to work without any hassle.

  • ASRock B650 Steel Legend WiFi 16

For the storage options, you’ll get 4 x SATA ports for SATA HDDs or SSDs, and 3 x M.2 slots for M.2 SSDs. While I was previously told that B650 chipset motherboards will only come with very limited PCIe Gen5 support, the single Gen5 support for the first M.2 slot is still more than enough as I believe most users will still go for the more affordable PCIe Gen4 SSDs as compared to PCIe Gen5 SSDs. The expansion slots consist of 1 x PCIe 5.0 x16 slot, 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, and 1 x PCIe 4.0 x1 slot, but do note that the PCIE2 slot will downgrade to x2 mode ff SATA3_0 and SATA3_1 are occupied.

Although it’s not a major issue for most users, I think this is still worth getting some attention. As other competitors have already come up with their solutions to secure the M.2 SSD for easier installation, I think ASRock might want to consider a way to better secure the SSDs on the M.2 SSD slots to make things easier for their users too.

  • ASRock B650 Steel Legend WiFi 20

Moving on to the power design, the B650 Steel Legend Wifi features a 14+2+1 phase design, slightly less than the 16+2+1 phase the B650E Steel Legend Wifi has to offer. Looking closer at the components, instead of the Renesas RAA 229628 PWM controller and ISL99360 MOSFETs used on the B650E model, the B650 model uses the Richtek RT3678BE PWM controller and Vishay SiC659 80A MOSFETs.

ASRock B650 Steel Legend WiFi 17

Despite the odd-looking arrangement for the onboard display, WiFi SMA connectors, and BIOS Flashback button, the amount of USB ports at the rear I/O panel is actually decent – 4 x USB 2.0 for the peripherals, 4 x USB 3.2 Gen1, 1 x USB 3.2Gen2 Type-A, and 1 x USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C.

First Impression

For the price of RM 1199, the B650 Steel Legend WiFi has plenty of features to offer and has actually exceeded our initial expectations. Other than overclocking, which isn’t what it was intended for, the B650 Steel Legend WiFi serves great as a daily driver with plenty of USB ports, WiFi 6E and Bluetooth support, 2.5GbE LAN, a reasonable amount of RGB headers and fan headers. Instead of paying more for features you might not even use at all on a X670E chipset board, ASRock has equipped the B650 Steel Legend WiFi with features that most users will really need.

We have done a quick test using the AMD Ryzen 5 8600G and Ryzen 5 7600, which the B650 Steel Legend WiFi supports right out of the box. CPU and memory overclocking is open for you to explore and the advertised DDR5-7200 is totally doable but it will take a bit more effort compared to a B650E or X670E chipset board designed for the enthusiasts. It’s totally fine if you plan to stick with just the EXPO profile and call it a day but for those who want to give it a simple optimization, you can refer to our test settings with the PNY XLR8 Gaming MAKO EPIC-X RGB DDR5 6400MHz that is very easy to achieve.

All in all, ASRock has made the B650 Steel Legend WiFi a decent board that is worth getting attention from users who are just about to get started with AM5.

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest

Related Posts

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to Tech-Critter and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Leave a Reply