ASRock B450M Steel Legend AMD AM4 Motherboard Review

Quickly to the right hardware equipment …

Layout, Design and Features
ASRock B450M Steel Legend RGB lighting
ASRock B450M Steel Legend Equipment and other features
ASRock B450M Steel Legend Voltage Regulator and Heat Sink
ASRock B450M Steel Legend Expansion cards
ASRock B450M Steel Legend Memory
ASRock B450M Steel Legend Hard disk drive connectors
ASRock B450M Steel Legend USB and Firewire
ASRock B450M Steel Legend Network
ASRock B450M Steel Legend Sound
ASRock B450M Steel Legend ATX back panel connectors
ASRock B450M Steel Legend PC System

Layout, Design and Features …

So that no detail is missed, here you can see a 360 degree view of the ASRock B450M Steel Legend Micro ATX motherboard.

  

The differences between AMD X470 and B450 chipsets for the AMD Ryzen 2000 series are, as with the X370, B350 and A320 chipsets of the AMD Ryzen 1000 series, in the possible connection and thus also in the equipment. Furthermore, the hard disk caching tool StoreMI is now supported and the power consumption in idle mode has been reduced. The fact that older processors of the first AMD Ryzen generation run on the newer motherboards is also very advantageous for the consumer. If you only want to upgrade the motherboard to be up to date, you can do so after a short look into the list of supported CPUs.

The Micro-ATX ASRock B450M Steel Legend High Density Fiber Sapphire Black PCB supports AMD Pinnacle Ridge, Summit Ridge and Raven Ridge processors and makes a very high quality impression at first sight.

The motherboard features Premium 42A Power Chokes, Digi Power and 7.1 HD Audio via the ALC892 Audio Codec with Nichicon Fine Gold Audio Caps. In addition, it has a fast Ultra M.2 slot for a PCIe Gen3 x4 module with up to 32 Gb/s connection and a simple M.2 slot with up to 6 Gb/s.

As you can see here, we tested the B450M Steel Legend with a Crucial MX500 M.2 SSD 1TB SSD.

RGB lighting …

RGB lighting has certainly already become a selling point for many and ASRock has done a lot for this as well. Conventional RGB strips can be connected to the white 4-pin 12V RGB headers to illuminate the housing, for example. In addition, the B450M Steel Legend even has a second 12V RGB LED connector in the upper area. There is even a 3-pin 5V Polychrome RGB connector, which supports individually addressable LEDs when using addressable RGB stipes.

And the best thing is that even addressable RGB LEDs are pre-installed under the chipset cooler and on the I/O panel on this motherboard.

The RGB headers and the integrated RGB LEDs can be controlled via UEFI or via the supplied ASRock Polychrome RGB LED software. For example, you can select the colors in an RGB color selector and set whether the RGB headers should be controlled separately or together with the RGB lighting under the chipset cooler and the IO cover. The lighting can of course also be completely deactivated.

Now this is even possible in the new ASRock Polychrome RGB software, so that each LED under the chipset cooler and the IO cover can be controlled individually! 😀

In the ASRock Polychrome RGB LED software, for example, you select the colors in an RGB color selector. Of course you can also deactivate the lighting completely.

And with the addressable RGB connector and the integrated ARGB LEDs you even get completely new RGB features such as Spring, Meteor, Stack, Rainbow, etc. …

So you get lots of great RGB effects, which we presented in ASRock Polychrome RGB Software Video on our OCinside YouTube Channel.

And to get a first impression of the very special ASRock B450M Steel Legend effects, we created another video here.

But let’s get back to the equipment and the features. Here you can see the internal USB 3.0 or USB3.1 Gen1 connector, the 24-pin ATX power connector and the second RGB connector on the right.

Voltage Regulator and Heat Sink …

The picture shows the side view of the motherboard with the two small heat sinks on the MOSFETs.

Here you can see the two disassembled aluminium heat sinks, which are pressed onto the voltage transformers together with heat conducting pads.

Under the heat sinks of the ASRock B450M Steel Legend the so-called Smart Power Stage area is cooled.

Here you can see again the coils and the phases, which are combined like in the ASRock Fatal1ty AB350 Gaming K4 motherboard from Sinopower SM4337 and SM4336 MOSFETs, which are responsible for a stable power supply of the AMD CPU.

Equipment and other features …

The ASRock B450M Steel Legend has numerous features, such as the ASRock A-Tuning Tool, ASRock Instant Flash, ASRock Internet Flash, ASRock Easy RAID Installer, ASRock Easy Driver Installer, SSD Secure Erase Tool, Digi Power, ASRock RGB LED, ASRock Polychrome RGB and ASRock FAN-Tastic Tuning.

Expansion cards …

Depending on the CPU used, the motherboard offers a PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot for a graphics card with x16 Lanes bandwidth. Additionally there is a PCI Express 2.0 x4 and a PCI Express 2.0 x1 slot.

Memory …

The ASRock B450M Steel Legend board can be equipped with up to four DDR4 modules and can be upgraded depending on the operating system used (see list) up to a maximum of 64 GB RAM. Here you can see a picture of the four DDR4 memory slots with dual channel support.

The AMD AM4 motherboard supports DDR4 memory modules and can be optimized in the BIOS with a Ryzen Pinnacle Ridge processor for DDR4-2933 Dual Channel Modules or a Ryzen Summit Ridge or Raven Ridge processor for DDR4-2667 Dual Channel Modules. The UEFI still offers adjustments from DDR4-1866 to DDR4-3466.

Thanks to XMP support (Extreme Memory Profile), XMP memory modules are set correctly with a mouse click in UEFI and there are of course many more memory adjustments and even more OC options, but more about this later. Which exact RAM modules are officially supported, one should read before the purchase with ASRock on the memory support side, because this is straight (but not only) with AMD Ryzen systems very important.

Hard disk drive connectors …

The ASRock B450M Steel Legend offers a total of four SATA3 Ports.

The AMD SATA3 ports support RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10, NCQ, AHCI and the Hot Plug function in AHCI mode (AHCI stands for Advanced Host Controller Interface and should be selected especially for SSDs in UEFI). Thanks to UEFI BIOS, drives with more than 2TB can also be used to install Windows 10 x64. The installation of the drivers ran without problems in Windows 10, so that the Windows 10 installation was quickly completed.

The RAID drivers can be installed via the Easy RAID Installer point in the UEFI. The drivers are supplied for 32-bit / 64-bit Windows 10 on DVD and are also available for download on the ASRock support page, whereby the Windows 10 installation is currently preferred.

USB and Firewire …

The ASRock B450M Steel Legend has four USB 3.0 ports (USB 3.1 Gen1), two USB 2.0 ports and two USB 3.1 Gen2 ports on the IO Panel. On the picture you can see the USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A in the middle right and the USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port which can be plugged in on both sides below.

Internally two USB 2.0 ports for up to four optional USB ports and one USB 3.0 port for up to two optional USB 3.0 ports (USB 3.1 Gen1) are available. The 20-pin header can be connected either to an optional USB3.0 front panel or to a chassis with USB3.0 support.

Network …

The ASRock B450M Steel Legend is equipped with a Realtek RTL8111H, via which the 10/100/1000 network port on the ATX panel is realized. The LAN port is WoL capable, offers LAN cable detection, supports power efficient Ethernet according to 802.3az standard, PXE and more.

Sound …

The ASRock B450M Steel Legend motherboard features the simpler Realtek ALC892 audio codec with content protection, which supports 7.1 surround sound and outputs this analog via 5x 3.5mm jack sockets on the ATX panel or via the internal front panel audio connector, for example. Furthermore there is an optical SPDIF digital output and Premium Blu-Ray support. This makes an additional sound card with digital outputs unnecessary for most users.

ATX back panel connectors …

From left to right you can see 2x USB 2.0 ports and 1x PS/2 port for PS/2 keyboard or PS/2 mouse, DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI, 4x USB 3.0 Type-A, RJ45 Gigabit LAN and 1x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A and 1x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C, optical SPDIF output and 5x 3.5mm jacks for the sound.

Test system …

Now we come to the AMD AM4 CPU socket. We have tested the B450M Steel Legend motherboard with the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G processor, which has an integrated graphics unit and offers a great solution for inexpensive PCs.

AMD Ryzen processors support Dual Channel Mode. The two memory modules are used on the AMD B450 motherboard to provide Dual Channel support.

Here you can see the memory modules again from the side.

As we have already reported on OCinside.de, many CPU coolers require a new AMD Ryzen cooler Upgrade Kit. Meanwhile we have upgraded directly to a socket AM4 compatible Enermax ETS-T50 AXE DFP. On the following picture you can see the AMD AM4 test system with Enermax cooler and Icy Dock MB171SP-B Turbo Swap removable frame for quick exchange of the SSD and HDD.

Here you can see again the finished AMD AM4 test system from above without graphics card for a better representation of the lighting possibilities on the chipset and IO cover.

This is what the 4 cores (8 threads) of the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G processor look like in Windows 10 Taskmanager at Prime95 full load.

As you can see on the thermal image of the ASRock B450M Steel Legend test PC, the waste heat of the voltage regulators and coils is dissipated well.

ASRock B450M Steel Legend BIOS and Overclocking …