ASRock B460 Steel Legend Motherboard Review

BIOS and Overclocking …

Get fast to the right UEFI settings …

ASRock B460 Steel Legend BIOS and Overclocking
ASRock B460 Steel Legend UEFI BIOS Update
ASRock B460 Steel Legend overclocking
ASRock B460 Steel Legend memory settings
ASRock B460 Steel Legend voltage settings
ASRock B460 Steel Legend Overclock even easier
ASRock B460 Steel Legend BIOS undervolting
ASRock B460 Steel Legend Fan control

BIOS and overclocking …

Let us continue with the BIOS / UEFI Setup options and the UEFI overclocking. After switching on the PC, press the Del or F2 key to access the UEFI setup.

The ASRock B460 Steel Legend UEFI BIOS has a graphical interface that allows intuitive operation with the mouse or can still be operated conventionally with a keyboard.

There is, as usual with the newest ASRock Intel motherboards, the ASRock EZ Mode – also called Easy Mode – which offers a clearly arranged entry page with many important information and still doesn’t look overloaded. To the basic information like time, date, CPU temperature, mainboard temperature, CPU voltage, first details about the hardware, fan speeds, hard disk population, RAID mode and fan settings with one click. New in the ASRock B460 Steel Legend is also the CPU temperature display as diagram.

The original Tools page has been consolidated in the lower right area.

Of course you can also use the EZ menu to set the time and date.

Many other functions can optionally be operated using function keys, which can be called up with F1. For example, if you want to publish a screenshot in our PC Forum, you can save it on a USB stick by pressing F12.

With the F6 key or the upper right button you get to the usual ASRock Advanced Mode, which you can also set as default.

The System Browser view is also not available on the ASRock B460 Steel Legend motherboard, but you will find again the Full HD UEFI selection and the Active Page on Entry selection, with which you can decide on which UEFI page you want to start in the UEFI setup. With the ASRock B460 Steel Legend you find the Active Page on Entry option and the Full HD UEFI selection under Advanced.

UEFI BIOS Update …

Before we start with UEFI overclocking, we update the UEFI BIOS to the latest version. Since ASRock regularly integrates new functions, better memory support and new processors, the BIOS update is recommended in most cases. For flashing the UEFI update ASRock offers several possibilities, e.g. the very simple Instant Flash or even the ASRock Internet Flash with a direct connection to the Internet. Via the so-called ASRock Instant Flash Option in the Tool Screen or via the F6 key when starting the PC you can access the ASRock Instant Flash Utility. You can simply install a previously downloaded ASRock BIOS without boot CD or similar by starting the ASRock Instant Flash Utility. Then select the BIOS Flash ROM from the desired drive, e.g. from a USB stick, which you have to unpack after downloading.

At the time of testing the UEFI BIOS version P1.20 was available as the latest download, which we of course installed immediately over the pre-installed P1.10 version.

After a reboot the new BIOS version will be available.

Here you can see the new P1.20 EZ BIOS entry page with the Intel Core i5-10500 CPU.

And here you can see the new P1.20 Advanced BIOS entry page with the Intel Core i5-10500 CPU.

The My Favorite function is very helpful, because you can store frequently used menu items here, so that you can easily see them on a page and access them more quickly. You start with an empty page – by the way, it is unfortunately also emptied after a BIOS update.

The My Favorite page is now filled with your own menu items by simply going to the respective menu item, then pressing F5 and the desired functions are already included in the My Favorite overview page. Here you can see a selection of possible favourites.

If you need technical UEFI support, you can even select the errors via the UEFI setup and even contact the ASRock Tech Service via a network connection.

On the Tool page of this ASRock B460 Steel Legend motherboard there is again the ASRock Polychrome RGB LED entry, which is almost identical to the ASRock Polychrome RGB software, which we already mentioned on the previous page.

The Polychrome RGB LED menu has numerous setting options. So you can select the color in an RGB color selector.

You can choose whether you want to control the RGB headers separately or all together.

And you can set in the Polychrome RGB LED menu whether the LEDs should light up continuously, “breathe”, randomly or even to music. The user gets numerous possibilities how and how fast the LED Stripes should light up. And if you don’t need the lighting, you can of course deactivate it completely.

ASRock doesn’t offer an Easy Driver Installer option for the B460 motherboard, but makes the RAID driver installation very easy for the user by offering the Easy RAID Installer as an easy way to download the latest RAID drivers.

The handy SSD Secure Erase BIOS tool that we first saw at the ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 9 Mainboard is also integrated.

Simply select the desired SSD and it will be deleted quickly and securely – for example, for secure deletion before SSD sale or in the event of serious problems with partitioning. Great thing, but be sure to use it with caution!

ASRock B460 Steel Legend Overclocking …

Now we come to the Intel LGA 1200 overclocking with the B460 chipset on the ASRock B460 Steel Legend motherboard. ASRock divides the OC-Tweaker menu of the ASRock B460 Steel Legend into CPU Configuration, DRAM Configuration and Voltage Configuration.

But a look at the OC-Tweaker menu quickly reveals disillusionment. Because even with an Intel “K” CPU with unlocked multiplier you wouldn’t have any options for the multiplier or the BCLK and this is what Intel wanted with the B460 and H470 in contrast to the Z490. So you can’t increase a multi on an Intel B460 motherboard and currently you can’t even raise the BCLK a bit to overclock the CPU. But there is the Boot Performance Mode setting for the speed during the boot process …

… and some power limit settings.

For overclockers, an Intel B460 motherboard is therefore the pure horror, because even an Intel Core i9-10900K CPU can only be operated with the standard or turbo clock. If we discover possibilities for B460 overclocking, we will publish them as usual in the Intel OC Forum or directly with a manual in the OC Workshop.

ASRock BFB – Base Frequency Boost …

But wait, there was still something with BFB? That’s right! On the OC Tweaker entry page there is the so-called Base Frequency Boost option, with which you can overclock even a CPU with locked multiplier. You won’t get overclocking by multiplier, but you can adjust the powerlimit. Normally, the Core i5-10500 CPU is specified by Intel with a power limit of 65 watts. That means, if the turbo clock frequency requires more than 65W power limit over a certain period of time, this is prevented by Intel with the power limit throttling. We have already explained Intel Turbo Boost Short Power Max, Turbo Boost Power Max, Turbo Boost Power Time Window, Primary Plane Current Limit, Short Duration Power Limit, Long Duration Power Limit and similar power limits several times in our OC guides, because higher power limits play an important role in overclocking. Especially when it comes to maintaining higher clock rates over a longer period of time. ASRock now offers the Base Frequency Boost option in the OC Tweaker UEFI to raise this limit to keep the turbo clock frequency beyond the 65W power limit, more precisely up to 125W.

We have done extensive tests with the ASRock Base Frequency Boost Option with Intel B460, Intel H470 and Intel Z490 in comparison and will shortly go into more detail about the overclocking possibilities and results, how much this type of BFB overclocking can achieve with a locked Intel Core i5-10600 CPU, or similar.

Here you can see a CPU-Z screenshot of the Intel Core i5-10500 CPU with a maximum TDP of 65W and a maximum turbo of up to 4500 MHz for a short time instead of 3100 MHz!

ASRock B460 Steel Legend memory settings …

In the DRAM configuration menu you can find all important memory settings.

Thanks to Load XMP Setting support, XMP memory modules are already correctly set with a mouse click in the UEFI BIOS.

Alternatively you can select the settings manually. With the DDR4 memory clocking you can e.g. select values from DDR4-800 …

… to a maximum of DDR4-2666, since no BCLK is increased. Intel Core i7 and Intel Core i9 support up to DDR4-2933.

All DDR4 timings can also be adjusted manually.

The ASRock B460 Steel Legend offers under Memory Information an overview with all SPD and XMP memory settings, although they are no longer available for direct selection as in the DRAM Configuration Menu.

ASRock B460 Steel Legend voltage settings …

Now we come to the different voltage rates that can be set in the BIOS. The B460 motherboard provides some voltage settings under Voltage Configuration. It has e.g. the GT voltage, PCH voltage, VCCSA voltage and the DDR4 voltage can also be set in the voltage menu, as we already showed on the second test page in the technical details.

At the CPU Core/Cache Voltage no fixed mode can be set, but only the value in offset mode. With the Intel Core i5-10500 Test CPU this Vcore Offset could be set from -0.100V to +0.200V.

ASRock B460 Steel Legend even easier overclocking …

If you prefer overclocking in Windows, you can do the above mentioned voltage settings with the ASRock A-Tuning Tool.

The CPU cannot be overclocked here either. Here you can see some settings of the ASRock A-Tuning Tool.

Once the desired settings have been found, you can save up to five different BIOS settings with names in the UEFI under OC Tweaker.

For example, you could store balanced BIOS settings, Undervolting values, Office or Gaming settings as Undervolting, Balance and Gaming user profiles to be able to quickly reload these values at any time.

Also interesting is the Save User UEFI Setup Profile to Disk option. Just click it to save your own UEFI settings on the hard drive or an USB stick.

BIOS Undervolting …

The downclocking or undervolting is also tested in this review. It was not possible to lower the Intel Core i7-8700K CPU frequency over the BIOS. You can lower the voltage to reduce the power consumption. Of course, underclocking is like overclocking outside of the manufacturers specification, so it is necessary to have some luck. ASRock gives several options for easy PC undervolting. There are many other UEFI settings to choose from, such as CPU Configuration, Chipset, Storage, Intel Thunderbolt, Super IO Configuration, ACPI Configuration, USB Configuration and Trusted Computing.

If you want to save power when using a PC with an Intel LGA1200 PC or if you use Intel Virtualization Technology to support multiple, simultaneous operating systems, you should also check the CPU Configuration menu under Advanced.

But also the settings in Advanced Chipset Configuration with the individual speeds of the PCIe slots, selecting the first graphics card, etc. are interesting.

In the UEFI it is even possible to manually deactivate each individual USB port.

Fan control …

The UEFI Setup of the passive cooled B460 Steel Legend motherboard also features an extensive temperature controlled fan control. The settings for the fan controller can be found in H/W Monitor directly below the temperature and voltage display.

Here are settings for the CPU fan, chassis fans or W_Pump switch.

You have the choice between Customize, Silent, Standard, Performance and Full Speed.

In Customize Mode, several temperature steps are available to which the desired fan speed can then be assigned. The fan settings are changed immediately and can therefore be heard immediately.

ASRock has also integrated the graphical user interface for controlling the fans in the UEFI setup. The FAN-Tastic Tuning menu item can also be found in the H/W monitor and can be used for all settings. Simply select the respective fan connector on the left side and then select the mode on the right side: Silent, Standard, Performance or Full Speed.

In Customize mode, you can set all values directly in the chart and save.

For the chassis fan connectors you can even select, which source you want to use for temperature measurement – Monitor CPU or Monitor Motherboard. Then click on apply and save the values.

And even the control of the 3-pin chassis fans is possible with the DC/PWM mode switch.

Who would rather set the values in Windows, you can use also the ASRock A-Tuning tool.

You can usually get along without an expensive Fan Controller, because the fans are controlled with this fan control based on CPU or motherboard temperature.

If everything is set, simply store the settings as usual with the F10 key and confirm with Z or on an English keyboard with Y. A new feature of ASRock is that all changes made are shown to the user before saving them – very practical!

ASRock B460 Steel Legend energy consumption …