The following system was used to test the motherboard:
– CPU: AMD Ryzen 1700X @ 3.6GHz
– RAM: Ballistix Tactical Tracer 16GB DDR4 @ 2666MHz
– GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Founder’s Edition
– HDD: WD 1TB Blue
– SSD: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB
– PSU: Seasonic Snow Silent 750W Platinum
– CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-L9x65 SE-AM4
– Case: Phanteks Enthoo Luxe
– OS: Windows 10 64-Bit (After April Update)
Software used for testing the motherboard:
– 3D Mark – FireStrike, CloudGate, IceStorm.
– CineBench r11.5
– SuperPi mod 1.5
– Grand Theft Auto V
– Deus Ex Mankind Divided
– The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
SuperPi mod 1.5
Grand Theft Auto V
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The ASRock B450 Steel Legend is available at around 100 USD or Euro, and also has plenty of features to make it worth buying. The design is unique and is complemented by tastefully implemented LEDs around the chipset heatsink and the I/O cover.
The B450 Steel Legend has plenty of storage options, two M.2 SSD slots, one which is covered by a preinstalled heatsink to help with heat dissipation, and six SATA3 ports that are not stacked.
The biggest drawback of this motherboard is the VRM cooling system. The two heatsinks are not big enough and also lack the fins to properly cool the VRM components. This can always be fixed by installing a fan facing the CPU area or using a top down flow CPU Cooler. During the testing, the only period where the VRM was reaching 90°C was during overclocking the Ryzen 7 1700X CPU. Otherwise, in heavy gaming, the VRM stayed at around 70°C.
In conclusion, the ASRock B450 Steel Legend is good mid-range motherboard, ideal for a gaming system and light CPU overclocking. The board offers plenty of useful features and options, two M.2 slots, reinforced metal PCIe slot and good VRM components. If you decide to overclock a high-end CPU, then the VRM heatsinks need better airflow inside the system.