ASRock Z390 Steel Legend

 

Visual inspection

The ASRock Z390 Steel Legend is equipped with the Intel Z390 chipset and the Intel socket 1151 v2. The design is similar with other Steel Legend motherboards, the center piece being a silver, white and black digital camouflage pattern applied directly on the PCB surface. The heatsinks are made out of metal and are painted silver with a linear brushed texture.

 

The power delivery of the Z390 Steel Legend is composed out of Sinopower SM4337 and SM4336 MOSFETs. The motherboard also uses SMD 60A choke inductors and Nichicon Black Series capacitors.

 

The Phase controller is the well-known uP9521 Digital Controller, manufactured by uPI Semiconductor. The Z390 Steel Legend uses it in a 6 + 2 phase configuration; however, this controller can work in different phase configurations.

 

As is the case with most motherboards, the power for the CPU is delivered through a single 8 Pin connector, which is found on the upper left corner of the motherboard.

 

The cooling of the VRM components is done by a single heatsink manufactured from aluminum. This heatsink only covers the left side of the motherboard and most of the VRM Components that deal with the Vcore system of the motherboard.

 

The motherboard features 5 (five) 4-pin fan headers: starting at the top of the board, the first header is located on the upper right corner of the RAM slots. The next two fan headers are located under the CPU socket and above the first M.2 slot. The last two headers are placed on the lower edge of the motherboard, next to the front panel header and the two SATA 6 connectors.

 

On the right there are the four memory DIMM slots that support a maximum of 128GB. The rated speeds available are starting at 2133MHz and go up to DDR4 4266+(OC).

 

The motherboard has two internal USB 3.0 headers, one is located next to the ATX 240 pin connector, while the other is located on the lower edge of the motherboard next to the USB headers.

 

The main PCIe slot is reinforced with metal, this is done for both a design and functionality. While the metal reinforcement will not prevent the breaking of the slot if enough force is applied, it will prevent bending of the pins.

 

The SuperI/O chip installed on this motherboard is a NuvoTon NCT6791D, this is responsible for the system management. In this motherboard’s case, the chip is installed above the audio system, and next to the PCIe slots.

 

The audio system has as its center piece, the Realtek ALC1200 chip and five Nichicon electrolytic audio capacitors. As is the standard, the audio system is isolated from the rest of the PCB to reduce interference.

 

The fast storage options available with the Z390 Steel Legend are two M.2 slots for PCI-E M.2 SSDs. The first one is located under the CPU socket and is covered by a preinstalled heatsink. The second M.2 slot is located in between the lower PCIe slots and is covered by a metal heatsink that is also part of the chipset heatsink of the motherboard.

 

The M.2 slot that is located in the center of the PCIe area, and next to the Bios battery is an E-Key M.2 slot, which is often used in notebooks to add an optional Wi-Fi or Bluetooth network card. The same case applies to this motherboard, you have the option of installing any model of Wi-Fi or Bluetooth network cards you desire, based on your needs and budget.

 

The storage available on this motherboard is composed out of six SATA3 6.0 Gb/s Connectors. These are split into two locations for better accessibility and ease of usage. The main four connectors are located on the standard lower left side of the motherboard with two more connectors placed on the lower side of the board, next to the front panel header.

 

On the backside, we have the I/O panel.

The I/O panel is as follows (from left to right):
– 1x Antenna Bracket
– 1x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Port
– 1x HDMI Port
– 1x DisplayPort 1.2
– 1x Optical SPDIF Out Port
– 2x USB 2.0 Ports (Supports ESD Protection)
– 1x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A Port (10 Gb/s) (ReDriver) (Supports ESD Protection)
– 1x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C Port (10 Gb/s) (ReDriver) (Supports ESD Protection)
– 2x USB 3.2 Gen1 Ports (Intel® Z390) (Supports ESD Protection)
– 1x RJ-45 LAN Port with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
– HD Audio Jacks: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone (Gold Audio Jacks)

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