ASRock B560 Steel Legend

Starting our B560 overview in alphabetical order (by vendor), the first board we're taking a look at is ASRock's B560 Steel Legend. The Steel Legend is a common mainstay on its premium desktop chipsets as a mid-range model and currently sits atop its product range for B560. Visually, the ASRock B560 Steel Legend is using a black, grey, and white urban camouflage theme on the PCB, with silver and grey heatsinks. It includesRGB LEDs integrated into the chipset heatsink and along the right-hand side of the board which creates an underglow effect.

Located centrally on the board are two full-length PCIe slots, with the top slot operating at PCIe 4.0 x16 and the bottom slot electronically locked to PCIe 3.0 x4. ASRock also includes two PCIe 3.0 x4 slots for devices such as additional networking and audio controllers. For storage, the B560 Steel Legend includes three M.2 slots with the top slot operating at PCIe 4.0 x4 and the other two including support for both PCIe 3.0 x4 and SATA drives. The third M.2 slot does share bandwidth with one of the board's six SATA ports, which as with Intel chipsets, includes support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays. ASRock also includes four memory slots with support for DDR4-4800 and a maximum capacity of 128 GB.

On the rear panel are one USB 3.2 G2 Type-C, four USB 3.2 G1 Type-A, and two USB 2.0 ports, with an HDMI and DisplayPort video output pairing. For networking, there is a single Realtek RTL8125BG 2.5 GbE controller, while the board's five 3.5 mm audio jacks and S/PDIF optical output is driven by a Realtek ALC897 HD audio codec. Finishing off the rear panel is a PS/2 keyboard and mouse combination port.

ASRock has set an MSRP of $130 for the B560 Steel Legend, which is representative of its modest controller options,and the market position of B560. It is nice to see ASRock has included a 2.5 GbE port which is becoming normalized as we move past Gigabit networking.

Intel B560 Chipset, What's New? ASRock B560M Steel Legend
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  • Flunk - Monday, March 29, 2021 - link

    Still limiting overclocking on mid-range boards even though the competition doesn't? Shame Intel, shame. Reply
  • shabby - Monday, March 29, 2021 - link

    Do you really need to overclock though? Don't these cpus overclock themselves to 200w+ anyway? Reply
  • Linustechtips12#6900xt - Thursday, April 8, 2021 - link

    just adjust the turbo limit time or enable MCE if you can, at least i think you can on b560 not sure and 2933/3000 mhz memory isnt the biggest deal either Reply
  • Great_Scott - Monday, March 29, 2021 - link

    The most recent crop of Intel CPUs 1) overclock on their own, and 2) don't have any thermal headroom.

    Really, getting a Non-K with a B-series motherboard and saving the money for (any) GPU is the better idea...
    Reply
  • Martin84a - Monday, March 29, 2021 - link

    Not that the work isn't appreciated, but I think you should just hire raisonjohn and call it a day. His work on a massive comparison spreadsheet for the AMD A, B and X motherboard is amazing, and light years ahead of anything I've seen.
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1wmsTYK9Z3-...
    Reply
  • Tomatotech - Monday, March 29, 2021 - link

    Decent stack range, but the vast majority have too many SATA and not enough m.2 and not enough USB type C ports. In the next few years there will be more and more type C equipment to plug in.

    Apart from that, most of them are good for final DDR4 boards as a final home for DDR4 RAM as DDR 5 starts coming in next year (or the year after).

    With AMD’s reduction in CPU power the way seems open for some low power desktops to run entirely off USB-C with its power supply of up to 100w (delivered via DC so equal to a wall supply of maybe 130w AC as the transformer losses are in the wall wart not in the desktop PSU). That could mean smaller and cheaper desktops, powered straight from the monitor (if it has a USBC power supply) through the USBC video cable. Apple already has this setup though a few hoops need to be jumped through.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, March 29, 2021 - link

    Limited m.2 is mostly down to being mATX and budget. The smaller board size combined with m.2 being attached to the board itself doesn't leave much room for a 2nd slot unless you go with some sort of riser setup. And using a riser crashes into being budget products.

    USB-C rollout has been strangled by the decision to implement reversibility by adding an extra chip between the physical port and controller whose job is to swap the IO around instead of offloading that to the controller. Adding an extra dollar or two to the BOM per port has resulted in all the board makers deciding that not having multiple C ports is a good way to cut costs.

    Lastly, mATX is going to be the last place we see SATA numbers shrink as long as Intel keep offering them on their chipsets. The plugs are dirt cheap, and unless you're building a maxed out full ATX board the chipset has more IO lanes than you can use. If numbers ever start dropping below what's offered in the chipset it'll either be on mITX boards that are badly space constrained or full ATX ones where the designers decide a few more PCIe lanes or USB3 ports would be more valuable.
    Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Monday, March 29, 2021 - link

    Plenty of AMD micro ATX boards have 2 slots, you just need some intelligent board design. Hell they can fit 2 on mini ITX without riser boards. Reply
  • Tomatotech - Tuesday, March 30, 2021 - link

    Thanks Dan for the reply. I didn’t know that info about the USB-C extra chip causing issues. USB-IF strikes again! Reply
  • vailr - Monday, March 29, 2021 - link

    Gigabyte also has the (full size ATX board) B460 HD3:
    https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/B460-HD3-rev-...
    Reply

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