There are ten different models under its B650 motherboard collection. These differ in size and come in broad price ranges. Today, we will review the B650E Steel Legend WiFi, a mid-range motherboard with an ATX form factor.
We will discuss everything you need to know about the motherboard, like its design, features, functions, specs, performance, etc. But before our ASRock B650E Steel Legend WiFi Motherboard Review gets into details, let us check out the package contents.
ASRock regards the B650E Steel Legend WiFi as both robust and visually appealing. It is a motherboard ideal for mainstream enthusiasts and daily users. So, you will not find an LED screen or an entirely covered board.
However, it features steel-coloured heatsinks at the top of one 8-layer black PCB. The product sports camo-like black, grey, and white patterns along the socket, chipset, and audio area.
We also inspected the VRM shroud and heatsinks for this ASRock B650E Steel Legend WiFi Motherboard Review. You can find these to the left of its socket. It houses the RGBs that light up the S symbol for its Street Legend.
There are extra RGBs beneath the chipset heatsink, while another heatsink is atop the PCIe 5.0 M.2 socket. An additional one covers the other M.2 sockets along the base of the motherboard.
Overall, the B650E is a good-looking, mid-range motherboard.
The VRM on the motherboard integrates a 16+2+1 phase design with two 8-pin power connectors on its top right. It is not the desired size for a top-end overclocking motherboard but is adequate for upper mainstream systems.
The VRM heatsink integrates standard segmented aluminium. Active cooling is not present/needed; plus, heat pipes do not connect the aluminium blocks.
You will find a hidden audio section at the left side of its PCB along its stencilling. The audio separation line runs from the motherboard base to its top M.2 socket. Plus, it comes with the Realtek ALC897 codec, which is a little dated.
Do not expect to find a 3rd-party DAC or Amp at this price range. An external solution would be optional if you have a decent pair of cans or are a critical listener.
Although it sports a dated codec, most users will not notice its presence.
PCIe Slots, M.2 Sockets, and SATA Ports
Three M.2 sockets and two full-length PCI slots are at the centre of the motherboard. Under its heatsink, you will see the top PCIe socket that links through the CPU. It runs at PCIe 5.0 x16 speeds.
The base socket sources lanes from its chipset that runs at PCIe 3.0 x5 speeds. For your reference, the board has AMD Crossfire support. The only two SATA ports on the board are on the right edge past the illuminated chipset heatsink.
Generally, these can be an issue for some users wanting to carry over older drives.
USB Ports and Headers
Across the base of the motherboard are exposed headers with USB ports, power/reset buttons, and RGB headers. Here is a complete specs list you can check out.
Front Panel Audio
ARGB Headers (1x 4-pin and 1x 3-pin)
5-pin Thunderbolt AIC Connector
3x System Fan Headers
Clear CMOS Jumper
2x USB 2.0 Headers
System Panel Header
USB 3.2 Gen 1 Connector
The back I/O plate of the B650E Steel Legend WiFi comes pre-installed. It features black, white, and grey with black labels adorned with the Steel Series S emblem.
The rear I/O section offers a total of eight USB slots. These include the following:
Two USB 3.2 Gen2 (10Gbps) ports, both Type-C and Type-A
Four Type-A USB 3.2 Gen1 (5Gbps) Ports
An additional two USB 2.0 ports
For video outputs, there is one HDMI port and one DisplayPort. There are antenna connections for the integrated WiFi 6E. Lastly, a BIOS flashback button, Realtek Dragon-based 2.5 GbE port, and dual analogue + SPDIF audio setup are present.
Key Features of the ASRock B650E Steel Legend WiFi Motherboard
This motherboard has many features we will discuss in our ASRock B650E Steel Legend WiFi Motherboard Review.
SPS (Smart Power Stage)
The DrMOS Smart Power Stage design monitors current and temperature to deliver high-quality power for overclocking.
16+2+1 Power Phase Design
The 19-phase power design of this motherboard, combined with sturdy components, allows smooth and clean power to reach your CPU. It delivers the excellent performance enhancement that gamers need.
Server-grade Low Loss PCB
The low-loss server-grade PCB on the B650E Steel Legend WiFi enhances signal integrity. As a result, the motherboard can accommodate PCIe 5.0 and M.2 SSD while improving memory OC potential. With this motherboard, you can enjoy the ultimate memory performance.
Eight-Layer PCB for Unparalleled System Performance
The eight-layer PCB offers stable power shapes and signal traces to lower temperatures while enhancing energy efficiency. This component makes the motherboard highly reliable and long-lasting without compromising performance.
Supports DDR5 EXPO and XMP
Like all ASRock motherboards, the company built the B650E Steel Legend WiFi with an eight-layer PCB. Combined with low-loss materials, it can boost the DDR5 memory and deliver up to 7600MHz overclocking performance. It also enables the pre-tested profiles to enhance the system performance.
ASRock derives this motherboard construction from its design concept, which focuses on building for reliability and stability. As a result, it does not compromise any detail. The company only uses premium materials and parts in manufacturing this high-quality motherboard.
AMD Precision Boost Overdrive
Precision Boost Overdrive, or PBO, is a technology that raises clock speeds based on your PC conditions to improve performance. It analyses the installed components using the intelligent thermal sensors of AMD processors.
PBO automatically boosts your PC speed depending on your components’ stats. Before activating this feature, ensure your PC has sufficient system cooling to prevent failure.
Blazing OC Tuner
Blazing OC Tuner makes the AM5 CPU automatically enable manual OC mode when the current is above the threshold. Anything below will activate PBO. This technology joins overclocking on all cores and automated boosts in a single to achieve optimal performance.
What makes Blazing OC Tuner convenient is it does not require BIOS access. You can tweak everything via the OS.
Reinforced DIMM Slot of the ASRock B650E Steel Legend WiFi Motherboard
The surface-mounted DIMM slot offers better physical strength for a more stable memory signal. This top-notch revolutionary design lets you overclock the DRAM module at high frequencies.
Build-friendly Design for DIYers
The memory module of DDR5 DIMM is prone to damage due to its specialised electrical architecture. ASRock prevents this by implementing a trouble-free protection circuit to lower the chances of damaging the memory module.
Proprietary Graphics Card Holder of ASRock
Graphics cards tend to sag due to their weight, but fortunately, ASRock has a solution for this problem. On the B650E Steel Legend WiFi, you can install your heavy graphics card on its holder.
All you have to do is connect your motherboard and chassis with screws. Once installed, you can slide the holder up or down to set the appropriate height for your graphics card.
Sync the ASRock B650E Steel Legend WiFi Motherboard Lighting with Polychrome RGB
The B650E Steel Legend WiFi has integrated RGB illumination, plus onboard and addressable RGB headers. You can connect compatible LED components and accessories like RGB strips, CPU fans, etc.
If you have Polychrome RGB Sync-certified devices, you can synchronise their lighting effects with the B650E Steel Legend WiFi. Create a unique and immersive light show with your PC build.
The 2.5GB/s LAN provides maximum performance to meet content creation demands, online gaming, home networking, and media streaming. It boosts network performance by 2.5 times the bandwidth of conventional gigabit Ethernet.
As a result, you can enjoy faster and uncompromised connectivity for file transfers, backups, and gaming.
WiFi 6E 802.11ax for Excellent Wireless Network Performance
WiFi 6E has extended to the latest 6GHz spectrum band, offering improved wireless capability and faster internet traffic. Aside from increased speeds, it lowers latency and supports service levels equivalent to 5G networks.
The next section of our ASRock B650E Steel Legend WiFi Motherboard Review consists of the product specs. Look into these to determine if the motherboard is ideal and adequate for your build.
Form Factor: ATX
Dimensions: 30.5 x 24.4cm
Chipset: AMD B650
CPU Socket: AMD AM5
M.2 Slots: 3
aRGB Headers: 3
Ethernet Jacks: 1
Maximum Memory Speed: 6600MHz
Supported Storage Capacity: 128GB Maximum
Memory Type: DDR5
Audio Channels: 7.1
Onboard Audio Chipset: Realtek ALC897
Wireless Connectivity: 802.11ax
Hands-on with the ASRock B650E Steel Legend WiFi Motherboard
In the OC Tweaker tab of the BIOS, you will find most options for overclocking. It supports standard JEDEC, AMD EXPO, and Intel XMP. You can use ten preset slots to save/recall system settings or export/import to and from a USB device.
OC Tweaker also has PBO presets and submenus for custom timings, voltage, and RAM profiles.
In the H/W Monitor tab, you can keep track of the system temperature and control fan speeds. Here, you will also find the Fan-Tastic tool.
When you have its Auto Driver Installer feature enabled in the UEFI, you will see a pop-up notification in Windows. It is the first time the motherboard finds a network connection with internet access.
A specific utility is launched from there, immediately downloading drivers considered missing. It is worth noting that the app does not proactively download/install other ASRock utilities. It means you need to download them manually.
You will also find the App Shop in BIOS. It works for scanning your system and displaying the available driver and app updates. A-tuning or Motherboard Utility provides access to most fan controls and overclocking features.
Polychrome Sync allows you to customise the RGB lighting of the B650E Steel Legend WiFi. Aside from that, you can synchronise its patterns and effects with other connected peripherals and accessories.
Nahimic Audio provides a graphic equaliser for tuning your audio. It also lets you overlay a visual indicator to help you detect the source of sounds in games.
It delivered impressive performance during our tests for this ASRock B650E Steel Legend WiFi Motherboard Review. With proper cooling, we got the most out of the AMD processor on this motherboard. It functioned perfectly whilst gaming.
This motherboard was highly efficient and delivered excellent scores in our game test results.
Overclocking was straightforward on this motherboard and had no issues.
The motherboard never had issues, even when we used processor-demanding games and heavy applications. We did not notice lags or delays in our system, which was highly impressive.
VRM temperatures were slightly warmer than other motherboards when we performed stress tests but did not exceed MOSFET limits. The highest temperature of our system reached 44°C and increased to 51°C when overclocked. Of course, the results may differ for every user due to various factors like weather conditions, components installed, etc.
The B650E Steel Legend WiFi is a high-quality motherboard with all the necessary features and technologies to perform optimally. Its superior components can power the current and future AMD Ryzen processors to handle the heaviest tasks.
With its competitive price point, gamers should consider this motherboard over other more expensive options. It does not have unnecessary bells and whistles that cause a significant price increase. Instead, you can allot your budget to a better processor and graphics card or expand your internal storage.
We will wrap up this ASRock B650E Steel Legend WiFi Motherboard Review by recommending the motherboard. It is an excellent option for those who want the latest technologies but refuse to overspend on unwanted features. The company also targets gamers who desire to maximise their potential for top-notch gaming performance.