We’ve reviewed a number of Z690 boards and most of them offered top-notch performance but were extremely pricey. So today, we’re writing our ASRock B660M Steel Legend motherboard review to share a more price-friendly option for your needs.
The Steel Legend motherboard makes use of the B660M chipset, making it ideal for mainstream users. It’s also a good option if you want to utilise your existing DDR4 RAM with the current technologies.
If you find this product interesting or feel the need to know more about it, we’ve got your back. In this ASRock B660M Steel Legend motherboard review, we’ll discuss everything about the motherboard. Here, we’ll talk about important things related to its design, features, performance, and more.
Like all our other reviews, let’s start off this ASRock B660M Steel Legend motherboard review with the package. The board arrived in a nice-looking white cardboard container that was sturdy enough to protect the items inside.
The front displays the company and series’ branding, plus the name of the unit at the centre. On the lower corner of the box, you’ll find the main features being highlighted.
Inside, the B660M Steel Legend motherboard is packed securely to protect the product and avoid unwanted damages during shipping. It comes with extras like a quick installation guide, support CD, and an I/O shield.
Then, there are also two SATA data cables, three M.2 socket screws, and an M.2 socket standoff.
ASRock B660M Steel Legend Motherboard Review – Design and Functionality
The motherboard comes with all the benefits and essentials present in the Steel Legend series products. That means you can enjoy its rock-solid durability and excellent camo design aesthetics. ASRock created the board with mainstream and daily users in mind, giving them the reliability and stable performance they need.
But what makes it click? It gives you all this at a decent price.
We focused on the design aspects for this ASRock B660M Steel Legend motherboard review. Here, we saw it sporting a military-themed PCB with grey & white heatsinks. This design inclusion makes it appear similar to the B560 Steel Legend.
It also has a few big splashes of RGB lights along its right side and the chipset heatsink. Keep in mind that it appears very bright, a bit too bright even.
This motherboard has a smaller micro-ATX PCB and comes with fewer PCIe slots compared to the ATX versions. It comes with a full-length PCIe 5.0 x16 slot and two PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. Then, there are also two PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots available.
There are other storage options available, and these are six SATA ports where four are powered by a specific chipset. The latter supports RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays. Then, the other two are powered by an ASMedia ASM-1061 SATA controller.
Memory Slots on the ASRock B660M Steel Legend Motherboard
The motherboard also comes with four memory slots that support DDR4-5000 while having a capacity of up to 128GB. Its rear panel has four USB 3.2 G1 Type-A, as well as two USB 2.0 ports. Plus, there’s a Realtek RTL-8125BG 2.5 GbE controller and a Realtek ALC-897 HD audio codec.
The audio codec powers an S/PDIF optical output and five 3.5mm audio jacks. There’s even a PS/2 combo port and an HDMI 2.1 + DisplayPort 1.4 video output pairing available. Lastly, you’ll find a little BIOS Flashback button too.
Overall, we consider the B660M chipset more than enough. It’s great for people who want an affordable board that supports 12th Gen Alder Lake processors.
Key Features of the ASRock B660M Steel Legend Motherboard
We’ll discuss this product’s key features to find out what makes it better than other motherboards on the market.
True Legend – Tough and Durable Design
ASRock’s Steel Legend series represents rock-solid durability combined with great aesthetics. Products under this line are built with demanding specs and features to address the needs of daily users and enthusiasts. It has powerful materials and components that ensure stability and reliability.
Integrated Dr.MOS Solution
The Dr.MOS power stage solution integrated into the B660M Steel Legend is optimised for synchronous buck-step down voltage. Unlike conventional discrete MOSFETs, Dr.MOS works smartly by delivering a higher current for each phase. This results in better thermal results and enhanced performance.
9 Power Phase Design
The B660M Steel Legend features sturdy components, allowing for smooth power delivery to the processor. With that, the motherboard offers improved performance that is suitable for gaming.
When we tested the product for our ASRock B660M Steel Legend motherboard review, our PC performed seamlessly while playing.
6-Layer PCB of the ASRock B660M Steel Legend Motherboard
With the 6-layer PCB, signal traces will be stable and power shapes will offer higher efficiency while keeping temperatures low. Because of this, the motherboard can support the newest memory modules. This is ideal for memory overclocking and extreme memory performance.
Surface-Mount Tech (SMT) PCIe 5.0
Compared to traditional DIP style PCIe slots, the SMT type maximises stability and improved signal flow at high speed. This feature is essential to fully support the lightning speed of PCIe 5.0 which can deliver 128 GBps bandwidth. With PCIe 5.0, this motherboard can unleash the full potential of upcoming high-end graphics cards.
Nichicon 12K Black Caps for Longer Lifespan
The Nichicon 12K Black Caps are 100% Japan-made conductive polymer capacitors with at least 12,000 hours of lifespan. This is 20% longer than its counterparts which are used on other high-end motherboards.
Powerful Algorithms – Enhanced Communication Quality
Powerful Algorithms ensure a constant vocal level and noise-free conversations regardless of your mic’s distance. The Nahimic audio engine dynamically removes interference noise, clears the audio, removes interference noise, and reduces voice variation. As a result, there will be better comprehension and communication.
Polychrome RGB to Customise the ASRock B660M Steel Legend Motherboard
The B660M Steel Legend comes with built-in RGB illumination, onboard RGB headers, and an ARGB header. These allow you to connect compatible LED devices like coolers, CPU fans, chassis, strips, and more. You can also synchronise these peripherals and components across Polychrome RGB Sync-certified products for unique lighting.
High Speed M.2 Solution
This motherboard can accommodate multiple M.2 storage devices and one of these can support PCIe 4.0 M.2. With that, it can perform two times faster than the previous 3rd generation, making data transfer faster than ever.
ECC RAM Support for Data Failure Prevention
ECC RAM support prevents major data failure concerns like data transcription issues, file corruption, security vulnerability, and data loss. If these issues occur, it’s better managed with ECC.
Meet Demands with Dragon 2.5 Gb/s LAN’s Maximum Networking Performance
The smart 2.5Gb/s LAN platform is designed for maximum networking performance. It’s to meet the demanding requirements of home networking, content creation, high-quality media streaming, and online gaming. It increases networking performance up to 2.5X the bandwidth compared to the traditional gigabit Ethernet.
Dragon 2.5 Gb/s LAN lets you enjoy the faster, reliable, and uncompromised connectivity experience.
Base Frequency Boost Technology
This feature allows utilising increased TDP to take advantage of the base frequency boost with the processors’ potential power. This is with non-K series CPUs and selected ASRock motherboards under the 600 series.
Note that the boost frequency still depends on the cooling system you used on your rig.
Nahimic Audio for an Engaging Listening Experience
Headphones, headset, internal/external speakers – no matter what you use, you’ll enjoy your audio better than ever with Nahimic Audio. This feature offers rich, vibrant, and detailed audio to make your listening experience more engaging.
The Best Gaming Experience with the ASRock B660M Steel Legend Motherboard
For a fully immersive gaming experience, the B660M Steel Legend features Sound Tracker. This is a visual indicator that points out the source of predominant sounds which are positioned on a 360-degree radar.
Aside from Sound Tracker, the motherboard also offers Surround Sound that will work on any audio device. Whether it’s via audio jack, Bluetooth, USB, HDMI, or S/PDIF, Nahimic is compatible and can provide high-quality audio. Nahimic optimises the motherboard’s audio technology to offer the best sound for you.
USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C
This latest generation USB offers up to 20 Gbps data transfer speed. It’s two times faster than the previous USB, so it provides blazing-fast data transfer rates. The reversible USB Type-C design also allows the connector to fit either way which is extremely convenient.
BIOS Flashback allows convenient BIOS flashing with a simple click. Get the latest VIOS support with a USB and PSU. No need for other components which makes things quicker and easier.
Crossfire and SLI Support for Ultimate Performance
The B660M Steel Legend has Crossfire support allowing it to make two graphics cards work together as one. This results in delivering improved system performance. Together with Crossfire, the motherboard also supports SLI or scalable link interface to run two NVIDIA SLI-branded GPUs.
M.2 (Key E) for WiFi
The ASRock B660M Steel Legend doesn’t only have the onboard LAN port. With the M.2 (Key E) slot, you can choose 802.11ac wireless connections.
Now, our ASRock B660M Steel Legend motherboard review will focus on more in-depth details related to the motherboard. It has a micro-ATX form factor that measures 24.4 x 24.4cm. Its OS is Microsoft Windows 10 64-bit or 11 64-bit.
It comes with an LGA-1700 socket and again, it makes use of the Intel B660M chipset. The motherboard supports DDR4 memory which includes the following: 133MHz, 2666MHz, 2400MHz, 3000MHz, 3200MHz, 3466MHz, 2933MHz, 3800MHz, 3600MHz, and 3733MHz. It also supports 4000MHz, 4266MHz, 4200MHz,4600MHz, 4400MHz, and 4800MHz.
Just remember that high clock speeds might require you to enable the XMP profile on the board’s BIOS. Also, RAM support may depend on your CPU’s memory controller.
The board has one PCIe x16 slot, two PCIe x1 slots, six SATA 6Gbps ports, and three M.2 ports. It has 4 RAM slots and even supports the dual-channel DDR4 memory technology. The total supported RAM is 128GB.
Additionally, RAID support includes RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10 for SATA storage devices.
The connectors that the B660M Steel Legend has include SPI TPM header, a chassis instruction, and a speaker header. It comes with one RGB LED header, three addressable LED headers, and a 4-pin CPU fan connector.
ASRock included a 4-pin CPU/water pump fan connector and three 4-pin chassis/water pump connectors.
Other connectors available are the 24-pin ATX power connector, 8-pin 12V power connector, and a front panel audio connector. Then, there are two USB 2.0 headers and a USB 3.2 Gen1 header. Lastly, it includes a front panel Type-C USB 3.2 Gen2x2 header.
Hands-on with the ASRock B660M Steel Legend Motherboard
Let’s get hands-on and we’ll share our experience with the motherboard here in our ASRock B660M Steel Legend motherboard review. Generally, its performance was great, and it even beat some of the highly-regarded motherboards that have the same chipset.
The B660M Steel Legend didn’t have any issues when we tried it with one of our processors. And interestingly, the board was able to perform on par with a Z690 DDR4-serviced board which was good.
The ASRock B660M Steel Legend is a good motherboard. Although we can’t say it’s highly remarkable, it’s something great to have especially for its price range. It performed well, it didn’t give us any negative results, and we’re happy with the overall product after using it.
The B660M Steel Legend is one of the affordable motherboards on the market today. It may not be a highly notable product with fancy features, but it’s great for delivering as claimed. But despite its focus on function and performance, it still has ASRock’s attractive Steel Legend design and RGB lighting.
Like with every PC component and part, you get what you pay for when buying a motherboard. So with the B660M Steel Legend, you won’t get high-end features like overclocking-capable VRMs and WiFi 6E. But in terms of gaming, this motherboard will definitely give you tangible performance.
Overall, we highly recommend this motherboard from ASRock for a no-fuss budget-friendly PC build. It may not be the perfect product on the market, but it works how it should without issues. If you’re looking for an affordable micro-ATX motherboard, this is an excellent choice.