ASRock X570 Steel Legend AM4 Motherboard Review

ASRock X570 Steel Legend AM4 Motherboard Review


Introduction – ASRock X570 Steel Legend

ASRock introduced their new Steel Legend lineup earlier last year and with the debut of the X570 chipset, ASRock has added the Steel Legend series in the launch lineup with the X570 Steel Legend. Today we’ll take a look at this motherboard and see how it performs our current stack of other X570 motherboards. Unlike other sub-series from other brands, ASRock has been conservative with the Steel Legend image. While it sits on their mainstream port folio, the main offering for mainstream is still the Pro and Extreme series while the high-end market receives the new Phantom Gaming and Taichi series. That said, the X570 Steel Legend in a comfortable spot as a flagship contender with the quality to compete but lacks certain features to make it really stand out. The main selling point of the ASRock X570 Steel Legend is durability as the company touts the build quality of this motherboard to serve as a lasting product. For AM4 owners that are looking to live out the AM4 socket until AMD’s new socket, this may be a great choice given that ASUS’ TUF main brand has now vanished and that tough-as-nails branding leaves a considerable niche that ASRock tends to fill with the Steel Legend.

Its a hard feature to quantify so for now let’s see how the ASRock X570 Steel Legend in this review. Read on!

ASRock X570 Steel Legend AM4 Motherboard Review

Features

  • Supports AMD AM4 Socket Ryzen™ 2000 and 3000 Series processors
  • 10 Power Phase Design
  • Supports DDR4 4666+ (OC)
  • 2 PCIe 4.0 x16, 3 PCIe 4.0 x1, 1 M.2(Key E) For WiFi
  • AMD Quad CrossFireX™ and CrossFireX™
  • Graphics Output Options: HDMI, DisplayPort
  • 7.1 CH HD Audio (Realtek ALC1220 Audio Codec), Nichicon Audio Caps
  • 8 SATA3, 1 Hyper M.2 (PCIe Gen4 x4 & SATA3), 1 Hyper M.2 (PCIe Gen4 x4)
  • 2 USB 3.2 Gen2 (Rear Type A+C), 10 USB 3.2 Gen1 (4 Front, 6 Rear)
  • Intel® Gigabit LAN
  • ASRock Polychrome SYNC

Official product page

Closer Look – ASRock X570 Steel Legend

ASRock ships the X570 Steel Legend (along with all of the Steel Legend models) in a relatively large motherboard box. The front shows the model name for the product inside with the Steel Legend branding heavily put on emphasis at the middle. At the back are feature highlights for the motherboard including details about the components.

ASRock X570 Steel Legend AM4 Motherboard Review

Inside the package is a simple array of documents, M.2 screws and mounts as well as a pair of SATA cables and the driver installation disc.

Here we have a front and back shot of the motherboard to show you the overall look of the board partially undressed. The board is done in a matte black PCB finish with the business end of the board clad in stylized PCB prints of digital arctic camo paint. Its a subtle slant that aligns the PCH heatsink together with the I/O shroud and VRM heatsink which is a nice touch but personally, the digital camo could’ve been away with entirely with a more easier PCB print or none at all. To each his own. The back of the board is clean with the I/O backplate the only significantly noticeable shift in aesthetics.

ASRock X570 Steel Legend AM4 Motherboard Review

Like with all X570 motherboards not loaded with 3rd-party features, the ASRock X570 Steel Legend has a relatively clean layout.

ASRock X570 Steel Legend AM4 Motherboard Review

ASRock uses a 10-phase power delivery design to power the CPU on the X570 Steel Legend. This motherboard supports all current- and previous-gen Ryzen processors for AM4 including the 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X.

ASRock X570 Steel Legend AM4 Motherboard Review
ASRock X570 Steel Legend AM4 Motherboard Review

The board supports up to 128GB of DDR4 memory of 4 32GB sticks up to 4666Mhz in speed.

ASRock X570 Steel Legend AM4 Motherboard Review

The X570 Steel Legend supports up to 8 SATAIII devices.

ASRock X570 Steel Legend AM4 Motherboard Review

Over at the back we have a set of video display output ports for Ryzen APUs. We also have a total of 3 pairs of USB3.2 Gen1 ports and a pair of  USB3.2 Gen2 ports, one Type A and another is Type C. Also worth noting is that the I/O shield is preinstalled. There is a WIFI version of this board  but for those noticing the holes at the back, you can use your own WIFI card and you can route the antenna on the pre-drilled holes at the back. The WIFI version of the X570 Steel Legend will have those holes pre-populated.

ASRock X570 Steel Legend AM4 Motherboard Review

Audio is delivered via a Realtek ALC1220 with ASRock complimenting the sound design via isolation of the audio area in the PCB and utilizing Nichicon capacitors.

ASRock X570 Steel Legend AM4 Motherboard Review

A giant unified heatsink covers the two M.2 PCIe Gen 4 slots where you can use gen4 SSDs. You’ll need to remove 3 screws to get rid of the heatspreader which is a chore. You’ll also want to make sure you’re SSD doesn’t have built-in heatsinks or otherwise, have removable ones to use on this board. Otherwise, you’ll need to remove the heatspreader which just looks wrong.

ASRock X570 Steel Legend AM4 Motherboard Review

A little touch on detail, ASRock is also using a reinforced PCIe x16 slot on the GPU slot.

Test Setup & Methodology

Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
Motherboard: ASRock X570 Steel Legend
Memory: G.Skill TridentZ RGB DDR4-3600 16GB
Storage: WD Blue SSD 1TB SATA
PSU: Seasonic Platinum 1050w
Cooling: AMD Wraith Prism
Monitor: Viewsonic VX2475smhl-4K
VGA: NVIDIA GTX 2080 Ti FE

All tests are performed in an open bench with ambient room temperature kept at 30*C (welcome to the Philippines.)

Motherboards are updated to the latest BIOS during time of testing kept at their out-of-box settings aside from XMP frequencies when running stock benchmarks.

As many already know, most motherboards will have varying frequency multipliers and this may affect performance overall. As this is part of their out of the box configuration we see it fit to use them as is. All data presented here in are with the default motherboard settings for stock performance. Overclocked performance will be indicated where needed. For non-Z series motherboards, all benchmarks are performed on DDR4-2133 default settings.

As always, we’ll let the numbers do the talking.

Best Practices

  • Same thermal paste and same application method used on all cooler mounting. A pre-benchmark stress test is performed to let the TIM settle. We use Noctua NT-H1 for all our testing.
  • A fresh install of Windows 10 Pro is used for every sample testing. The OS image contains all benchmarks and games. Drivers are installed after image is installed.
  • An average of 3 benchmark runs is used for test sampling.

Benchmarks Used

  • Maxon Cinebench R15 – Multi-threaded CPU benchmark
  • Blender 3D – BMW 2.7 CPU Render benchmark
  • POV-Ray 3.7.1 – Multi-threaded Render benchmark
  • Cinegy Cinescore 10 – Ultra HD 4K resolution CPU encoding benchmark
  • HWBot x265 – 4K x265 CPU encoding benchmark
  • wPrime 1024M – multi-threaded prime benchmark
  • SuperPI 32M – single-threaded prime benchmark
  • GeekBench Pro 4.2 – full system benchmark
  • ASUS RealBench 2.56 – full system benchmark

Subsystem Benchmarks

  • Crystal Disk Mark
  • Rightmark Audio Analyzer

Other Software

  • Latest LAN Speed Test via LST Server
  • Latest AIDA64 (Stress Test)
  • Latest CPU-Z
  • Latest GPU-Z
  • Latest HWnfo 64-bit

Test OS Environment

  • Windows 10 Pro Retail 64-bit
  • Latest NVIDIA GeForce Game-Ready drivers
  • Latest AMD Chipset/Radeon drivers (when applicable, AMD boards)
  • Latest DirectX end-user runtime

Measuring Equipment:

  • Flir One USB Thermal Camera via Thermal Imaging+ app
  • HP-9800 AC wattmeter with USB interface for app logging
  • Standard sound level meter

Network Hardware

  • ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 Router

Performance Test – Rendering/Encoding

Rendering tests are benchmarks designed to gauge performance during multimedia and professional workloads like 3D rendering or video encoding. This gives us a good idea on how a certain system will perform during a certain predefined workload.

MAXON Cinebench CPU Benchmark R15

 


Blender BMW Render Benchmark 2.7

 


POV Ray 3.7

 


Cinegy Cinescore 10 – Ultra HD

 


HWBot x265

Performance Test – Arithmetic

Arithmetic benchmarks measure the performance of systems with regards to mathematical computations which some programs require. These benchmarks paint a good picture of how raw CPU performance is like.

wPrime 1024M

 


SuperPI 32M

Performance Test – System Benchmark

System benchmarks measure the performance of a system based on numerous tasks including a mix of rendering, arithmetic and other things. These benchmarks require the entire system to work together and components should compliment each other to achieve maximum performance.

GeekBench Pro 4.2 Multi-Core Benchmark

 


ASUS RealBench 2.56

Performance Test – Memory Benchmark

AIDA64 Memory Benchmark – Read/Write

AIDA64 Memory Benchmark -Latency

Temperature & Power Draw

In this test we’ll measure how much manufacturer-set BIOS settings affect temperature and power draw. As we’re dealing with pre-launch samples, more mature BIOS may change these over time.

Temperature

 


Power Draw

We really don’t put too much stock on individual component temperatures as they will vary depending on usage and we do not benchmark using extreme loads anymore as they’re not reflective of real world applications. To stress the CPU, we use a 20-minute run of AIDA64 stress test. We recorded the peak CPU temps and cross-match HWINFO and AIDA64 readings. For power readings, we measure the peak system draw.

Thermal Images

Value & Conclusion – ASRock X570 Steel Legend

ASRock X570 Steel Legend AM4 Motherboard Review

This motherboard is effectively the most bare board we’ve tested for the X570 generation and we’ve always said that these boards will always yield the best results when it comes to pure stock performance. That being said, I was expecting it to come behind the flagship boards but it indeed put up some very good numbers in terms performance. Looking at it entirely from a usability and functionality standpoint, overall the ASRock X570 Steel Legend is definitely a tough offer to beat. With an SRP of around $200, the board can be seen hovering around $180 making it one of the most competitively priced mainstream ATX X570 motherboards around. Some cost-cutting measures had to be taken such as the reduction in features but by itself, the board is fully functional and is capable of being a professional workstation as well as a gaming rig. Still, overclocking may pose a challenge as the 10-phase VRM isn’t cooled by a decent heatsink. ASRock choice to unify the bottom heatsink also accounts for some labor required to swap out M.2 drives, meaning you have to remove your GPU as well as screws to access your drives. While some may leave their drives for eternity in its slots, its going to be a pain for simple upgrades that is meant to be drop-in.

Barring these little nitpicks, the ASRock X570 Steel Legend is a highly dependable motherboard if you’re not looking for anything extra. A straight-up gaming rig or a simple workstation to leverage the PCIe Gen4 storage will easily run on this motherboard complimented by a Ryzen 9 processor. This also provides a nice upgrade path for older Ryzen users who wish to migrate to an X570 motherboard. That said, there’s really nothing going on for the ASRock X570 Steel Legend aside from its dependable vanilla offering and as difficult as it is to quantify longevity, pushing our Ryzen 9 3900X on this board on a stock Wraith Prism cooler proved to be no challenge although we can’t wait to test it out on a Ryzen 9 3950X if the chance presents itself.

Ultimately, those seeking the most conventional build but want a motherboard that has a little more personality, the ASRock X570 is an easy choice and definitely attractive if you can snag one during these holiday seasons’ sale events. Its a decent board and we’ve tested PCIe Gen4 devices and Ryzen DIMMs on it so we’re confident it can deliver performance as it is our Ryzen test bench as of this moment.

ASRock backs the X570 Steel Legend with a 3-year warranty. We give it our Recommended Seal for quality and B2G Best Value Award!

ASRock X570 Steel Legend AM4 Motherboard Review
Final Thoughts
Ultimately, those seeking the most conventional build but want a motherboard that has a little more personality, the ASRock X570 is an easy choice and definitely attractive if you can snag one during these holiday seasons' sale events. Its a decent board and we've tested PCIe Gen4 devices and Ryzen DIMMs on it so we're confident it can deliver performance as it is our Ryzen test bench as of this moment.
Performance
9.6
Build Quality
9.4
Functionality
9
Bundle
8
Value
8.6
Reader Rating2 Votes
10
Pros
Excellent build quality
Clean layout
Integrated M.2 cooling
Cons
M.2 and south bridge cover are integrated making M.2 removal a chore
8.9
Rating

Price and Where to Buy

US via Amazon

$194.07
in stock
6 new from $194.07
Amazon.com
Free shipping
$199.99
$209.99
in stock
1 new from $199.99
Amazon.com
Last updated on July 10, 2020 12:17 pm

Philippines via Lazada

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