ASRock B650E Steel Legend Wi-Fi Review: More SATA, Please

Steel appearance meets solid performance, but some features are lacking for the price

ASRock B650E Steel Legend Wi-Fi
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

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ASRock’s firmware for B650 keeps the same general format as we saw in the X670E model. The major changes are the updated options/functions for the Zen4-based processors. The Steel Legend’s background matches the board theme, with a black/grey with white fonts and blue highlighting. You start in Easy Mode, which is mostly informative but lets you change a few options (XMP, profiles, boot order, Fan-Tastic Tuning, etc.). 

Advanced mode displays headings across the top with details below. Here you can tweak everything to your heart’s desire, as ASRock includes every option you can think of. Overclocking is easy, with most options on the same page, although some power options are in a different section. It’s a logical layout. The movement is smooth and it’s easy to read. No complaints from us about the ASRock firmware.


For software, ASRock provides several different options. It has the App Shop to install drivers and software, the Nahimic 3 audio control panel, and the A-Tune application that overclocks your system, controls fans, and more.  There’s even a pop-up to install drivers when you first boot the system. ASRock’s software provides everything a user needs to manage and tweak their system.

Test System / Comparison Products

We’ve updated our test system to Windows 11 64-bit OS with all updates applied. We kept the same Asus TUF RTX 3070 video card from our previous testing platforms but updated the driver. We also updated to F1 22 for our games and kept Far Cry 6. We use the latest non-beta motherboard BIOS available to the public unless otherwise noted. The hardware we used is as follows: 

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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CPUIntel Core i9-13900K
MemoryKingston Fury Beast DDR5-6000 CL36 (KF560C36BBEAK2-32)
 GSkill Trident Z DDR5-5600 CL36 (F5-5600U3636C16GX2-TZ5RK)
GPUAsus TUF RTX 3070
CoolingCoolermaster MasterLiquid PL360 Flux
PSUEVGA Supernova 850W P6
SoftwareWindows 11 64-bit (22H2)
Graphics DriverNvidia GeForce Driver 522.25
SoundIntegrated HD audio
NetworkIntegrated Networking (GbE or 2.5 GbE)

EVGA supplied our Supernova 850W P6 power supply (appropriately sized and more efficient than the 1.2KW monster we used previously) for our test systems, and G.Skill sent us a DDR5-5600 (F5-5600U3636C16GX2-TZ5RK) memory kit for testing.

Benchmark Settings

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Synthetic Benchmarks and SettingsRow 0 - Cell 1
ProcyonVersion 2.1.459 64
Row 2 - Cell 0 Office Suite (Office 365), Video Editing (Premiere Pro, Photo Editing (Photoshop 23.5.1, Lightroom Classic 11.5)
3DMarkVersion 2.22.7359 64
Row 4 - Cell 0 Firestrike Extreme and Time Spy Default Presets
Cinebench R23Version RBBENCHMARK330542
Row 6 - Cell 0 Open GL Benchmark - Single and Multi-threaded
BlenderVersion 3.3.0
Row 8 - Cell 0 Full benchmark (all 3 tests)
Application Tests and SettingsRow 9 - Cell 1
LAME MP3Version SSE2_2019
Row 11 - Cell 0 Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3: Command: -b 160 --nores (160Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 1.2.2
Row 13 - Cell 0 Sintel Open Movie Project: 4.19GB 4K mkv to x264 (light AVX) and x265 (heavy AVX)
Corona 1.4Version 1.4
Row 15 - Cell 0 Custom benchmark
7-ZipVersion 21.03-beta
Row 17 - Cell 0 Integrated benchmark (Command Line)
Game Tests and SettingsRow 18 - Cell 1
Far Cry 6Ultra Preset - 1920 x 1080, HD Textures On
F1 2022Ultra Preset - 1920 x 1080, Ultra High (default) Bahrain (Clear/Dry), FPS Counter On

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Joe Shields
Motherboard Reviewer

Joe Shields is a Freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He reviews motherboards.

  • Captain_Hook
    I guess the pros are swapped with the cons? ;)
  • CircuitJammer
    Honestly, SATA is on its way out. Two ports is probably sufficient for 99% of users. If you need more, buy something else.
  • helper800
    CircuitJammer said:
    Honestly, SATA is on its way out. Two ports is probably sufficient for 99% of users. If you need more, buy something else.
    I would personally not mind only 2-4 sata ports as long as I have 3+ m.2 slots.
  • PiranhaTech
    If it's that high of price and they want to reduce the ports, they should start integrating the likes of SAS ports into the boards. Each SAS port is easily expanded to 4 SATA devices

    I forgot what the other drive tech was.
  • PlaneInTheSky
    Only 2 SATA ports, wtf.
    Still using USB 2.0 ports for both the back and board.
    Only 1 USB-C port.
    2.5Gbit/s instead of 10Gbit/s.
    Ancient audio codecs.

    And you want how much for this?!

    No thanks.
  • PlaneInTheSky
    Honestly, SATA is on its way out. Two ports is probably sufficient for 99% of users.

    You are being ridiculous. Blu-Ray players and HDD still use SATA, and that isn't going to change any times soon.

    Maybe you never back-up anything on your PC, but plenty of people do, and most people use HDD for that. HDD that use SATA.

    Having only 2 SATA ports makes this board a no-go for anyone doing back-ups and using optical media.

    And if you never do any serious work on your PC that requires a back-up, then why are you on TomsHardware or use a PC. Buy a console and chromebook instead.
  • Maebius
    Just calling it a mid-range offering is a crime :p
  • Gavin Greenwalt
    PlaneInTheSky said:
    You are being ridiculous. Blu-Ray players and HDD still use SATA, and that isn't going to change any times soon.

    Ok... So one HDD on SATA and one Blu-ray drive on the other SATA done.

    Most people backup to external drives these days anyway. Also optical drives are rare.

    Also... Also... Optical for backup?? At 50GB per disk? Even a full spindle of 50 blurays is 2.5TB. You could get a small external 4TB HDD for $80 vs a 100 disc spindle of Blurays for $150.

    The HDD is more compact and cheaper. You could (and should) but two USB drives and off-site one of them to a friend's house for the price of Blurays which also aren't rated for archival.

    Or you could get like 2-3 years of cloud storage.

    And for the handful of people living in the age of Limp Biskit and other 2000s nostalgia there are m.2 SAS cards with 8x SATA ports and you can go crazy without even using a single pcie slot.
  • PlaneInTheSky
    You could (and should) buy two USB drives and off-site one of them to a friend's house

    Proper back-up is done with RAID.

    Not some USB drive you attach on a sunday afternoon, while losing half your data from the week.
  • adrian84481
    I don't see anything wrong with the price or specs here. Seriously, it's a 4x DDR5 mobo, with PICe5.0 M.2 (and an additional 2x M.2 slots), decent VRM setup, decent connectivity (USB3.2 and WiFi 6E). Of course price is going to be high (AM5/DDR5, duh!). Complaining about "only" 2x SATA ports in 2023 is a bit of a stretch. 2x SATA is more than enough nowadays, you can still have one SATA SSD and one optical drive (because not all of us have coin to spend on large M.2 SSDs), or a "backup" HDD and an optical drive (yes, quotes around "backup", as a proper backup is stored off-machine, because, you know, crypto lockers and data corruption due to various reasons and physical theft and stuff).