ASRock B650M-HDV/M.2 Review: Is the Cheapest Good Enough?

The cheapest B650 board around does the job, but with some sacrifices.

ASRock B650M-HDV/M.2
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

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Firmware

ASRock’s BIOS on the B650M-HDV/M.2 looks the same as most other ASRock boards. Except this board doesn’t offer an Easy Mode. The BIOS is themed in black and white and sports the familiar black, grey, white, and light blue, which is also easy to read. Advanced mode displays headings across the top with details below. 

Here you can tweak everything to your heart’s desire (including raising the TJmax of your processor), 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.

Software

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 users need to manage and tweak their system.

Test System / Comparison Products

We’ve updated our test system to 64-bit Windows 11, with all updates applied. We kept the same Asus TUF RTX 3070 video card from our previous testing platforms but updated the driver. Additionally, we updated to F1 22 in our games suite 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:

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Test System Components
CPUAMD Ryzen 9 7950X
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)

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

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 Settings 
ProcyonVersion 2.1.459 64
 Office Suite (Office 365), Video Editing (Premiere Pro 22.6.2.2), Photo Editing (Photoshop 23.5.1, Lightroom Classic 11.5)
3DMarkVersion 2.22.7359 64
 Firestrike Extreme and Time Spy Default Presets
Cinebench R23Version RBBENCHMARK330542
 Open GL Benchmark - Single and Multi-threaded
BlenderVersion 3.3.0
 Full benchmark (all 3 tests)
Application Tests and Settings 
LAME MP3Version SSE2_2019
 Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3: Command: -b 160 --nores (160Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 1.2.2
 Sintel Open Movie Project: 4.19GB 4K mkv to x264 (light AVX) and x265 (heavy AVX) 
Corona 1.4Version 1.4
 Custom benchmark
7-ZipVersion 21.03-beta
 Integrated benchmark (Command Line)
Game Tests and Settings 
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.

  • ocer9999
    Certainly a good motherboard considering the price, that's one thing that actually made me try their motherboards was how good deal they have compared to other brands, same features but for less $.
    Nowadays I use most of their stuff for my clients and they are rock solid motherboards, never give me any issues.
    Reply
  • drajitsh
    I really like this motherboard because it gets rid of useless things.
    2 memory slots are great because the memory speeds supported drop from 5200 to 3600 (official). And you can easily get 32GB DIMMs.
    It has 2.5G ethernet and wifi can be easily implemented.
    It is power efficient-- idle power makes a lot of difference.
    While my current board has 5.1 sound with ALC1220, it has only 2.1 speakers connected. While I do not like it, it would have made no difference if it was ALC 897
    The VRM heatsink has pushpins . Hopefully that means I can easily replace it.
    It has no RGB. Hurray! Great! Wonderful! Fantastic! That is the only thing in any component in the whole system that irritates me.That said I do agree that the lack of more USB ports is a drawback
    Reply
  • bigdragon
    I've been using and recommending Asrock boards since 2011. I've been very happy that they've continued to deliver strong mATX products at good prices. I think ATX is too big and packed with things I won't use, while mini-ITX is too small and feature limited. The mATX boards hit that sweet spot. I also had a good experience with Asrock support years ago.

    Seeing this b650m board perform competitively doesn't surprise me. I've never noticed a performance compromise in the x79 e4m, x570m, b450m, and other boards I forget the name of. Sure, the synthetic benchmarks show the board lagging behind a bit, but I'm not sure that plays out in real world workloads.
    Reply
  • ajac09
    No RGB header is a con? Man thats a pro for me. I dont see why everyone wants all the colors.. I rather sit and play a game not stare at my case all day.
    Reply
  • Avro Arrow
    I've had really good experience with ASRock motherboards. My first was the 4CoreDual-VSTA, a socket 775 board with both an AGP and PCI-Express slot that could also handle DDR or DDR2 RAM. That VIA PT880 Northbridge was amazingly innovative!

    My past two boards in my gaming PCs have been an X370 Killer SLI and an X570 Pro4. Both have been absolutely rock-solid in every way.
    Reply
  • sherhi
    HW unboxed tested this board and recommended it as best budget option but will it be capable of running last AM5 X3D CPU in the future (2025-2026) when going from 7600?
    Reply
  • HyggeJJ
    I wonder how Toms adjusted the LLC, as it does not appear to be available in the latest BIOS firmware?
    Reply