ASRock B660 Steel Legend Review: Solid Features and Affordability

Reasonable features for the price ($159), but this board struggles with heavily multi-threaded loads

ASRock B660 Steel Legend
(Image: © ASRock)

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Firmware

ASRock’s BIOS on the Steel Legend follow a different theme compared to the Z690 Taichi or PG Velocita w reviewed previously. Gone is the black-and-red theme, replaced by a black, white and light blue highlights. The colors present a good contrast and are easy to read.

An EZ Mode displays high-level information, including CPU clock speeds and temperatures, fan speeds, storage information, etc. Advanced Mode has several headers across the top that drop down additional options. The BIOS is easy to maneuver in and laid out logically. There is a bit of digging for some options for overclocking, but overall, it’s a user-friendly BIOS with more options than most will ever use.

Software

Unlike some other board partners, ASRock doesn’t combine most of their included utilities under a larger application. Instead, they are all standalone programs, which can lead to clutter, but they do cover a wide gamut of functionality. From overclocking and monitoring (A-Tune) to audio (Nahimic), networking (Killer Dashboard) and RGB lighting (Polychrome), all of the applicable applications for this board worked without issue.

Test System / Comparison Products

As of October 2021, we’ve updated our test system to Windows 11 64-bit OS with all updates applied. We kept the same (opens in new tab)Asus TUF RTX 3070 (opens in new tab) video card from our previous testing platforms but updated the driver to version 496.13. Additionally, our game selection was updated, as noted in the table below. We use the latest non-beta motherboard BIOS available to the public unless otherwise noted. The hardware we used is as follows:

Test System Components

Swipe to scroll horizontally
CPUIntel Core i9-12900K
MemoryKingston Fury DDR5 5200 CL40 (9KF552C40BBK2-32)
Row 2 - Cell 0 GSkill Trident Z DDR5 5600 CL36 (F5-5600U3636C16GX2-TZ5RK)
Row 3 - Cell 0 ADATA XPG DDR5 6000 CL40 (AX5U6000C4016G-FCLARBK)
GPUAsus TUF RTX 3070
CoolingMSI MEG Coreliquid S360
PSUEVGA Supernova 850W P6
SoftwareWindows 11 64-bit (21H2, Build 22000.282)
Graphics DriverNVIDIA Driver 496.13
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 outgoing 1.2KW monster we used) for our test systems, and G.Skill sent us a DDR5-5600 (F5-5600U3636C16GX2-TZ5RK) memory kit for launch day testing.

Benchmark Settings

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Synthetic Benchmarks and SettingsRow 0 - Cell 1
ProcyonVersion 2.0.249 64
Row 2 - Cell 0 Office Suite, Video Editing (Premiere Pro), Photo Editing (Photoshop, Lightroom Classic)
3DMarkVersion 2.20.7290 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 3.0.1
Row 8 - Cell 0 Full benchmark (three sub-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 2021Ultra Preset - 1920 x 1080, HBAO+, RT Med, TAA + 16xAF, Bahrain, 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.

  • javiindo
    The CPU is throttling with a 250$ cooler? Apple is going to slap everybody on the table if they continue in this performance at any cost war.
    Reply
  • Neilbob
    But at least it has Bright RGB Lighting.

    Good lord, I don't get why this sort of nonsense matters in the slightest. It exacerbates my latent grumpy old codger.
    Reply
  • eye4bear
    In the spec list shouldn't the 4 USB 3.2 Gen 1 be listed as type A not C? As written, there are 5 type C ports on the back...
    Reply
  • ocer9999
    If you dont want to spend as much the Pro4 is decent too.
    Reply