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ASRock X570 Steel Legend WiFi ax Review: Legendary Value For Ryzen 3000?

A solid value for Ryzen 3000, though PCIe and M.2 SSD options could be more flexible

ASRock X570 Steel Legend WiFi ax
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Our Verdict

Though it’s not ideal for some of the fancier graphics and storage options of the high-end market, the X570 Steel Legend offers Ryzen 3000 buyers great stability and efficiency at a reasonable price.

For

  • Mid-sized voltage regulator on a value-priced board
  • Good overall performance
  • Excellent efficiency

Against

  • Fixed x16/x4 pathways on the two long PCIe slots
  • One-piece M.2/PCH cover

Value seekers expect to be underwhelmed by the feature sets of lower-cost boards, but most don’t want to be undercut on CPU support. That’s why the ten 50A-rated “Dr MOS” regulators  on the ASROCK X570 Steel Legend WiFi ax’s are one of the board’s primary features. Regardless of how these phases are paired, you know you’ll  at least get enough current to run one of AMD’s bigger Ryzen 3000’s at its rated speed. Of course, you’ll probably pair this board with a more modest CPU, at least to start. So what else will you get from a $200 motherboard that competes in a $300 market? And maybe more importantly, what are you really giving up?

Specifications

SocketAM4
ChipsetAMD X570
Form FactorATX
Voltage Regulator10 Phases
Video PortsDisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0
USB Ports10Gbps: (1) Type-C, (1) Type A, 5Gb/s: (6) Type A
Network JacksGigabit Ethernet, (2) Wi-Fi Antenna
Audio Jacks(5) Analog, (1) Digital Out
Legacy Ports/Jacks(1) PS/2
Other Ports/Jack
PCIe x16(2) v4.0 (x16/x4)
PCIe x8
PCIe x4
PCIe x1(3) v4.0
CrossFire/SLI2x / ✗
DIMM slots(4) DDR4
M.2 slots(2) PCIe 4.0 x4 / SATA
U.2 Ports
SATA Ports(8) 6Gb/s
USB Headers(2) v3 Gen1, (2) v2.0, (1) AMD fan LED
Fan Headers(6) 4-Pin
Legacy InterfacesSystem (Beep-code) Speaker
Other InterfacesFP-Audio, TPMS, Thunderbolt ACI, (2) RGB LED, ARGB LED
Diagnostics Panel
Internal Button/Switch
SATA ControllersIntegrated (0/1/10)
Ethernet ControllersWGI211AT PCIe
Wi-Fi / BluetoothIntel AX200 802.11ax (2.4 Gb/s) / BT 5.0 Combo
USB ControllersASM1074 Hub
HD Audio CodecALC1220
DDL/DTS Connect
Warranty3 Years

One of the things you get is Intel’s 2.4Gb/s Wi-Fi controller, which adds $10 to this part when compared to the otherwise-identical X570 Steel Legend. Though we consider that to be a value benefit, anyone who’s certain that they will never use Wi-Fi can look at the rest of today’s coverage as a discussion that covers both versions of the board. The added controller is proudly displayed mid-board, making its absence noticeable on the version that doesn’t have it.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

One of the things buyers don’t get is a bracket to support the Wi-Fi antenna jacks: It’s merely bolted to the thin, flexible I/O-shield and even needs to have the nuts removed and re-installed simply to pull off the panel’s clear plastic protective sheet. Buyers also don’t get the double-pathway USB3 2x2 port seen on pricier boards, as that would require an additional controller. A single 10Gbps pathway connects the Type-C connector, and another connects the Type A port above it. Six additional USB3 ports are of the Gen 1 (5Gb/s) variety, and the space around them is filled with DisplayPort, HDMI, a single PS/2, Gigabit Ethernet, five analog audio, and a single optical S/PDIF connection.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

X570 Steel Legend WiFi ax buyers also miss out on SLI, though most buyers at this price point probably won’t miss that at all. The 16 pathways of the top PCIe 4.0 slot are fixed, leaving the middle x16-length slot with only four lanes--though those lanes are PCIe 4.0, which offers double the bandwidth of the PCIe 3 lans you’ll get on boards with other chipsets .  Note that the top slot is also in the top position of the case, which might be useful to someone who’d like to add a riser to one of those old low-profile home-theater cases.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Headers for 8-pin and 4-pin (EPS12V/ATX12V) CPU power input, three fans, 4-pin (single-port) USB, RGB LED, 24-pin primary power, and two USB3 Gen 1 front-panel headers surround the CPU socket. The single-port USB and RGB header are labeled for use with various AMD CPU fans, though these can also be used with other devices.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Front-panel audio, TPM, Thunderbolt add-in card, two 4-pin fan, RGB, ARGB, two dual-port USB, PC Speaker / legacy power LED, and Intel-standard front-panel button/LED headers line the X570 Steel Legend WiFi ax’s bottom edge. Above those are two four-lane PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots, eight SATA ports, three PCIe x1 slots (in addition to the x16-length slots mentioned above), and the PCH heat sink.

That little black integrated circuit poking out from under the PCH sink is an ASM1184e PCIe 2.0 x1 to x4 smart switch, which allows the Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet ports to share the chipset’s one remaining PCIe lane.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Rather than wait for ASRock’s press contact to order a retail board, we accepted an OEM bulk sample. So we didn’t get  the printed manual that comes with the retail board. But we were pleased to see that it had the retail board’s Wi-Fi antenna, driver disc, case badge, four SATA cables and M.2 screws. A postcard that could help bolster your frugality credentials with a far-away loved one is also included.

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MORE: All Motherboard Content

  • 1_rick
    I don't think this is right:

    USB Headers(8) 6Gb/sSATA ControllersSATA Controllers
    Reply
  • Crashman
    1_rick said:
    I don't think this is right:

    USB Headers(8) 6Gb/s
    SATA ControllersSATA Controllers
    Thanks for pointing this out: Stuff like this sometimes happens when copying and pasting individual cells from the original chart to the one created by the publishing system.
    Reply
  • neojack
    Does the integrated wifi chip also supports bluetooth 3.0 ?
    it's an important feature for people into VR, because the controllers connects with bluetooth.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    neojack said:
    Does the integrated wifi chip also supports bluetooth 3.0 ?
    it's an important feature for people into VR, because the controllers connects with bluetooth.
    I never considered Bluetooth 5.0 to 3.0 interoperability, I just assumed it. The AX200 specs are available at Intel.
    Reply
  • Ncogneto
    A glaring omission from these test is the MSI Unify.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    Ncogneto said:
    A glaring omission from these test is the MSI Unify.
    How does it glare when any of the $300+ motherboards that are hear appeared only by happenstance? It's not as if MSI had previously asked for its Unify to be reviewed, but you can ask it "why not" if you'd like ;)
    Reply
  • neojack
    thanks ! bluetooth 5.0 should be fine with VR controllers.

    for 10$ i think it's worth it to get the version with the AX200. it's an high-end wifi/BT chipset
    Reply
  • Ncogneto
    Crashman said:
    How does it glare when any of the $300+ motherboards that are hear appeared only by happenstance? It's not as if MSI had previously asked for its Unify to be reviewed, but you can ask it "why not" if you'd like ;)
    Ok...why not?

    The article made the statement "So what else will you get from a $200 motherboard that competes in a $300 market? "

    As the MSI Unify is largely thought of as one of the better (if not the best) boards in this $300.00 range I thought it might be in the comparison, but you clarified that for me, the boards just appear by happenstance.
    Reply
  • colwyncorsair
    admin said:
    With mid-priced X570 boards hovering around $300, ASRock shows us what it can do to satisfy the $200 market with its X570 Steel Legend. We weren’t disappointed.

    ASRock X570 Steel Legend WiFi ax Review: Legendary Value For Ryzen 3000? : Read more
    The board runs really hot hitting it's 95 max with ease even with cooling this needs to be fixed and other temp reviews show it's a hot board.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    Ncogneto said:
    Ok...why not?

    The article made the statement "So what else will you get from a $200 motherboard that competes in a $300 market? "

    As the MSI Unify is largely thought of as one of the better (if not the best) boards in this $300.00 range I thought it might be in the comparison, but you clarified that for me, the boards just appear by happenstance.
    There's always the chance that MSI will send a Unify...if prodded.
    Reply