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ASRock’s firmware for the Steel Legend is the same as its other Z790 boards. It sports the black, white, and light blue scheme we’re familiar with from other Steel Legend SKUs. Like the other boards, 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 that can be tweaked, 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 significant 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 (if applicable), control 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 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. The hardware we used is as follows:
|CPU||Intel Core i9-13900K|
|Memory||Kingston Fury Beast DDR5-6000 CL36 (KF560C36BBEAK2-32)|
|GSkill Trident Z DDR5-5600 CL36 (F5-5600U3636C16GX2-TZ5RK)|
|GPU||Asus TUF RTX 3070|
|Cooling||Coolermaster MasterLiquid PL360 Flux|
|PSU||EVGA Supernova 850W P6|
|Software||Windows 11 64-bit (22H2)|
|Graphics Driver||Nvidia GeForce Driver 522.25|
|Sound||Integrated HD audio|
|Network||Integrated 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.
|Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings|
|Procyon||Version 2.1.459 64|
|Office Suite (Office 365), Video Editing (Premiere Pro 22.214.171.124), Photo Editing (Photoshop 23.5.1, Lightroom Classic 11.5)|
|3DMark||Version 2.22.7359 64|
|Firestrike Extreme and Time Spy Default Presets|
|Cinebench R23||Version RBBENCHMARK330542|
|Open GL Benchmark - Single and Multi-threaded|
|Full benchmark (all 3 tests)|
|Application Tests and Settings|
|LAME MP3||Version SSE2_2019|
|Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3: Command: -b 160 --nores (160Kb/s)|
|HandBrake CLI||Version: 1.2.2|
|Sintel Open Movie Project: 4.19GB 4K mkv to x264 (light AVX) and x265 (heavy AVX)|
|Corona 1.4||Version 1.4|
|Integrated benchmark (Command Line)|
|Game Tests and Settings|
|Far Cry 6||Ultra Preset - 1920 x 1080, HD Textures ON|
|F1 2022||Ultra Preset - 1920 x 1080, Ultra High (default) Bahrain (Clear/Dry), FPS Counter ON|
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Joe Shields is a Freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He reviews motherboards.
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Good looking motherboard, as long as the VRMs can keep up with the CPU, the performance will be just like most other.Reply
Got this mb in October 2022 for my am5 7950x build. Note expo Memory only works in single or pair dd5 chips. So if use all slots you won’t be to use the expo oc settings. Without updating the mb bios those settings can harm x3d CPUs. ASRock does have beta bios that fixes the cpu/ram voltage issue. At some I’ll swap out my 4 16gb ram for two 32gb ram sticks. I just stayed with my 7950x cpu that and RTX 4090 it’s an epic gaming pc. Built in sound is hifi ok and can virtual 3D audio. Plenty of fans and rgb connections. Have three m.2 drives. Pick an li lan 216 rgb white case. ASRock Z790 Steel Legend looks great. Drivers are now stable for windows 11.Admin said:The ASRock Z790 Steel Legend ($229.99) is an affordable option for Intel 12th and 13th-gen processors. The board includes five M.2 sockets (one PCIe 5.0), eight SATA ports, 2.5 GbE and Wi-Fi 6E, capable power delivery, and a budget audio codec. Gaming performance is great, but other tasks were average at best.
ASRock Z790 Steel Legend Review: Legendary for Budget Builds : Read more
I own the z690 version of this board and I find what they did on this version really interesting.Reply
The reason I picked the z690 steel legend is I felt the way they drifted away from the way the industry is going was nice for me, it has extra pcie connectivity which is important for me and kept 8 sata ports.
Now this z790 version, has significantly nerfed the pcie connectivity. On the z690 board you have 2 1x pcie slots, and 3 16x slots, the 3 16x slots run in x16, x4, x4 respectively. I use the second 1x slot for my soundcard, and the 3rd pcie x16 slot (x4) for my pcie SSD which requires 4 lanes.
On the z790 board this isnt possible, the x1 slot I use is removed, and the 3rd x16 slot is only x2 lanes, first time I ever seen a x16 slot on a board only give x2 lanes. Change likely forced by intel's changes which removed 8 gen 3 lanes from the chipset.
The z790 version has a nice change where they added 3 extra type A usb ports, the z690 board is mediocre with only 5, however its another give and take, they removed bios flashback from the z790 board which is there and I used it already on the z690 board.
Finally the z690 board has what I think is a design flaw with the placement of the m.2 wifi slot, any modern 2+ slot GPU will cover it up and cause issues with the fragile wifi antennae cables, I had to be really careful slotting in my gpu, they seem to have realised this on the z790 board as they changed the placement of the slot so the end of the card wont be under the GPU. How they didnt discover this before shipping the Z690 board I dont know.