Not like the flagship or halo-cass Intel boards we’ve examined lately, ASRock’s B660 Metal Legend is a reasonable possibility Alder Lake-based processors. It covers the entire fundamentals, together with a PCIe 5.0 slot for graphics, three M.2 sockets, six SATA ports, M.2 Key-E slot so as to add Wi-Fi, sensible RGB LED lighting, and extra for $159.99. Whereas it doesn’t supply high-end options (which nobody expects at this worth level), it’s nonetheless loads succesful for customers not seeking to pay a premium for options or speeds they’ll’t or gained’t make the most of.
For just below $160, you get a black, white and silver look that ought to match with many construct themes. Whereas the motherboard’s PCB is generally uncovered (you gained’t discover heatsinks and shrouds masking issues at this worth level), ASRock added some black, white and grey design components that nearly seem like camouflage. The Metal Legend consists of 10-phase energy supply, with 9 phases devoted to the CPU(Vcore). Though it isn’t probably the most strong we’ve seen, we didn’t discover throttling as a result of heat VRM temps. Nonetheless, it did battle performance-wise with some closely multithreaded masses. The processor temperature casued thermal throttling as a consequence of voltage utilized by default. In brief, efficiency is sweet if you’re not loading this CPU up with all cores and threads, however struggles with our Core i9-12900K in any other case. Think about using a lesser CPU with this board, or adjusting the voltage (which we’ll talk about later).
Talking of efficiency, the B660 Metal Legend was in every single place, relying on the exams. For instance, within the Procyon exams, particularly the MS Workplace sub-tests, it was one of many quickest boards total. In different exams, together with 7Zip, Cinebench(multi-core), POV-Ray (multi-core), and Handbrake decoding, it was one of many slower boards examined. AIDA64’s bandwidth exams additionally present the Metal Legend a bit slower than the opposite like boards. Then again, gaming outcomes had been spot on and within the ballpark of different DDR4-based programs. Energy use was on the decrease facet of common (decrease is healthier), at each idle and cargo.
Beneath, we’ll take a look at the B660 Metal Legend’s options, efficiency, and software program to find out if this budget-class motherboard is price contemplating in comparison with Z690 and different B660 boards. Is it worthy of a spot on our finest motherboards checklist? Earlier than we determine that out, under is an in depth checklist of the Metal Legend’s specs, direct from ASRock.
Specs: ASRock B660 Metal Legend
|Voltage Regulator||10 Section (9 50A DrMOS MOSFETs for Vcore)|
|Video Ports||(1) HDMI (v2.1)|
|(1) DisplayPort (v1.4)|
|USB Ports||(1) USB 3.2 Gen 2 Kind-C (10 Gbps)|
|(4) USB 3.2 Gen 1 Kind-C (5 Gbps)|
|(2) USB 2.0 (480 Mbps)|
|Community Jacks||(1) 2.5 GbE|
|Audio Jacks||(5) Analog + SPDIF|
|Legacy Ports/Jacks||(1) PS/2 port (mouse/keyboard)|
|PCIe x16||(1) v5.0 (x16)|
|(1) v4.0 (x2)|
|PCIe x1||(2) v3.0 (x1)|
|DIMM slots||(2) DDR4 5333+(OC), 128GB Capability|
|M.2 slots||(1) PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps), PCIe (as much as 80mm)|
|(1) PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps), PCIe (as much as 110mm)|
|(1) PCIe 3.0 x2 (16 Gbps), PCIe/SATA (as much as 110mm)|
|SATA Ports||(6) SATA3 6 Gbps (Helps RAID 0/1/5/10)|
|USB Headers||(1) USB v3.2 Gen 2×2, Kind-C (20 Gbps)|
|(1) USB v3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)|
|(1) USB v2.0 (480 Mbps)|
|Fan/Pump Headers||(7) 4-Pin (CPU Fan, CPU/Water Pump Fan, Chassis/Water Pump)|
|RGB Headers||(3) aRGB (3-pin)|
|(1) RGB (4-pin)|
|Diagnostics Panel||4-LED POST Standing Checker|
|SATA Controllers||ASMedia ASM1061|
|Ethernet Controller(s)||Realtek RTL8125GB (2.5 Gbps)|
|Wi-Fi / Bluetooth||✗|
|USB Controllers||USB Controllers|
|HD Audio Codec||Realtek ALC897|
|DDL/DTS||✗ / ✗|
Contained in the Field of the ASRock B660 Metal Legend
Contained in the field, together with the motherboard, ASRock offers customers probably the most primary of primary accent stacks. You’ll discover SATA cables and screws/standoffs for M.2 sockets. That’s it outdoors of the guides, the IO protect you must set up, and a driver CD. Right here’s a full checklist.
- (2) SATA cables
- (4) M.2 screws
- M.2 standoff
- Rear IO protect
- Set up Information
- Driver CD
Design of the ASRock B660 Metal Legend
Looking on the board, we’re greeted by a 6-layer jet black PCB with some black, white, and gray design components that intently resemble digitized camouflage. ASRock makes use of silver heatsinks for the ability supply, main M.2 socket, and the chipset which. It is a good distinction to the opposite colours. There’s a good quantity of floor space on the VRM heatsinks, although they lack important mass. You’ll discover the ASRock branding and the Metal Legend “S” image on the left VRM heatsink, whereas the chipset heatsink sports activities the Metal Legend title with RGB lighting shining by way of from under.
Talking of RGBs, the Metal Legend not solely lights up the chipset heatsink, however there are additionally a number of RGB LEDs hidden beneath the suitable fringe of the board. On the high, they shine by way of the motherboard, highlighting extra Metal Legend branding, whereas beneath the SATA ports is yet one more set of RGB LEDs. The Metal Legend’s look is pretty busy with the entire stenciling and designs, however nonetheless seems good in comparison with equally priced choices. It is probably not the star of your construct, but it surely gained’t take away from most construct themes both.
Specializing in the highest half of the board, we get a greater take a look at the heatsinks, designs, and different issues occurring on this space. Above the VRM heatsinks, we spy a single 8-pin EPS (required) to energy the CPU. You sometimes don’t see twin EPS connectors on this class of board as there merely isn’t a necessity when the chipset can’t overclock the processor within the first place.
Simply to the suitable of the highest heatsink are the primary (of seven) 4-pin fan/pump headers. All headers help each PWM and DC-controlled units. CPU_FAN2/WP and CHA_FAN1-5/WP auto-detect if a 3-pin or 4-pin fan is used. The CPU Fan connector helps as much as 1A/12W, whereas the remainder help 2A/24W. There’s loads of energy for followers and most pumps on this configuration. As all the time, you should definitely examine the ability necessities of the gear you propose to make use of.
Subsequent, we run into 4 single-side locking, unreinforced DDR4 DRAM slots. ASRock lists help as much as DDR4 5333+(OC), however as common, your mileage might differ. Reaching these speeds will depend on the package used and the standard of your CPU’s built-in reminiscence controller (IMD). Usually, reaching these speeds is completed with just one stick anyway. That stated, we didn’t have any points with both of our take a look at kits.
Alongside the top-right edge, above the DRAM slots, are two extra fan headers. Usually, you discover the ATX energy connector and USB headers (on this case, 3.2 Gen 2×2 Kind-C and three.2 Gen 1) on this space, however ASRock selected to make use of an aesthetic characteristic in that house and offset the connectors round about three-forths of an inch towards the socket/center of the board. Beneath this free house are two LED strips, each of that are managed by the the corporate’s Polychrome Sync software program. The intense LEDs shine by way of the translucent Metal Legend branding, giving it a singular look. For those who don’t like the brilliant lights, they’re simply disabled within the BIOS or software program.
Specializing in the VRMs, ASRock applied a 10-phase energy supply mannequin, with 9 phases devoted to the CPU/Vcore. The 8-pin EPS connector sends energy to a Realtek RT3628AE 9-channel controller, sending energy on to the 50A Vishay Sic654 DrMOS built-in energy phases. The 450A out there to Vcore is way decrease than what we’re used to, however we have to do not forget that B660 boards can not overclock the CPU, so it solely has to help Intel’s inventory configuration. We didn’t have any points regarding throttling of the VRMs, however did from the temperature of the CPU throughout closely multi-threaded benchmarks and stress exams (extra on that later).
On the underside half of the board, we see numerous PCB, exposing practically the entire slots and sockets out there. On the left is the dated Realtek ALC897 audio codec and 4 gold Nichicon audio caps. The audio answer might not please an audiophile with a discerning ear and a high-quality set of audio system/headphones, however the primary audio answer will likely be completely acceptable for many. And a real audiophile will doubtless need powered audio system and or an exterior amp/DAC anyway.
Within the center, we spy 4 PCIe slots and 4 M.2 sockets among the many uncovered PCB. Beginning with PCIe, the bolstered high slot runs at PCIe 5.0 x16 speeds and is admittedly the one slot for a video card. The second full-length slot connects to the chipset and runs at PCIe 4.0 x2. Final, the 2 x1 slots run at PCIe 3.0 x1 and likewise join by way of the chipset. ASRock doesn’t point out multi-GPU help, because the PCIe slots/out there PCIe lanes are under the minimal for SLI (x8) and Crossfire (x4).
Positioned in and across the PCIe slots are 4 M.2 sockets: three Key-M for storage modules and one Key-E for a Wi-Fi card. The highest M.2 socket runs at PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps), supporting PCIe modules as much as 80mm for storage. The second slot runs at PCIe 3.0 x2 speeds by way of the chipset and helps PCIe- and SATA-based units as much as 80mm. You’ll need to watch out what you connect right here; the three.0 x2 speeds (16 Gbps) will place a ceiling on some quicker M.2 drives. The underside socket is PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps) and helps as much as 110mm PCIe drives.
Towards the underside of the board between the x16 slot and x1 slot is a Key–E M.2 socket designed for CNVi-based Wi-Fi modules. For those who require Wi-Fi and that is the board of your alternative, merely purchase a suitable module, plug it in, set up drivers, and voila, you may have Wi-Fi!
Alongside the suitable fringe of the board are 4 (of six) SATA ports. The 4 positioned listed below are native to the chipset, whereas the 2 others, discovered on the underside fringe of the board, are managed by the ASMedia ASM1061 SATA controller. The B660 Metal Legend helps RAID0/1/5/10 modes for SATA units–there’s no point out of RAID help for NVMe. This configuration does have some lane sharing as a consequence of B660’s discount in PCIe lane rely. If a SATA-type M.2 system occupies M2_2, the SATA3_0 port will likely be disabled. You’ll be able to run three M.2 storage units (one SATA) with 5 SATA ports in a worst-case state of affairs. For those who solely have PCIe M.2 modules, you’ll be able to run all six SATA ports and M.2s concurrently.
Throughout the underside are a number of headers, together with USB ports and the opposite two SATA ports. Beneath is an entire checklist of all of the headers throughout the underside of the board.
- Entrance panel audio
- 3-pin ARGB header
- 4-pin RGB header
- SPI/TPM header
- USB 2.0 header
- Chassis/Waterpump fan header
- Clear CMOS jumper
- Entrance panel header
- Chassis intrusion/speaker header
- (2) SATA ports
- Chassis/Waterpump fan header
Spinning the board round to the rear IO space, discover the IO plate shouldn’t be pre-installed. Whereas this isn’t a giant deal, many mid-range boards lately have already got it hooked up. The plate matches the Metal Legend theme, sporting the black, white and grey cammo look. The labels for the ports are in black and white, to make certain they distinction with the background sample.
Working left to proper, we hit a legacy PS/2 port and two USB 2.0 (480 Mbps) ports on the primary stack. Subsequent up are video outputs: HDMI (V2.1) and DisplayPort (v1.4) and a USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) Kind-C port. Above the video outputs are holes within the IO plate for including Wi-Fi antenna connections. For those who want a 20 Gbps Kind-C port, the entrance panel port is your solely possibility right here. Persevering with proper, we hit the BIOS Flashback button, 4 USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps) ports, the Realtek 2.5 GbE port, and eventually, the 5-plug plus SPDIF audio stack. Seven complete USB ports on the again isn’t unhealthy for a finances board, however some customers will certainly need extra. A minimum of you’ll be able to add one other speedy port through the front-panel header.
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