Today, we are quite excited because we are going to take a look at two exciting motherboards. We are going to read about the ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming vs Steel Legend motherboards. The chipsets come with their own unique features that we will be comparing to find out which among them could be the winner.
We may want to tell you ahead that this was a very close battle fought. The ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming motherboard is one of the cheapest B550 ATX MB today. So, if you are in search of a budget chipset, then you know what to do now.
Apart from that, there is not much very fancy about it. If you are willing to shell out more than $150, then it is a different scenario. However, why do you want to do that when you can make use of the Phantom Gaming unit.
That is because it comes with ideal specifications for gaming and regular usage. You will be delighted to know that it is infused with the ASRock software for controlling several things. Besides, the unit also comes with a 5v 3pin ARGB connector.
You can seamlessly connect your RGBs from the motherboard itself. Our tester thought that the IO shield is quite sharp and basic. It could have done better. Besides, we also noticed that it does not come with the USB 3.2 and the Thunderbolt.
Since the price point is around $100, none of us would rather complain. The Steel Legend was released by the manufacturer in June last year, 2020. The series meant that it would offer users with intense features as it came priced slightly higher than the Phantom gaming motherboard.
The unit can give you exceptional stability, provide you with an abundance of features, come with an attractive design, and is quite reasonably priced. You will be glad to know that they come with the “Full Spike” ESD protection.
It enables all the components in the motherboard, including the Ethernet, audio ports, USB, and Nichicon 12K black capacitors and 60A. This is an AMD B550 chipset with dual M.2 slots, USB 3.1 gen 2 support, 6-phase power design, and steel slot.
Additionally, it also comes with a PCI-Express x16 slot and RGB on it. Since we have you hooked. Why do you read the complete comparison review till the last line and find out who the winner is?
|ASROCK B550 PHANTOM GAMING||ASROCK B550 STEEL LEGEND|
|The design and features are acceptable.|
The ECC memory is also supported.
It can support a wide range of DDR4 memory.
It comes with several ports.
The product is cheaply priced.
|The design of the model is decent.|
The unit comes with no chipset cooling fan.
It can sustain overclocking to any of the X570 platforms.
It comes with powerful software & firmware.
The unit is a brand for value motherboard.
|The overclocking was its undoing.||The unit design layout leaves a lot to be desired.|
ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming vs Steel Legend: Features & Layout
It is safe to say that ASRock takes designing and packaging quite seriously. Besides the likes of Asus, MSI, and Gigabyte, we noticed that ASRock too in the same boat. Manufacturers that take their production line up seriously are passionate about the gaming segment.
Any professional gamer or user would know that. The packaging of both the models comes in an attractive package. You can find all the usual elements safely and neatly packed inside. That was a sublime impression on our tester.
The ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming motherboard comes with several rear ports that are good enough to design a decent PC. Some of them include 2 Antenna Ports, 1 PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Port, 1 HDMI Port, 6 USB 3.2 Gen1 Ports (Supports ESD Protection).
You can also find the 1 RJ-45 LAN Port with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED), and HD Audio Jacks Line in/Front Speaker, and Microphone. However, it supports the RAM types, including DDR4 3600MHz, 3733MHz, 3800MHz, 3866MHz, 4000MHz, 4133MHz.
Besides that, you can also operate it with the RAMs of 4200MHz, 4266MHz, 4333MHz, 4400MHz, and 4533MHz. It also comes with the manufacturer’s “Full Spike” ESD protection for the audio ports, the USB, and Ethernet.
The unit is designed specifically for a single graphics card. Likewise, it comes with a single PCI-Express 3.0 x4 M.2 slot. The Steel Legend unit comes for adequate support for both AMD Zen 2+ and Zen 3 processors.
You can note that the power is given for a 14 phase VRM. This is done with the help of the memory support through a 4 slot DDR4 setup. It provides able support to 4733MHz in OC mode.
You would also notice that the graphics expansion begins only at the top slot. This supports the PCIe 4.0 at full x16 bandwidth. You can also find the second full x16 slot that is wired at x4 from the B550 chipset.
Additionally, there is also a pair of x1 slots. These storage expansion provides you with the 6x SATA ports and 2x M.2 slots. You will be happy to know that they are Gen4 ready. The Realtek RTL8125 can power the networking and audio gets the ALC1220 and front panel amplifier.
The Steel Legend comes with a barrage of rear ports that enables you to design a splendid PC for yourself. They include 1 DisplayPort, 1 HDMI, 1 LAN (RJ45), 1 Optical S/PDIF Out, 1 PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse Combo, and 1 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A.
It also comes with 1 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C, 2 USB 2.0/1.1, 4 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, and 6 Audio Jacks. A notable feature of the Steel Legend is the RGB lighting. Several users and gamers have pointed out that in the review.
If you are particular about the RGB lighting enabling your PC to stand out, then please don’t hesitate to use this ASRock exceptional model. The more the ports, the better the motherboard is the saying the gaming unit segment.
You know which motherboard gives you the flexibility. However, the Phantom Gaming unit is no slouch either.
ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming vs Steel Legend: Software and Firmware
ASRock is no stranger to infusing stunning software and firmware. But we won’t be quite surprised to notice here that it comes with decent specifications for the price range. The memory compatibility DDR4 likely does not have to be a problem when you want to use the DIMMs.
You can utilize few outstanding Ryzen optimized kits. Using the Ryzen gen 3, you can effortlessly work your way up in DDR4 clock frequency. If you are using the 3600 MHz, then CL16 is alright.
There is no reason to use a quicker DDR4 memory anyways. That is because it is quite expensive, and you may get the added preference. The Ryzen 3000 processors come with 7nm, and few are energy efficient.
Using the 3900X, the 60W idle load did show. You will want to know that the load values having 12 cores topped 215W. It was pretty helpful there. For the mainboard ASRock B550 gaming Phantom-ITX/ex, the Ryzen95 3900XT was used.
The Steel Legend motherboard comes with decent software & firmware that can get the job done. You can find the aluminum-alloy heatsink for sublime heat reduction. Thanks to the dual M.2 Sockets for your SSD, you can run in the PCIe Gen3 x2 and SATA3 mode.
In the audio, you can find AL1220 Nahimic with NE5532 Premium Headset amplifier. We were quite delighted with the power consumption of the chipset. Like we read, it comes with the top-notch 60A Power Choke and a 14-phase power design.
The Nichicon 12K Black Caps can handle demanding CPUs like the Ryzen 9 3950X. With the use of the reinforced steel slot, you can find next-generation PCI Express 4.0 standard. The I/O shield is pre-mounted, and you can make the I/O shield adjustable.
The unit will not struggle when you want to tweak and overclock. You can also make sure of the processor and ASIC quality. This unit is with the cooling, and you find the Ryzen products released three years ago performing in the 3900 to 4000 MHz range on all cores.
Using the Ryzen 3700X, our tester was able to manage close to 4400 MHz. However, proper cooling methods had to be used. When you want to adjust it, you may most likely have to use 1.4V to 145V to generate a stable 4.3 GHz on all cores.
You cannot default on the top-end Turbo clocks when you can generate the all-core 4400 Mhz overclock. This factor will make some users think hard about using the motherboard. Our tester felt that AMD’s binned clock recipe on the processors could work quite suitable in most aspects.
All in all, the software and firmware of both the motherboards are outstanding for the price range. Of course, it was not surprising to note that the performance of the Steel Legend was slightly better than that of the Phantom Gaming unit.
ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming vs Steel Legend: Overclocking
The ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming motherboard comes with exceptional overclocking. Probably, this could be the undoing for the Steel Legend. Let us find out. In most of our reviews, we noticed that overclocking tends to control the buyer’s decision.
However, it does not also have to be the main factor considering the fact that these two models are almost on par in most segments. The beauty about the B550 chipset is that you can overclock the processor and the memory.
You need to get into the BIOS and use the OC Tweaker. Once you are in that section, the frequency of the CPU can be set; VID changed to manual. You will then set the frequency and voltage.
The overclocking came at a decent 4.2GHz on all the 8 cores of the motherboard. You may have noticed an entirely stable function. The overclocking on the Steel Legend was quite excellent but average in terms of performance.
Nevertheless, that is what it is. The unit was run on Ryzen 7 5800X and other motherboards as well. The unit would not go beyond the 4.7GHz without having cooling. Not to mention, the power consumption could have gone higher.
The Ryzen processor was running at 4.7GHz. When you look at the power, it was around BIOS input voltage 1.25v. It was acceptable for the motherboard capability. The VRM did an exceptional job, too, and was able to hover around the upper 30s.
Overall, the overclocking of both B550 motherboards is quite good, though we thought the Steel Legend could have done better. One cannot expect the B550 chipsets to exceed too many expectations due to the capacity and the price range that come in.
ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming vs Steel Legend: Price
The ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming motherboard is priced under $115. Our tester felt that the motherboard comes with sublime features and an incredible overclocking speed for gamers, coders, and video editors.
The Steel Legend gaming motherboard is priced under $170, but you can get it cheaper if you keep your eyes open. It was priced at $150 at the time of writing. Yes, this is expensive. But when you are looking for a reliable and durable unit, we have to say that it is this one.
ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming vs Steel Legend: Verdict
We have ended our discussion on the ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming vs Steel Legend. Were you able to make up your mind on the best motherboard? Perhaps not. That is alright because we have mentioned our winner at the end.
The ASRock Phantom Gaming unit has a lot going on for itself. It is much cheaper than the Steel Legend unit. You stand to save around $20, which is a decent amount, and it was released later than the other motherboard.
The ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming unit has 4 more USB 3.0 ports than the Steel Legend. However, the Steel Legend gaming motherboard comes with 1 more fan header, has USB Type-C, 10dB higher signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and a S/PDIF Out port.
It also comes with 1 more DisplayPort output, 2 more USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, 2 more audio jack connectors, and 4 more USB 2.0 ports. The ASRock Steel Legend did not impress us initially. However, when we saw the packaging and the features, we were pretty excited to try it out.
Needless to say, it hasn’t disappointed us one bit. Right from the aesthetics to the overclocking, this motherboard works sublimely. The PCB is black in tone, and the urban winter design blends easily with the silver color.
You can find a chipset heatsink and M.2 heatsink. There is also RGB lighting that makes the board appear elegant. We were quite impressed with the 60A power chokes, Nichicon 12K black capacitors.
Our winner in this comparison review between the ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming vs Steel Legend would be the Legend motherboard. Our choice does not have to be on par with your thoughts because the Phantom Gaming unit is also a sublime unit to choose.
James Smith has always been intrigued by electronic products since his childhood. After his post graduation in electronics from a popular university, he decided to pursue a career in the electronics sector. But his calling for writing about these marvellous pieces of work got the better of him. That is how UBG was started. With a writing career spanning more than 12 years, James has worked on several hundred product reviews. During his free time, he like to spend time with his pet dog and relax in the swimming pool.