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Supermicro C7Z97-OCE (Intel Z97) Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 1150/1151 in Motherboards | Posted: Feb 25, 2015 11:02 pm
TweakTown Rating: 90%Manufacturer: Supermicro

Packaging and the Board

 

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The box is typical, however, this board is almost a year old, and you see USB 3.1 claims on the front. This is possibly the first board to advertise USB 3.1, kudos to Supermicro.

 

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The accessory packaging isn't a stunner, you only get the basics. This includes a driver DVD, six red SATA cables, an IO shield, and a large diagram of the board which describes system setup and the function of the various jumpers on the board.

 

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I have circled the fan headers on the board. There are a total of six 4-pin fan headers. These fans run on a pre-set profile by default. Control of these headers is only through the UEFI, and between two choices; standard and full speed. The colors of the board do clash, however, some people like the blue and orange compliments.

 

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The back panel IO features dual NICs, four USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, D-SUB/HDMI/DVI/DP video ports, a PS/2 port, and a TOSLINK with S/PDIF optical.

 

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There are a total of four 16x PCI-E 3.0 lanes from the CPU that are being driven into three blue 16X PCI-E slots. The first slot will operate at 16x if none of the other blue slots are occupied. If they are occupied, then the board will shift 8x away from the first slot and give it to the second, or split it into the second and third at 4x each slot. All the black 4x slots are actually 1x slots that share bandwidth through a PLX switch chip.

 

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The VRM is a 6-phase which is cooled by this standalone heat sink. Screws would have been better than pushpins for holding down this heat sink, but the PCH heat sink uses screws.

 

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The one thing about the hardware layout of this board that is a bit off is the positioning of the power button. It's all the way at the top of the board; nowhere near the other buttons, and easily missed with a large heat sink installed. The board also carries a large number of jumpers, which are great for overclocking, since you can use the jumpers to disable and enable features at a hardware level. You can disable every third-party controller this way including audio and the NICs.

 

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Even though this is Supermicro's second DIY board featuring overclocking, it still comes with buttons for ease of use when overclocking.

 

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The heat sinks seems to make good contact with the components they cool.

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