Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
With our build guide pairing the SuperO Z590 C9Z590-CGW with the Intel Core i5 11600K out in the wild, we step back to take a closer look at the board at the heart of the build. The C9Z590-CGW is the latest board from SuperO, a subsidiary of Supermicro focused on designing high-quality "gaming" motherboards with decades of experience in the server market.
The SuperO C9Z590-CGW is one of two SKUs available for purchase with the Z590 chipset; the other, the C9Z590-CG, would omit the W in the model and come without WiFi6 and BT 5.1. That said, both SKUs are stacked with connectivity, including 5, 10, and 20Gb/s USB 3.2 on the rear I/O and 10Gbe from the Marvell AQC113C chipset.
Running through the platform specifications, this board does support 11th Gen Intel Rocket Lake CPUs, with RAM support for JEDEC 2133-3200MHz and XMP up to 4000MHz. The maximum memory capacity is 128GB with 32GB DIMMs.
Storage support includes four SATA3 ports, 2x Ultra M.2 slots, and one Hyper M.2 slot.
The SuperO C9Z590-CGW carries an MSRP of $379.99 with a three-year warranty.
Packaging, Accessories, and Overview
Packaging and Accessories
Packaging for the SuperO Z590 is aesthetically similar to last year's Z490 platform. We have the SuperO branding top left with Supermicro branding bottom right.
On the back, we have a full board breakdown in the center with features listed along the bottom. Platform support is listed bottom left.
Included with the motherboard, we have Wi-Fi antennas, SATA cables, and the rear I/O shield.
SuperO C9Z590-CGW Overview
The C9Z590-CGW shares its theme with last year's Z490 PGW, both having a dark black and silver colorway. The VRM, chipset, and M.2 are all covered with aluminum heat sinks, and the PCIe Gen4 and DIMM slots are shielded.
The rear I/O includes both DP and HDMI outputs, four USB 2.0 for peripherals, and USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports in red. The USB-C ports seen above are USB 3.2 Gen2x2 with both 1Gbe and 10Gbe included for LAN.
The bottom of the board includes three Ultra m.2 ports under the heat sinks, a single PCIe x1 slot, and front panel audio to the left. The three M.2 slots support RAID 0,1, and 5, which is an impressive feature.
Further to the right, we slide into USB 3.2 headers, BIOS, debug LED, and COM ports.
Along the right side of the board, we have SATA ports, USB 3.2 Gen 2 header, and 24-pin power.
Moving up towards the top of the board, you will find several fan connections, power, and reset along with CMOS clear.
The top of the board includes VRM heat sinks and eight-pin power.
PCB and Circuit Analysis
The SuperO C9Z590-CGW has one of the unique VRM layouts seen to date and Infineon platform with the XDPE12284C PMIC in-between two banks of Infineon TDA21490 90A Power Stages.
Chipset is the focus above.
Nuvoton is the Super I/O for this board.
Realtek ALC1220 can be seen to the left of the PCIe slots above.
UEFI and Motherboard Software
EFI for the SuperO C9Z590-CGW is quite robust, with an EZ Mode that offers XMP support and RST controls. Down below, you can change fan speeds and, to the right, change boot priority and CPU profile.
If you move into Advanced Mode, the BIOS will offer a more traditional layout that includes the main menu showing installed hardware. Overclocking is broken up into CPU, memory, and voltage categories. The advanced menu itself contains an insane amount of options for configuring everything from CPU cooling tuning, boot features, and connectivity.
The hardware monitor offers board temperatures and fan control tuning.
Several pieces of software are included with the SuperO C9Z590-CGW.
Super Doctor 5 is a more traditional server-side software platform that enables users to monitor their motherboard remotely. On the SuperO C9Z590-CGW, we can see fan speeds, voltages, and temperatures.
You can dive into System info to pull up information about installed drives, memory, and the entire hardware platform.
Cinebench, Realbench and AIDA64
Cinebench is a long-standing render benchmark that has been heavily relied upon by both Intel and AMD to showcase their newest platforms during unveils. The benchmark has two tests, a single-core workload that will utilize one thread or 1T. There is also a multi-threaded test that uses all threads or nT of a tested CPU.
We took a different approach to this article, averaging the results from the past five Z590 platforms we have tested comparing the SuperO against it. Using the 11700K, we did see 1595 from the SuperO, in line with the 1T average. nT we see 15078 for the SuperO, a touch over the average.
Realbench uses both video and photo workloads to benchmark your CPU. We use all three workloads in this scenario.
Image editing gave us 24.1 seconds, while H.264 showed 29 seconds. Multi-tasking reached 36 seconds, all in line with our Z590 average.
Memory bandwidth came in at 52K read, 54K write, and 48K copy.
Memory Latency was at 63.5ns.
In AES, we are once again in line with the Z590 average, score at 171916.
SHA3 showed 5401, only a few points under average.
PCMark10 and PugetSystems Benchmarks
PCMark is a benchmark from UL and tests various workload types to represent typical workloads for a PC. Everything from video conferencing, image import, and editing, along with 3D rendering, are tested.
PCMark testing showed 8224 for the SuperO, slightly above average.
Applications testing was better and once again above average at 13211.
PugetBench comes from the fantastic people over at Puget Systems that have done countless hours and years benchmarking hardware. For our testing, we will utilize their Davinci Resolve, Photoshop, and Lightroom benchmarks, you can look into them more here
Puget for Photoshop came up with 942, about 22 points over average.
Puget Bench for Davinci Resolve tapped 1156 points, above-average yet again.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
Average FPS for Flight Simulator came in at 63FPS; the SuperO was on par at 64FPS.
System I/O Benchmarks and Thermals
System I/O Benchmarks
Storage with CrystalDiskMark
Sequential storage performance came in at 7027 MB/s reads, and 5422 MB/s write.
4KQ1 was slightly above the Z590 average, 74 MB/s read and 298 MB/s write.
Networking performance showed a touch under 1300Mbps for Wi-Fi and a fantastic 9439Mbps for the 10Gbe controller.
Thermal images show a relatively cool operating motherboard, a hot spot near the VRM and CPU heat sink, peaks near 30c below the socket.
Getting in closer to the VRM, we do see a 36c peak temp near the rear I/O.
The Supermicro SuperO C9Z590-CGW is a refreshing platform that focuses on reliability and functionality while offering one of the most feature-packed motherboards I have come across. While all Intel Z590 motherboards support USB 3.2 Gen 2x2, most vendors push it through an internal header. The SuperO is the first I've come across to push that connectivity through multiple ports on the rear I/O while offering a host of USB 2.0 for peripherals and standard USB 3.2 for high-speed flash drives and external backup solutions.
10Gbe might be one of the most significant selling features of this platform. The rest of the market focuses on 2.5Gbe as its staple and completing platforms offering 10Gbe, like the Z590 AORUS Xtreme retailing at $849 - Supermicro is doing it at half the cost. In testing, I found the SuperO to be a fantastic board with results on par or better than the average of our last five Intel Z590 boards tested and even more excelling in storage performance.
EFI for the SuperO Z590 is one of the most complete platforms I've seen, with a well laid out EZ Mode for novice users to set XMP settings or enable a preset profile for enhanced CPU performance. Further, the advanced menu system offers a plethora amount of overclocking options broken down into categories. In contrast, further menu options allow you to configure everything from the type of cooling solution you are using to connectivity, CPU and graphics configurations, and even motherboard power settings, to name a few.
Additionally, the SuperO C9Z590-CGW is a rare bird, offering no RGB functionality, something highly uncommon in the current market, making this motherboard a true gem for old-school purists that want a reliable gaming platform to build on from a very trusted motherboard maker.