Voltage Regulator Analysis
With more and more things being integrated into the CPU and PCH, there isn't much that sets motherboards apart; however, the voltage regulator is still one part of the motherboard that differs greatly between manufacturers, and even between models of the same brand. It is important to review the hardware to see exactly what you are paying for.
The VRM on this board is unlike any other seen on consumer DIY motherboards. Supermicro is using server grade 45A Vitec inductors, along with Infineon branded DrMOS, and a Primarion PWM. For the most part, everything on this board is server-grade. There are six 560uF polymer can-type capacitors for a total of 3360uF. There are also a few MLCC used in the output filter, which hints that this is a high frequency VRM.
The PX3746 is a six-phase digital PWM from Primarion (Infineon). Infineon is known for high-quality products, but the cost of their products is usually higher than companies like uPI or Richtek. The C7Z97-OCE uses 6x DrMOS TDA21215 - there is no datasheet on this part, but it's from Infineon. We can assume that it is at least a 35A DrMOS, and perhaps even 40A. The only datasheet available is for the TDA21220, and it is a 50A part.
This is the memory VRM using the same TDA21215 DrMOS; however, a different Primarion PWM, the PX3743, is either a two or three-phase digital PWM. I am glad Supermicro decided to go digital for both the memory, and CPU VRs.
This is a Z123201; I believe it to be a POL (point of load) device, which is like an all-in-one VRM used to power low current devices - in this case, the PCH. The use of all the heavily integrated components in the VRs (DrMOS and POL) increases board real-estate for other devices, which is something you often see on servers. This all points to engineers who work on servers working on this board, and that is a great sign for those who want high-quality and solid engineering.
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