Test Setup, Feature Testing, and Conclusion
In this section I will test Supermicro's features.
Supermicro doesn't have a fancy software suite to go with its ultra-fancy hardware; in those terms, it is bloat-ware free. However, that does limit Windows based fan control, as well as overclocking. There is an overclocking driver included in the driver DVD, and this OC driver allows Intel's Extreme Tuning Utility to actually overclock the C7Z97-OCE in Windows, and in that regard, it worked flawlessly. All OC profiles are through the UEFI.
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 3rd party controller this way, including audio, and the NICs.
Even though this is Supermicro's first DIY board featuring overclocking, it still comes with buttons for ease of use when overclocking. The buttons' functions are also in the manual. Let's see what they do.
With the 4790K, the system is already at the point that is covered by the first 15% button. I tried the maximum OC UEFI profile, which was the same as the 20% OC button. This resulted in a 4.8GHz overclock, but the VCore and VCache were both set at 1.4v. This was too high to run any stability tests, but you can see the settings in Intel's XTU above.
This is my 4.8GHz OC that I programmed into the OC3 button, and it did work as expected. Next, I wanted to try the last OC button, the "M" button to OC the memory. To my surprise, it overclocked the memory to 2240MHz with a 102MHz BCLK, and a 4.3GHz core speed on all cores. It didn't over-volt the CPU cores; instead, it left them at 1.15v, which is totally acceptable for that speed.
Power and Audio Testing
I tested the power at the wall socket, and at the eight-pin CPU power connector on the motherboard, which supplies the CPU power. Measurements were taken at 0% load for Idle, and 100% load (at max spikes) using IntelBurnTest.
The C7Z97-OCE is one of the most efficient Z97 boards I have tested - possibly because of its server level parts and engineering.
This is the testing done in RMAA5.5 with the audio, and the results speak for themselves. I test with RMAA a bit differently than others. I make sure to disable all audio enhancements in packaged software, and in the control panel, then I match bit rate and frequency, and finally run the test.
Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:33 pm CDT
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