Here are key points about the SUPERMICRO C7Z170-M.
Component Quality: The thermal analysis of the VRM was quite revealing. Even at 4.5GHz, the VRM surface temperatures are very low compared to other motherboards, and those motherboards all have more phases than this board. With only four CPU VRM phases, the C7Z170-M can overclock my CPU to its maximum with ease, and that is because of component quality. While it is true that Skylake has low power requirements, I have seen small VRMs the same size as this one throttle back the CPU, but Supermicro's component selection is why this board can overclock the CPU with ease. Audio quality is high in both real life and tests, and that is because of the way Supermicro has routed those traces.
Lots of breathing room: The C7Z170-M's layout is quite well done. There is ample room between the DIMMs and the socket, and between the top PCI-E slot and the CPU and DIMMs. Accessing the M.2 slot or the CMOS battery is also quite simple. Buttons are also easily accessible. There are two USB 3.0 headers, and they are situated to reach front or rear USB 3.0 internal cables.
Subtle Color Scheme: A lot of motherboards these days are flashy, and while a lot of people like flashy motherboards, many might also like something more modest. Supermicro did their best to ensure the majority of the motherboard was black and added hints of red to different parts of the board.
BIOS Recovery Feature: It's not typical for more affordable motherboards to have BIOS recovery options, but the C7Z170-M can recover the BIOS from a flash drive loaded with a BIOS ROM file.
Fan Control: Fan control is almost nonexistent. Apart from the fact that only 4-pin PWM fans will have speed control, speed control is limited to two pre-loaded profiles in the UEFI. The lack of manual fan control might be a turn-off for some, but Supermicro's default profile does offer a decent level of noise control and performance.
Memory Overclocking: As more and more people start to buy memory kits above 3000MHz, it is imperative that motherboard vendors work to add support for higher speed kits. The C7Z170-M could use some work in that regard, so I would stick to kits that have been validated with this motherboard.
Supermicro's SuperO brand is coming along quite well; with their latest Z170 motherboards, I have seen some significant improvements when it comes to usability and performance. SuperO motherboards have always had excellent component quality, but in the past, they lacked usability.
The C7Z170-M brings usability to the SuperO line; its layout is optimized for usage and the latest features are present and easily accessible. The color scheme is even equivalent to that of a high-end enthusiast motherboard and takes into account community feedback.
Hardware-wise, the C7Z170-M is solid; it has everything you might want in a Micro-ATX motherboard, but just like every motherboard it has its pitfalls. The biggest of these is memory overclocking, but to be honest, benefits from DDR4 speeds over 3000MHz are marginal at this time. One other thing I really like is the lack of lanes switches or hubs; all connectivity is directly connected to the PCH increasing performance and compatibility.
At $163, the C7Z170-M is filled with value. Everything from layout to hardware design has been optimized; you really are getting a server-quality motherboard built for gamers.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Performance (including Overclocking)||90%|
|Quality including Design and Build||95%|
|Bundle and Packaging||90%|
|Value for Money||95%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||92%|
The Bottom Line: Supermicro's SuperO C7Z170-M is a solid motherboard with server-grade components and design, providing high value at a reasonable price.
PRICING: You can find the Supermicro SuperO C7Z170-M (Intel Z170) Motherboard for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
United States: The Supermicro SuperO C7Z170-M (Intel Z170) Motherboard retails for $163 at Amazon.
United Kingdom: The Supermicro SuperO C7Z170-M (Intel Z170) Motherboard retails for £198 at Amazon UK.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and C7Z170-M Overview]
- Page 3 [SUPERMICRO C7Z170-M Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [SUPERMICRO C7Z170-M Circuit Analysis Continued]
- Page 5 [The BIOS]
- Page 6 [Test System Setup]
- Page 7 [Overclocking]
- Page 8 [CPU, Memory, and System Benchmarks]
- Page 9 [System IO Benchmarks]
- Page 10 [Thermal Imaging and Power Consumption]
- Page 11 [What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts]
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