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Monday | May 17, 2021
Supermicro C7Z170-OCE Review

Supermicro C7Z170-OCE Review

A couple of months ago Supermicro really kicked up a storm in the Intel marketplace by enabling overclocking on non-K Intel CPUs. Not only that though, they did it on a micro-ATX mainstream board which meant that people could build a compact, aggressively priced system and squeeze as much performance out of it as possible. Today we take a look at a board on the same socket, though this time at the high end in our Supermicro C7Z170-OCE Review.

Supermicro C7Z170-OCE Review – Packaging and Bundle

supermicro-c7z170-oce-review-box supermicro-c7z170-oce-review-bundle

Supermicro stick with their interesting angular box design for the C7Z170-OCE and inside we find the board wrapped in an anti-static bag, protected by some foam and separated from the bundled items. Those items are a quick start guide, I/O shield, drive cables, M.2 screws and a software CD.

Supermicro C7Z170-OCE Review – The Motherboard

supermicro-c7z170-oce-review-motherboard supermicro-c7z170-oce-review-socket

Supermicro go with a black ATX PCB on the C7Z170-OCE and add some bright green hardware to it. As the name suggests, this is a Z170 based board for Intel Socket 1151. All Intel CPUs for that socket are supported as is DDR4.

supermicro-c7z170-oce-review-pcies supermicro-c7z170-oce-review-drives

Looking down to the bottom left of the board we find the audio portion, separated from the rest of the PCB by a set of LEDs and containing a Realtek ALC1150 7.1 channel controller. Our PCIe slots are 16x, 8x, 1x, 8x, 1x with an addition of M.2 over PCIe (32GB/s and 22110 length) between the top two slots. This is an improvement over many Z170 boards and is thanks to the PLX PEX8747 controller. The main benefit being we can run 16x, 0x, 16x on the larger slots, or 16x, 8x, 8x.

Over on the right side we find a debug LED and six SATA 3 ports (RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10). Next to them is a USB 3.0 header.

supermicro-c7z170-oce-review-mems supermicro-c7z170-oce-review-outputs

Continuing up the right edge of the board we find the 24pin power connector (which combines with single 8pin on the top edge) and a number of buttons. Black is power on and beside it, clear CMOS and BIOS restore. Our green buttons are for overclocking via user profile or pre-set levels. Behind the buttons are our four DDR4 memory slots (split over 2 channels) with speeds in excess of 3300MHz available as well as capacities up to 64GB.

Round at the back panel our connectors start with PS/2 and 2x USB 2.0 followed by optical audio, HDMI, DisplayPort and DVI. Dual Intel GB LAN ports are up next (i219v/i210-AT) followed by two USB 3.0, single USB 3.1 Type-C and our 3.5mm audio connectors.

supermicro-c7h170-m-review-bios-2 supermicro-c7h170-m-review-bios

Turning to the software used on the C7Z170-OCE our board has a decent GUI BIOS which is responsive and packed with the features we need to overclock and tweak our system. As far as monitoring and tweaking from within Windows, nothing fancy on that front. We’d suggest checking out Intels own tweaking software as well as a tool like AIDA64.

Supermicro C7Z170-OCE Review – Performance

Test systems:
i7-6700K, Z170/H170/B150, 2x8GB DDR4-2666 (Corsair)
i7-4790K, Z97, 2x8GB DDR3-2666 (Corsair)

All with:
Windows 10
GTX 980 Ti OC
Corsair H100 Series Cooler
Corsair AX1500i PSU
Samsung 850 Pro SSD (SATA Testing)
And Samsung T1 SSD (USB Testing)

On a Dimastech EasyXL Test Bench


superm-170-review-3dmark superm-170-review-3dmark-igpu superm-170-review-m2 superm-170-review-memory superm-170-review-sata superm-170-review-usb



Supermicro C7Z170-OCE Review – Conclusion

Given the experience (and impressive reputation) Supermicro have in the server marketplace it should come as no surprise that the build quality level on the C7Z170-OCE is high. Quality components can be found across the PCB however

As far as design goes, again very positive. The green design used here does remind us of some funky old DFI boards from a while back, no bad thing, and they do help this motherboard to stand out, as well as tie in nicely with NVIDIA hardware if you are creating a themed build. The slot layout is intelligent, also allowing space between the larger slots for dual width GPUs and we get some nice extras such as the debug LED, onboard buttons for one touch overclocking and the latest USB support in the form of 3.1 type-C.

Of course nothing is perfect and Supermicro could make a few tweaks to enhance things a little, helping the board compare favorably on all levels with all competitor models. Some significant such as the inclusion of a headphone amp, some are small, for example adding in a quality shield for the back panel. The BIOS, though responsive and functional, could be re-skinned to be a touch cleaner and it would be ideal if Supermicro included some more advanced tweaking software for use in Windows…oh, and a couple of extra USB 3.0 ports on the back panel wouldn’t have hurt.

As far as performance goes, the C7Z170-OCE sits at the high end of the market. All of the key performance areas show great results and the board offered decent overclocking, taking our CPU up to 4.8GHz with DDR4 running without issue at over 3000MHz. Supermicro also go that extra mile with the inclusion of that PLX controller for our PCIe slots. That guarantees some multi-GPU performance which is class leading and the fact that this board retails for significantly less than other boards with the same controller is a real bonus.

Recommended Award

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Supermicro C7Z170-OCE
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About Author

Stuart Davidson

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