Famed for its reliability in the server market, Supermicro was once known to enthusiasts only for its cases. The company finally decided to dip a toe into the overclocking market with the C7Z87-OCE motherboard. But it wasn’t until Intel's Z97 update that Tom’s Hardware finally felt the teething pains of a company that was most experienced building business-oriented hardware. Today’s C7X99-OCE brings over two years of overclocking-related firmware advancements to users who want the added cores or PCIe 3.0 lanes of Haswell-E via LGA 2011-v3.
The C7X99-OCE is even rated for four-way SLI, though the dual-slot brackets and coolers of most compatible cards makes it unlikely that enthusiasts will try squeezing a third card into that single space before the fourth slot. You’d also lose front-panel USB 3.0, since the solitary header is located along the bottom edge. Heck, you might even lose the use of that header with a third card, depending on whether your double-space cooler is more than 8.4” long. Before we dig deeper into the connectors, here’s how it compares to the rest of our ~$300 boards:
|X99 Mainstream Motherboard Features|
|Row 0 - Cell 0||Supermicro C7X99-OCE||MSI X99S MPower||ASRock X99 Extreme6/ac||Asus X99 Pro|
|Chipset||Intel X99||Intel X99||Intel X99||Intel X99|
|Voltage Regulator||Eight Phases||12 Phases||12 Phases||Eight Phases|
|100MHz BCLK||99.98 (-0.02%)||99.98 (-0.02%)||99.94 (-0.06%)||99.94 (-0.06%)|
|I/O Panel Connectors|
|Digital Audio Out||Optical||Optical||Optical||Optical|
|Digital Audio In||None||None||None||None|
|Other Devices||None||None||2x Wi-Fi Antenna||2x Wi-Fi Antenna|
|PCIe 3.0 x16 (Core i7-5960X, -5930K)||4 (x16/x8/x8/x8) SLI x4, CrossFire x4||4 (x16/x16/x0/x8*, x8/x16/x8/x8*) SLI x4, CrossFire x4 *Forces M.2 to PCIe 2.0 x2||3 (x16/x16/x8) SLI x3, CrossFire x3 M.2 disables x8 slot||3 (x16/x16/x8) SLI x3, CrossFire x3 M.2 disables x8 slot|
|PCIe 3.0 x16 (Core i7-5820K)||4 (x16/x0/x8/x0) SLI x2, CrossFire x2||4 (x16/x8/x0/x4*, x8/x8/x8/x4*) SLI x3, CrossFire x4 *Forces M.2 to PCIe 2.0 x2||3 (x16/x8/x4) SLI x2, CrossFire x3 M.2 disables x4 slot||3 (x16/x8/x4) SLI x2, CrossFire x3 M.2 disables x4 slot|
|PCIe 2.0 x16||None||None||None||1 (x4, shares 1x PCIe x1, 1x USB 3.0 controller [2-ports])|
|PCIe 2.0 x1||2 (x4 slot length)||2 (open-ended)||2 (+1x mini-PCIe, Filled)||2 (1x w/x16, 1x w/Wi-Fi)|
|USB 3.0||1 (2-ports)||2 (4-ports)||2 (4-ports)||2 (4-ports)|
|USB 2.0||None||2 (4-ports)||2 (4-ports)||2 (4-ports)|
|SATA 6.0 Gb/s||10||10 (Shares M.2/SATA-E)||10 (Shares M.2/SATA-E)||10 (2x Shared w/SATA-E)|
|SATA Express||None||1 (Uses 2x SATA)||None||1 (Uses 2x SATA)|
|M.2 Interfaces (Transfer Modes)||None||1 (PCIe 3.0 x4, PCIe 2.0 x2, SATA 6Gb/s x2)||1 (PCIe 3.0 x4, SATA 6Gb/s x1)||1 (PCIe 3.0 x4-only)|
|4-Pin Fan||5||5||2||6 (5x PWM/DC dual-mode)|
|S/PDIF I/O||None||None||None||Output Only|
|Internal Buttons||Power, OC1/2/3/DRAM/Home, CLR CMOS, BIOS Restore||Power, Reset, OC-Genie, Clock +/-||Power, Reset||Power, Reset, Mem_OK|
|Internal Switch||BIOS Recovery Mode||Slow Mode, BIOS Selector||Dual BIOS Selector||XMP, EPU (low-energy), TPU (auto-overclocking)|
|Other Devices||Serial COM, OC Front Panel||None||Serial COM, TB_Header, HDD-Saver, USB Type-A||Serial COM, TB_Header, EXT_FAN|
|Mass Storage Controllers|
|Chipset SATA||10x SATA 6Gb/s||10x SATA 6Gb/s (Includes M.2, SATA-E)||10x SATA 6Gb/s (Includes M.2, eSATA)||10x SATA 6Gb/s (Includes M.2, SATA-E)|
|Chipset RAID Modes||0, 1, 5, 10 (Ports 1-6)||0, 1, 5, 10 (Ports 1-6)||0, 1, 5, 10 (Ports 1-6)||0, 1, 5, 10 (Ports 1-6)|
|USB 3.0||None||VL805 PCIe ASM1042 PCIe||ASM1042e PCIe ASM1072 Hub||ASM1042e PCIe ASM1072 Hub|
|Primary LAN||Intel i210 PCIe||Intel i210 PCIe||WGI218V PHY||WGI218V PHY|
|Secondary LAN||Intel i210 PCIe||None||AR8171 PCIe||None|
|Wi-Fi||None||None||BCM4352 PCIe 802.11ac dual-band / BT 4.0||BCM4352 PCIe 802.11ac dual-band / BT 4.0|
|Bluetooth||None||None||BT 4.0 / Wi-Fi Combo||BT 4.0 / Wi-Fi Combo|
|HD Audio Codec||ALC1150||ALC1150||ALC1150||ALC1150|
|DDL/DTS Connect||None||None||DTS Connect||DTS Connect|
|Warranty||Three Years||Three Years||Three Years||Three Years|
Personally, I think three years should be the minimum legal warranty: reduce the amount of e-waste generated by device manufacturers engineering their products to barely outlive the warranty. Making retailers accountable for part of the warranty repair costs would also give them incentive to avoid stocking dodgy products.
(Except on batteries which people can ruin within months by abusing the heck out of them, one more reason to make batteries user-replaceable again.)
I like seeing that USB 3 is becoming prevalent but it worries me a bit for 100% backwards comparability. I guess installing a driver during install is not too trivial but it is annoying.
I've been happy with it, so far (no overclocking or multi-GPU, though). My only complaint is a significant hissing on the line-out port, forcing me to use a separate sound card. But when I viewed the Newegg reviews a year later, it sounded like they had some serious quality problems starting shortly after I bought mine.
So, maybe they've already lost that "legendary reliability"? It wasn't a cheap board, either.
I just bought an ASRock mini-ITX server board, though it was the only option with all the features I wanted. We'll see how that works out...
Is there people still use ps 2 keyboard today?
Is there people who can afford to buy 300 dollars motherboard and still use 1998 keyboard and mouse?
I still use a PS/2 keyboard I paid $300 for, years ago. I do have a USB adapter for it, but I think it increases the number of missed key presses/releases.