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Supermicro C7X99-OCE ATX Motherboard Review

Can Supermicro deliver its legendary server-component reliability with the overclocking features we’ve grown to love? We gauge the company’s progress in its third generation of enthusiast-oriented motherboards.

Our Verdict

A premium-priced board with few basic features, Supermicro’s C7X99-OCE is best suited to Supermicro’s rising fan base.

For

  • Dual Intel Gigabit Ethernet and Supermicro’s reputation for stability and longevity.

Against

  • Few added features, reduced implementation of chipset-integrated data ports, and minor overclocking difficulties.

Reliable Overclocking?

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
Supermicro C7X99-OCEMSI X99S MPowerASRock X99 Extreme6/acAsus X99 Pro
PCB Revision1.014.01.071.01
ChipsetIntel X99Intel X99Intel X99Intel X99
Voltage RegulatorEight Phases12 Phases12 PhasesEight Phases
100MHz BCLK99.98 (-0.02%)99.98 (-0.02%)99.94 (-0.06%)99.94 (-0.06%)
I/O Panel Connectors
P/S 21111
USB 3.06866
USB 2.0None224
Network2121
eSATANoneNone1None
CLR_CMOS ButtonNone111
Digital Audio OutOpticalOpticalOpticalOptical
Digital Audio InNoneNoneNoneNone
Analog Audio5555
Other DevicesNoneNone2x Wi-Fi Antenna2x Wi-Fi Antenna
Internal Interfaces
PCIe 3.0 x16 (Core i7-5960X, -5930K)4 (x16/x8/x8/x8) SLI x4, CrossFire x44 (x16/x16/x0/x8*, x8/x16/x8/x8*) SLI x4, CrossFire x4 *Forces M.2 to PCIe 2.0 x23 (x16/x16/x8) SLI x3, CrossFire x3 M.2 disables x8 slot3 (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 x24 (x16/x8/x0/x4*, x8/x8/x8/x4*) SLI x3, CrossFire x4 *Forces M.2 to PCIe 2.0 x23 (x16/x8/x4) SLI x2, CrossFire x3 M.2 disables x4 slot3 (x16/x8/x4) SLI x2, CrossFire x3 M.2 disables x4 slot
PCIe 2.0 x16NoneNoneNone1 (x4, shares 1x PCIe x1, 1x USB 3.0 controller [2-ports])
PCIe 2.0 x12 (x4 slot length)2 (open-ended)2 (+1x mini-PCIe, Filled)2 (1x w/x16, 1x w/Wi-Fi)
USB 3.01 (2-ports)2 (4-ports)2 (4-ports)2 (4-ports)
USB 2.0None2 (4-ports)2 (4-ports)2 (4-ports)
SATA 6.0 Gb/s1010 (Shares M.2/SATA-E)10 (Shares M.2/SATA-E)10 (2x Shared w/SATA-E)
SATA ExpressNone1 (Uses 2x SATA)None1 (Uses 2x SATA)
M.2 Interfaces (Transfer Modes)None1 (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 Fan5526 (5x PWM/DC dual-mode)
3-Pin FanNoneNone4None
FP-Audio1111
S/PDIF I/ONoneNoneNoneOutput Only
Internal ButtonsPower, OC1/2/3/DRAM/Home, CLR CMOS, BIOS RestorePower, Reset, OC-Genie, Clock +/-Power, ResetPower, Reset, Mem_OK
Internal SwitchBIOS Recovery ModeSlow Mode, BIOS SelectorDual BIOS SelectorXMP, EPU (low-energy), TPU (auto-overclocking)
Diagnostics PanelNumericNumericNumericNumeric
Other DevicesSerial COM, OC Front PanelNoneSerial COM, TB_Header, HDD-Saver, USB Type-ASerial COM, TB_Header, EXT_FAN
Mass Storage Controllers
Chipset SATA10x SATA 6Gb/s10x 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 Modes0, 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)
Add-In SATANoneNoneNoneNone
USB 3.0NoneVL805 PCIe ASM1042 PCIeASM1042e PCIe ASM1072 HubASM1042e PCIe ASM1072 Hub
Networking
Primary LANIntel i210 PCIeIntel i210 PCIeWGI218V PHYWGI218V PHY
Secondary LANIntel i210 PCIeNoneAR8171 PCIeNone
Wi-FiNoneNoneBCM4352 PCIe 802.11ac dual-band / BT 4.0BCM4352 PCIe 802.11ac dual-band / BT 4.0
BluetoothNoneNoneBT 4.0 / Wi-Fi ComboBT 4.0 / Wi-Fi Combo
Audio
HD Audio CodecALC1150ALC1150ALC1150ALC1150
DDL/DTS ConnectNoneNoneDTS ConnectDTS Connect
WarrantyThree YearsThree YearsThree YearsThree Years