Supermicro C9Z390-CG-IW Review: 9900K Meets Mini-ITX

How We Test

The C9Z390-CG-IW is our first Mini-ITX motherboard designed to support Intel’s new 8-core, LGA 1151 processors, so we have only ATX boards to use for comparison. The ASRock Z390 TaichiMSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon and Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Master fill those roles.

SoundIntegrated HD audio
NetworkIntegrated gigabit networking
Graphics DriverGeForce 399.24

The same platform that cooled the 10 cores of our Core i9-7900X worked equally well with the eight cores of the Core i9-9900K, as we’ll show in the overclocking evaluation on the next page.

Comparison Products

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Benchmark Settings

Synthetic Benchmarks & Settings
PCMark 8Version 2.7.613
Home, Creative, Work, Storage, Applications (Adobe & Microsoft)
3DMark 13Version 4.47.597.0
Skydiver, Firestrike, Firestrike Extreme Default Presets
SiSoftware SandraVersion 2016.03.22.21
CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Cryptography, Memory Bandwidth
DiskSPD4K Random Read, 4K Random Write
128K Sequential Read, 128K Sequential Write
Cinebench R15Build RC83328DEMO
OpenGL Benchmark
CompuBenchVersion 1.5.8
Face Detection, Optical Flow, Ocean Surface, Ray Tracing
Application Tests & Settings
LAME MP3Version 3.98.3
Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3: Command: -b 160 --nores (160Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.9.9
Sintel Open Movie Project: 4.19GB 4K mkv to x265 mp4
BlenderVersion 2.68a
BMW 27 CPU Render Benchmark, BMW 27 GPU Render Benchmark
7-ZipVersion 16.02
THG-Workload (7.6GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=9"
Adobe After Effects CCRelease 2015.3.0, Version 13.8.0.144
PCMark-driven routine
Adobe Photoshop CCRelease 2015.5.0, 20160603.r.88 x64
PCMark-driven routine (light and heavy)
Adobe InDesign CCRelease 2015.4, Build 11.4.0.90 x64
PCMark-driven routine
Adobe IllustratorRelease 2015.3.0, Version 20.0.0 (64-bit)
PCMark-driven routine
Game Tests & Settings
Ashes of the SingularityVersion 1.31.21360
High Preset - 1920 x 1080, Mid Shadow Quality, 1x MSAA
Crazy Preset - 1920 x 1080, High Shadow Quality, 2x MSAA
F1 20152015 Season, Abu Dhabi track, Rain
Medium Preset, no AF
Ultra High Preset, 16x AF
Metro: Last Light ReduxVersion 3.00 x64
High Quality, 1920 x 1080, High Tesselation, 16x AF
Very High Quality, 1920 x 1080, Very High Tesselation, 16x AF
The Talos PrincipleVersion 267252
Medium Preset, High Quality, High Tesselation, 4x AF
Ultra Preset, Very High Quality, Very High Tesselation, 16x AF

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5 comments
    Your comment
  • siman0
    I'm not going to lie here that's fairly impressive given its size. Its probably the best ITX board for the 9XXX series I don't think it deserves a 2/5 just because it cant support one of Intel's ridiculously power hungry CPU...
  • bloodroses
    446387 said:
    I'm not going to lie here that's fairly impressive given its size. Its probably the best ITX board for the 9XXX series I don't think it deserves a 2/5 just because it cant support one of Intel's ridiculously power hungry CPU...


    I agree. 2/5 is pretty brutal of a rating considering the board runs well with everything but the 9900k; and is loaded to the gills for its size. I wonder if Toms contacted Supermicro to see if there was a bios fix, or something similar? Supermicro is usually known for exceptional quality motherboards and one of the go-to brands for servers.
  • Crashman
    446387 said:
    I'm not going to lie here that's fairly impressive given its size. Its probably the best ITX board for the 9XXX series I don't think it deserves a 2/5 just because it cant support one of Intel's ridiculously power hungry CPU...
    Update: I reset the firmware after writing the article, booted up, started Prime95 small-FFT's, and the system did a hard reset (overcurrent protection). And you still want something higher than the middle score of 2.5?

    It would probably have gotten a 3 or 3.5 if the 9700K were Intel's top CPU, but what we're really looking at with this board is Z370-class power regulation on the Z390. We're assuming the reason Intel delayed the Z390 is that they wanted to get manufacturers to support the power specs of the 9900K. After all, the H370 and B360 are based on the Z370, and the derived chipsets were released first for a reason.

    Moreover, if you look at the power consumption, it looks like this board's biggest power shortcoming could have been addressed in firmware. It shouldn't need this much core voltage to run a 8C/16T load on the 9900K at 4.70 GHz.
  • siman0
    Well Blood considering what Crashman stated, that's probably a no. Considering it can support a 9900k is impressive for what it is. Id like to see what the board is able to do with updated firmware. But going to be honest people are probably not going to be looking at serious overclocking in a ITX computer. I see the use of this more as a mobile work station and side gaming computer than anything else.
  • bloodroses
    446387 said:
    Well Blood considering what Crashman stated, that's probably a no. Considering it can support a 9900k is impressive for what it is. Id like to see what the board is able to do with updated firmware. But going to be honest people are probably not going to be looking at serious overclocking in a ITX computer. I see the use of this more as a mobile work station and side gaming computer than anything else.


    I completely agree on the use. HTPC, mini work stations, portable gaming, and micro servers are the main uses for Mini-ITX. The NUC, Mac Mini, Brix, and micro servers in general are perfect examples of those. It's almost crazy even thinking of something as powerful as a 9900k in something that small; but it is an option now. I'm guessing Supermicro is focusing on the server side of things given their pedigree.