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Supermicro SuperO C9 Z590-CGW Review: Server-Grade for Gaming?

A server-grade board with 10 GbE and two USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C ports for $429.99.

Supermicro SuperO C9 Z590-CGW
(Image: © Supermicro)

Firmware

To give you a sense of the Firmware, we’ve gathered screenshots showing most BIOS screens.

The BIOS on these Supermicro boards do the job and have improved since they first came out. However, they still aren’t as refined as the others. It still feels like a server BIOS, in that the look is relatively simple. In EZ Mode, you’re able to get an idea of where the system stands and change a couple of options. Using the Advanced mode, you’ll see headers across the top (Main, Overclocking, Advanced, H/W Monitor, Boot, Save & Exit and BIOS Update) with options listed below.

Although the BIOS works just fine, POST takes a lot longer than most consumer-facing motherboards. The way your selection is highlighted works differently, so it takes a bit of getting used to. In essence, you have two things highlighted at once and have to hit enter to select the field to get it to move. Typically, the highlight follows the cursor without making a selection.

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Software

Supermicro has the SuperOBooster application on the software front, an all-in-one monitoring and adjustment tool designed for its motherboards. The software is easy to read and maneuver around and controls the CPU and memory, fans, voltage, and updating the BIOS. SuperOBooster does a good job of presenting system information as well as being simple to use.

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Test System

As of March 2021, we’ve updated our test system to Windows 10 64-bit OS (20H2) with all threat mitigations applied. On the hardware front, we’ve switched to all PCIe 4.0 components. We upgraded our video card to an Asus RTX 3070 TUF Gaming and the storage device to a 2TB Phison PS5-18-E18 M.2. We’ve also updated the games to F1 2020 and Far Cry: New Dawn, along with the hardware changes. We use the latest non-beta motherboard BIOS available to the public unless otherwise noted (typically during new platform launches). The hardware used is as follows:

Test System Components
CPUIntel i9-11900K
MemoryGSkill Trident Z Neo 2x8GB DDR4 3600 (F4-3600C16Q-32GTZN)
GSkill Trident Z Royale 2x8GB DDR4 4000 (F4-4000C18Q-32GTRS)
GPUAsus TUF Gaming RTX 3070
CoolingCorsair H150i
PSUCorsair AX1200i
SoftwareWindows 10 64-bit 20H2
Graphics DriverNVIDIA Driver 461.40
SoundIntegrated HD audio
NetworkIntegrated Networking (GbE or 2.5 GbE)

Benchmark Settings
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
PCMark 10Version 2.1.2508 64
Essentials, Productivity, Digital Content Creation, MS Office
3DMarkVersion 2.17.7137 64
Firestrike Extreme and Time Spy Default Presets
Cinebench R20Version RBBENCHMARK271150
Open GL Benchmark - Single and Multi-threaded
Application Tests and Settings
LAME MP3Version SSE2_2019
Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3: Command: -b 160 --nores (160Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 1.2.2
Sintel Open Movie Project: 4.19GB 4K mkv to x264 (light AVX) and x265 (heavy AVX)
Corona 1.4Version 1.4
Custom benchmark
7-ZipVersion 19.00
Integrated benchmark
Game Tests and Settings
F1 2020Ultra Preset - 1920 x 1080, TAA, 16xAF (Australia, Clear, Dry)
Far Cry: New DawnUltra Preset - 1920 x 1080

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