Super Micro unveiled a new high-end motherboard based on the Z170 chipset. Upon release, the C7Z170-OCE motherboard will replace Super Micro’s older C7Z170-SQ board as its top-tier Z170 enthusiast product. Although it has been available on the market for a few weeks now, Super Micro also gave us new details about its C7H170-M motherboard, which was built with overclocking features.
Super Micro made a few interesting decisions with its C7Z170-OCE motherboard’s connectivity. Instead of giving users two or three M.2 slots that share HSIO lanes with various other devices, Super Micro opted to only place a single M.2 connection on the board. This may turn some users who are set on having multiple M.2 storage devices away, but as these devices are still fairly expensive and the board contains six SATA-III ports, it shouldn’t be a major issue.
Likely, Super Micro wanted to save HSIO lanes for the PEX8747 chip that is connected to two of the PCI-E x16 slots, allowing users to set up triple-SLI or triple-Crossfire with an x16/x8/x8 PCI-E configuration.
The motherboard’s audio setup is reasonably high-end for a motherboard. The PCB is somewhat segmented to reduce EMI distortion and uses more capacitors to further reduce artifacts creeping into the sound, but Super Micro opted to use common electrolytic capacitors instead of some form of specialized audio capacitors. The company also didn’t include a headphone amp. These factors combined with the relatively high-end Realtek ALC1150 audio codec should create reasonable audio experience, but from a design standpoint, we have seen better designed audio solutions on motherboards in the past.
Compared to its previous top-tier Z170 motherboard, the C7Z170-SQ, Super Micro also added a number of buttons on the side to help inexperienced users overclock CPUs. These buttons can auto-overclock the CPU to different levels or reset the system to stock clock speeds.
Although this motherboard has already been out for some time now, Super Micro opted to wait and highlight one of its key features at CES. This motherboard, according to the company, was the first H170 board on the market capable of base clock overclocking Intel Skylake CPUs. It is also the only non-Z170 chipset motherboard on the market for socket LGA 1151 that is capable of overclocking with Hyper-Threading enabled, giving it a significant advantage over its competitors.
Currently, the only other non-Z170 motherboards capable of overclocking are from ASRock, but as a side effect of enabling base clock overclocking, these boards lose Hyper-Threading support. The C7H170-M motherboard and the ASRock board both lose the ability to use C-States, but this is a relatively minor issue, as overclockers often disable this feature in order to obtain high overclocks.
Specs And Pricing
|Super Micro New CES Motherboards|
|Memory||4 x DDR4-2133 MHz||4 x DDR4-3300 MHz|
|Expansion Slots||1 x PCI-E 3.0 x161 x PCI-E 3.0 x41 x PCI-E 3.0 x1||3 x PCI-E 3.0 x16 (Configs: 16/0/0 or 16/8/8)2 x PCI-E 3.0 x1|
|LAN||Intel i219V Gigabit LAN||Intel i219V Gigabit LANIntel i210-AT Gigabit LAN|
|Audio||Realtek ALC1150||Realtek ALC1150|
|USB||6 x USB 3.04 x USB 2.0||4 x USB 3.06 x USB 2.01 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) Type C (ASMedia Controller)2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) Internal Headers (ASMedia Controller)|
|BIOS||AMI UEFI||AMI UEFI|
The C7H170-M is available now, and the C7Z170-OCE should be out soon with a MSRP of $299.99.