At this time on the check bench we now have our first Z390 based mostly motherboard for evaluation. As you recognize from the title, this isn’t a board from “the big four” as I wish to name them, however from Supermicro, an organization a lot better recognized within the enterprise and server area than for the buyer aspect and gaming. The C9Z390-PGW we will probably be taking a look at isn’t their first foray into this area nevertheless, as they’ve had shopper degree motherboards because the Z170 days.
The C9Z390-PGW hails from their Skilled Gaming line, referred to as SuperO, which in line with their web site “… is the best SuperO has to offer, and as the flagship of the SuperO fleet, contains the latest in features and performance-enhancing technologies to surpass your expectations.” One of many board’s claims to fame is its use of 10G LAN in addition to a PLX chip to extend the quantity of PCIe lanes out there. I don’t consider one will discover these options on different Z390 based mostly motherboards, a minimum of not on the identical motherboard anyway.
We’ll put the board via its paces and see the way it stacks up towards different Z390 based mostly boards in addition to present a number of the options and specs and what makes it tick.
- 1 Specs and Options
- 2 Retail Packaging and Equipment
- 3 Meet the Supermicro C9Z390-PGW
- 4 UEFI BIOS and Overclocking Software program
- 5 Check Setup and Efficiency
- 6 Conclusion
- 1 Specs and Options
- 2 Retail Packaging and Equipment
- 3 Meet the Supermicro C9Z390-PGW
- 4 UEFI BIOS and Overclocking Software program
- 5 Check Setup and Efficiency
- 6 Conclusion
Specs and Options
So what’s in a reputation? The Supermicro naming scheme gained’t be used for a mnemonic system any time quickly, however it does have which means! Within the case of this board:
- C9 = Shopper
- Z390 = Z390 Chipset
- PG = Skilled Gaming
- W = Wi-Fi
The SuperO Z390 lineup consists of 4 boards, the C9Z390-PGW we’re taking a look at right here, and three boards within the Core Gaming Phase C9Z390-CGW, C9Z390-CG, and C9Z390-CG-IW. In these boards, the “CG” stands for Core Gaming, whereas the “I” represents a Mini-ITX board. SuperO additionally has a Core Enterprise set of SKUs utilizing the B360 chipset.
The board, being from the Skilled Gaming collection, ought to include most of the bells and whistles some skilled customers are used to, and it does. On this case, it consists of the 10G LAN from Aquantia for ultra-fast community speeds which is one thing most Z390 boards shouldn’t have (the one different is the ASRock Z390 Taichi Final). There are a couple of boards with 5G and a couple of.5G LANs, however solely the ASRock and two SuperO boards at present have that distinction. Moreover, the board has one other ethernet port, an Intel i219V chip driving the 1G port. The C9Z390-PGW additionally consists of CNVi based mostly Wi-Fi on the board utilizing the Intel Wi-fi AC 9560 half. The Wi-Gi helps speeds as much as 1.73 Gbps with 2T/2R setup and in addition helps Bluetooth 5.zero.
One of many different extra distinctive options is the PLX chip used to create extra PCIe lanes on the board. Extra PCIe lanes permit for larger flexibility of PCIe lanes (extra particulars a bit later). To that finish, the board helps CrossfireX configurations (doesn’t help SLI). From the appears of issues, some sharing continues to be required of the board with M.2/U.2/SATA as they’re all hooked up to the chipset. We now have hooked up the chipset diagram from the Supermicro web site for readability on how all issues join.
Talking of ports, on the storage aspect of issues, the board has six SATA ports, two U.2 ports, and two M.2 slots that are all related to the chipset. As we alluded to above, some sharing will nonetheless have to occur with these ports, however they’re there for use. We don’t see U.2 ports on many motherboards today, however seeing as how this can be a skilled gaming board, its good to see them on right here because it tends to be extra enterprise/skilled sort function. Each the M.2 and U.2 ports help RAID0,1 configurations whereas the SATA ports supply RAID0, 1, 5, and 10 choices. The board additionally has warmth spreaders for every of the M.2 slots to maintain the nice and cozy operating PCIe drives cool.
USB Help is plentiful with a complete of 5 ports on the rear I/O and and people ports are all fairly fast. There’s a complete of 4 USB three.1 Gen2 (10 Gbps) ports, three Sort-A and one Sort-C. Along with these are two USB three.1 Gen1 (5 Gbps) ports. Internally, there’s a further three.1 Gen2 Sort-C header, three.1 Gen1 header, and a USB 2.zero header as properly.
The board helps as much as 64 GB of Twin Channel DDR4 with speeds to 4000 MHz utilizing non-ECC UDIMMs in its 4 slots. These, in addition to the PCIe slots, are fortified utilizing the SuperO Armor and stated to enhance the connection between the board and peripherals.
Audio is dealt with by a Realtek ALC1220 HD Audio codec which options 7.1 encompass. The rear panel audio stack consists of 5 plugs together with a SPDIF/Optical port.
So far as board aesthetics, SuperO has executed a very good job of implementing some “show” elements in addition to offering all of the “go” elements. The PCB is black together with all probably the most slots (the DRAM slots alternate gray and black for ease of figuring out ports), heatsinks and shrouds additionally coming in black or a lighter gray. RGB LEDs have made their approach right here as nicely with places underneath the I/O shroud (lighting up the SuperO identify), the audio separation line to the left of the PCIe slots, the PCH heatsink lights up the “Play Harder” motto, together with 12 different RGB LEDs on the underside of the board close to the 24-pin plug operating in the direction of the highest nook. The built-in LEDs are managed by the SuperO Booster software program together with the 2 onboard headers for further RGB LED strips.
One of many different massive promoting factors of SuperO motherboards is the enterprise-grade energy supply. The VRM is a real 6+2 part setup utilizing Infineon elements (energy stage and PWM controller) in addition to Vitec energy inductors. In an period the place many (falsely) consider extra is best, one actually wants to take a look at the elements themselves and see. We’ll dig slightly deeper later, however these elements will fortunately overclock a 9900Okay to its thermal limits and never prepare dinner themselves.
Under is a desk of specs:
6 x SATA3 (6Gbps) ports (Help for RAID0, RAID1, RAID5, and RAID10)
2 x M.2 PCIe three.zero x4 slots (Helps Intel Optane, RAID zero,1)
2 x U.2 PCIe three.zero x4 ports (RAID zero,1)
1 x Intel i219V Gigabit (10/100/1000) Ethernet Port
1 x Aquantia AQC107 10Gb (10/100/1000/10000) Ethernet Port
1 x Wi-Fi 802.11ac + Bluetooth 5.zero
5 x USB three.1 Gen2 (1 Sort-C, three Sort-A, 1 Sort-C header)
Four x USB three.1 Gen1 (2 Sort A, 2 by means of header)
2 x USB 2.zero (header)
Helps Home windows 10 64 bit
Legacy Home windows Help
We’ve additionally included an inventory of options sourced from the SuperO web site for the board:
Eventually, the newest era is right here — ninth Gen Intel ® Core™ CPUs! Are you able to tackle each activity whether or not it’s gaming, VR, or leisure? The computing energy of the Intel® ninth Gen Core™ CPU is highly effective sufficient and it even screams for extra of a problem!
Enterprise-Grade means an extended lifetime of cooler performance, larger effectivity and the power to scale as much as meet the wants of what you are promoting. Our built-in VRMs are sometimes used on workstation merchandise such because the C9Z390-PGW motherboard that may guarantee our customers one of the best expertise attainable.
Our slots are fortified with strengthened metallic that considerably improves the connection between our SuperO motherboards and your peripherals.
Max your graphics energy! With the facility of as much as Four full-length, double-width graphics playing cards coupled with the bandwidth of the embedded PLX chip, you’ll get probably the most immersive gaming expertise on the market! Supporting DirectX12 and CrossFireX™ you’ll be blasting by way of each 2D, 3D, and any VR journey available on the market!
Push for the very best efficiency! We embrace the newest NVME storage choices, two M.2 slots and two U.2 ports on the C9Z390-PGW motherboard. We provide RAID zero or 1 with the inclusion of supporting Intel® Optane™ reminiscence, supplying you with much more flexibility inside your system. We even have included heatspreaders for each M.2 slots to maintain your drives cool with out compromising your efficiency.
When you’re on the street or on the transfer our SUPERO motherboards could have the most effective community connectivity choices. The C9Z390-PGW motherboard is provided with Gigabit LAN, gigabit wi-fi 802.11ac, AND 10G LAN (which is 10x the utmost knowledge throughput of single gigabit)! Included with community choices we have now included the newest in USB know-how with model three.1 Gen 2 pumping out a most of 10 gigabits a second in each the Sort A and C connections!
DisplayPort + HDMI + 4K output from the motherboard equals 3x 4K Shows! SUPERO made positive that anybody that’s operating our C9Z390-PGW motherboard may have the newest DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 2.zero applied sciences constructed immediately into the I/O. Having as much as three simultaneous ultra-high definition shows with out having to choose for a separate graphics card!
Customise and put your private signature on our motherboards! Absolutely customizable with our SUPERO Booster software program, we now have put in RGB LEDs on the Play More durable PCH, HD audio space, and the SUPERO I/O cowl. Not solely is the motherboard outfitted with LEDs, we have now gone a step above together with a further 2 RGB LED headers so you possibly can mild up your rig from the within out.
Sit within the driver’s seat to watch, tweak, and fine-tune each a part of your system! You’ve got the power to overclock and modify the CPU, reminiscence speeds, voltages, and fan speeds on the fly. The SUPERO Booster provides you the power to regulate your future and succeed.
Retail Packaging and Equipment
A fast take a look at the retail packaging exhibits it’s a pretty nondescript packaging coming in a black field with the board identify prominently throughout the center. Flip the field over and that reveals an offset picture of the board itself together with some options and specs. The board itself sits beneath a cardboard partition which holds the included equipment.
The consists of equipment will get a consumer up and operating out of the gate and embrace 4 SATA cables, Wi-Fi antenna, rear I/O plate, guide and driver disk, in addition to some labels for SATA cables.
Meet the Supermicro C9Z390-PGW
In our first full shot of the board, we’re capable of see that jet black PCB and slots together with the gray heatsinks and shroud masking the rear I/O. The board won’t win any magnificence pageants with its simple, business-like look, however certainly it won’t take away from the look of a pleasant themed construct. The reserved use of RGB lighting across the board will definitely assist that trigger.
The massive M.2 heatsinks bounce out on the underside of the board and are hooked up to the chipset heatsink with the motto “Play Harder” written throughout the highest. There are PCB traces etched across the outdoors that are lit by LEDs sittings under. We will additionally the DRAM and PCIe slots all clad within the SuperO armor.
The again of aspect of the board isn’t terribly thrilling, however do observe all 4 full-length PCIe slots are wired for and able to x16 lanes.
A Nearer Look
Zooming in on the highest half of the board, we’re capable of see a few encompasses a bit nearer. Beginning on the left aspect, the shroud with its virtually area station like panels can be seen masking up plenty of the “raw” PCB beneath. The VRM heatsinks have a brushed end and seem giant sufficient to do a superb job maintaining these energy bits cool. Sending energy to CPU is a single Eight-pin ATX connector. To the appropriate of the highest VRM heatsink, are the 2 RGB LED headers for further strips.
Under the socket, underneath a reasonably beefy heatsink itself is the place the PLX chip is hidden. Shifting additional proper, we will see the 4 DRAM slots the place the gray/black coloring is seen underneath the armor. Across the DRAM slots, we will see a few Four-pin fan headers for the CPU, Pump, and system (the board has a complete of 5 Four-pin fan headers). Additionally in that space are onboard energy and reset buttons in addition to a CMOS reset button. Energy to the board is managed by the de-facto 24-pin connector.
On the underside half of the board, there’s a lot to speak about. We’ll begin on the left aspect once more and work our method throughout. Beginning with the higher left, we will see a small heatsink there we don’t usually see on different boards. Underneath it’s the place we will discover the Aquantia AQC107 that’s used for the 10G LAN port. The heatsink seems to be glued on with thermal adhesive so we didn’t pop it off.
Under that’s the Realtek ALC1220 together with its built-in headphone amp elements. It makes use of a Texas Devices OPA1612 for the entrance headphone output solely. Moreover, there’s a bodily divide on the PCB between the audio bits and the remainder of the board together with its personal audio capacitors.
The board comes outfitted with 4 full-length PCIe slots and one x1 measurement slot which sits in the midst of PCIe slots 2/three. The PCIe slots are fairly versatile of their lane rely because of the PLX chip in use on the board. The lanes break down within the following method:
Under all of the slots throughout the underside are a number of headers from USB (three.1 G2/G1 and USB 2.zero) the TPM header in addition to the entrance panel headers. Above them is the massive heatsink designed to chill each the PCH in addition to two M.2 units underneath the lengthy finger-like a part of the heatsink. Lastly, on the far proper of the board, we will see the six SATA ports together with the 2 U.2 ports. Final however not least on this similar space is the debug LED which is beneficial for troubleshooting boot points.
Looking on the rear IO under, we’re capable of see a complete of six USB ports (2x USB three.zero, 4x USB three.1 G2 w/one Sort-C) which ought to be sufficient for most customers. Above the 2 three.zero ports is a combo mouse/keyboard PS/2 port. ON the video aspect, the board has two DisplayPorts and one HDMI 2.0a port which permits as much as three 4K 60 Hz shows with out utilizing a discrete GPU. Subsequent, we see the twin LAN are stacked on the USB three.1 Gen2 ports. Wi-Fi capabilities are dealt with by the chipset and the Intel 9560 Wi-Fi adapter. Final, is the audio stack with optical out.
The SATA configuration is fairly normal for the chipset with the C9Z390-PGW with a complete of six. Subsequent to them are the 2 U.2 ports. M2_1 shares its hyperlink with U.2_1, whereas the M.2_2 shares its hyperlink with SATA ports Four/5.
We briefly talked about earlier the enterprise-grade hardware that discovered its means onto the board and we now get to see a few of that close-up. The picture under is the 6+2 (CPU and iGPU) part VRM with the heatsinks eliminated. Controlling the facility is an Infineon Primarion PXE1610 which is a 6+1 part digital PWM controller. The MOSFETs are additionally Infineon based mostly TDA21232 with the Vitec energy inductors (66A rated) rounding issues out.
Under is a slideshow of another IC’s that discovered its means onto the board together with the Parade DP to HDMI converter, the PEX 8747 PLX chip, an IDT Clock Generator, and extra.
UEFI BIOS and Overclocking Software program
The SuperO UEFI BIOS on the EZ Mode appears nearly like another we now have seen from the remainder of the AIBs. The EZ Mode is properly laid out providing a superb stability of data and monitoring in addition to choices to vary akin to boot precedence and board provided overclocking profiles.
As soon as within the superior portion of the BIOS, it also needs to look pretty conversant in seven totally different sections throughout the highest every with their very own totally different performance. The Overclocking tab is pretty self-explanatory and is the primary tab within the superior BIOS. Because the identify describes, that is the place the overwhelming majority of overclocking changes can be made. From the CPU, to reminiscence, graphics, and voltage, it’ll all be underneath this heading.
The superior tab is the place customers can discover nearly all of gadgets within the BIOS. PCH and USB configurations, graphics and community configurations and much more can be discovered right here.
Hardware monitoring additionally finds its method right here as nicely within the aptly named H/W Monitor part. Right here it lists temperatures and voltages. In the direction of the underside of this display is the place fan management will probably be discovered. Customers are capable of choose from three presets (Quiet, Secure, and Full Velocity), in addition to a customise setting which permits for customized curves to be enter.
Discovering issues was comparatively simple outdoors of the “boot” performance being combined in beneath the Save and Exit part. The one different quirk I discovered with the BIOS is the requirement to press the enter button to enter a piece. Most different bios when customers press the arrow to maneuver to the subsequent part, it routinely jumps in. In any other case, for the overclocking and changes we did, the BIOS labored out high quality and is an enchancment over the Z370 board.
The slideshow under accommodates a dozen extra screenshots of the BIOS.
Overclocking Software program – SuperO Booster
SuperO additionally has its personal Home windows-based software program software for monitoring and overclocking named SuperO Booster. The appliance is light-weight, however provides a variety of performance. The software program is organized nicely with a menu of types on the left aspect and the enterprise being dealt with within the center. The software program permits customers to overclock their CPU and regulate voltages (CPU and Voltage sections), regulate reminiscence timings (Reminiscence), management followers hooked up to the board (Thermals), management the RGB LEDs (Luminous), in addition to replace the BIOS.
General, the software program labored because it ought to and was straightforward to navigate round. If pressured to nitpick about it, I would want the splash display, the SuperO emblem, would merely come up and keep up till this system masses (which takes a couple of seconds) versus going away and coming again. As I stated, a pressured nitpick (and private choice actually) so I can’t maintain that towards it.
Check Setup and Efficiency
Right here we take a barely totally different strategy to CPU testing with ours based mostly on plenty of Hwbot.org benchmarks since that’s what we’re recognized for, overclocking and benchmarking. We use real-world testing as properly with Cinebench, x265, POV-Ray, and 7Zip with a view to give readers a good suggestion of the overall efficiency of the product examined.
Thanks exit to EVGA for offering the CLC 240 CPU Cooler and 750 W G3 Energy Provide to chill and energy the system, G.Talent for the Trident Z DRAM, and Toshiba OCZ for the 480 GB TR200 SSD storage operating the OS, benchmarks, and video games. With our companions serving to out, we’re capable of construct matching check methods to mitigate many variations discovered between utilizing totally different hardware. This enables for a number of reviewers in several places to make use of the identical check system and examine outcomes with out further variables.
We’ll carry out our traditional set of benchmarks which check rendering, reminiscence efficiency, and single/multi-threaded CPU efficiency. For 2D benchmarks, we’ll use SuperPi 1M and 32M, wPrime and Intel XTU. For rendering it’s Cinebench R11.5 and R15. Reminiscence efficiency is checked towards the AIDA64 check suite. For encoding, we use x265 (HWBOT Model) and PoV Ray. A extra real-world check is included in 7zip. Testing is carried out with the CPU at Four GHz to remove any inherent variations in inventory BIOS choices. Reminiscence velocity is 3600 MHz until in any other case specified.
AIDA64 – Reminiscence Bandwidth and Throughput
AIDA64 – CPU Checks
AIDA64 – FPU Exams
Actual World Checks
Pi and Prime Based mostly Exams
Summarizing the outcomes above, one ought to have the ability to see there are solely negligible variations in efficiency between these two motherboards. About the one notable efficiency distinction between the 2 was the latency of the RAM. On this case, the SuperO board ran with barely decrease latency. Outdoors of that, 7Zip and x265 additionally confirmed some slight efficiency variations, however not rather more outdoors of run variance.
One merchandise to notice right here is these outcomes are AFTER energy restrict changes have been made to the board. In checks like Cinebench, POVRay, x265, and wPrime, the board throttled and lowered scores and efficiency fairly dramatically. The lighter testing and single core benchmarks ran simply wonderful. However so as to get probably the most out of this CPU, customers MUST change the facility limits!
Our outcomes from the 2 video games we check present the identical story. There isn’t any considerable distinction between the boards as we now have come to anticipate.
With regard to energy consumption, the story is a bit totally different right here with the SuperO board utilizing much less energy by a substantial quantity as configured from the manufacturing unit. This is sensible as we noticed throttling of the CPU at inventory speeds in some exams as a result of how the BIOS is setup (following Intel specs) this consists of our most irritating checks in AIDA64 and Prime 95. A easy adjustment of the facility limits and issues have been rather a lot nearer.
Our overclocking adventures utilizing the SuperO C9Z390-PGW was met with little fanfare by the board and handled our 5.1 GHz 1.three V 9900Okay with out breaking a sweat. The enterprise-grade 6+2 Part VRMs have been heat to the contact after our testing, on an open air check bench with little airflow. Its clear these energy bits can deal with something you possibly can throw at them utilizing ambient cooling strategies.
Voltage was set within the BIOS to 1.three V and up off we went. Initially, I observed there’s a little little bit of vdroop with the system set to auto. Whereas that is an Intel specification, at occasions it might hinder an overclock because of the voltage dropping an excessive amount of and never rebounding quick sufficient, or comes as much as what was set. On this case, I set the LLC to Degree 2 which yielded 1.296V from the 1.3V set within the BIOS.
Digging round within the BIOS overclocking choices are straightforward to seek out for probably the most half, although altering sure widespread issues when overclocking could have customers going by means of a few screens. For instance, ASUS BIOS’ have the overwhelming majority of issues from CPU multiplier and voltage on the identical web page the place right here one should again out. The one different minor tweak I might make to the BIOS is to have an choice for all core or sync cores within the BIOS. With out that choices, customers are required to manually enter the multiplier within the BIOS as many occasions as there are bodily cores (within the case of the 9900Okay, that’s eight occasions). Once more, not an enormous deal, however one thing that would come within the maturation means of the BIOS down the street.
Supermicro’s C9Z390-PGW purports to be knowledgeable gaming board and with its function set and capabilities, has carried out a strong job becoming that invoice. The board is certainly one of two with a 10G LAN port, and one of some which have U.2 slots. It’s also the one one which makes use of energy bits extra according to the enterprise than the others. It gained’t make it easier to overclock additional actually as temperatures are the limiting issue, and admittedly, most Z390 VRM’s are lots succesful to take the 9900Okay to its ambient cooled limits.
Outdoors of the professional-grade options, the board is loaded from head to toe with functionality from its 4 rear USB three.1 G2 ports (one Sort-C – one other header for entrance panel help), and the smoking quick CNVi based mostly Intel 9560 Wi-Fi. It’s a feature-laden board providing nearly all the things the Z390 chipset provides after which some. Whereas the general look is probably not spicy sufficient for some, it shouldn’t flip anybody away and meld properly with most themed builds.
This could come at a worth, nevertheless. MSRP on the board is $335, however we will see it being bought at Newegg and Amazon for $375, and $408 respectively. The worth level locations the board on the upper finish of the Z390 spectrum (of over 50 boards) and immediately within the crosshairs of the ASUS WS Z390 Professional priced at $399. That board, a self-described workstation class board features a single U.2 port (versus two on the SuperO board), however solely has two 1G LAN ports. Different boards round that worth embrace the ROG Maximus XI Code with the subsequent closest breaching the $450 mark. So the board is a bit expensive, nevertheless, customers will get a few options on one board that not all others have. If customers are capable of finding it nearer to the MSRP, that may, in fact, be the higher deal.
General, the board carried out properly in our testing (as soon as we raised the facility limits). It carried out on par with the MSI board used within the 9900Okay evaluate. Customers simply have to make sure you make the facility restrict modifications if they’re operating closely threaded purposes. Overclocking proved to be pretty straightforward whereas the BIOS was pretty straightforward to navigate, although not probably the most ergonomic we’ve seen. If a consumer doesn’t require twin U.2 ports and 10G LAN, Supermicro has different boards down the stack which might be extra engaging, in any other case, your board has arrived.
Joe Shields (Earthdog)
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