Supermicro C7Z87-OCE Review
PCB & connectivity
The board impresses with the construction quality, it actually reminds me of Intel-made motherboards from a couple of years ago. We can see that Supermicro is used to making serious server hardware, as this motherboard has some serious chokes and MOSFETs onboard; even the plastic of the connectors is stronger than what we are used to on regular consumer boards.
We can see that the heat sink on the PCH and on the VRM are simple and efficient as they should be. All the additional controllers can be disabled using jumpers straight on the motherboard, a little bit old school but I like it. It sports a very nice digital VRM using Vitec chokes, Debug LED onboard, two Intel Gigabit LAN controllers, standard Realtek ALC1150 integrated sound and Intel’s Thunderbolt controller.
If we talk about connectivity, Supermicro C7Z87-OCE is pretty standard when it comes to Z87 motherboards, having three PCI-Express 3.0 16x slots connected to the CPU and three PCI-Express 2.0 1x slots provided by the PCH. The PCI-Express 3.0 16x slots, even if they are all 16x electrical, can be configured as 16x / – / -, 8x / 8x / – or 8x / 4x / 4x.
You can connect a maximum of eight SATA 3 drives to the motherboard, using six native ports provided by the Z87 PCH and two additional ports offered y a 3rd party ASMedia ASM1061 controller. Beside the power button which is placed in a very unusual place on the top of the board near the CPU PWM, we also have 3 profile buttons (2 preconfigured and 1 configurable) and a Home button to reset settings. Ah, and we have a speaker onboard… which scared me the first time I powered on the motherboard.