SuperMicro C7Z170-SQ (LGA 1151) Motherboard Review

A Closer Look


I don’t quite know what to make of this board, it’s almost like I’ve opened a gaming motherboard of a competitor; I certainly didn’t expect this when I opened the box.

I sort of like the repetitive use of the heat sinks, but I think that they could be mirroring each other for a much more pleasing look. There is a fair amount of space around the CPU socket, but the silver capacitors create a bit of an eye sore contrasting against the black and red.

The PCIe area is simple with a great contrast between the PCIe lanes of red and black. Something I really like about the PCIe x16 lanes is the alternative style clip, it makes graphics card a lot easier to remove if they have a large backplate on.

The IO options aren’t as impressive as some other motherboards. From left to right we have: 1x PS/2 port, 2x USB 2.0 ports, 1x S/PDIF optical out, 1x HDMI port, 1x DisplayPort, 1x DVI port, 1x Gigabit LAN port, 2x USB 3.0 ports, 1x USB Type-C port and 6x HD Audio jacks.

The entire motherboard is extremely plain, so expecting shielding over the sound portion of the motherboard is a long shot. This offers a closer look towards the PCB shows that each component is labelled, this makes for an extremely busy PCB and really detracts from the high-end nature of the board itself.

Moving to the bottom of the board shows even more mess from the component details, but at least there are a lot of headers to expand upon, including a USB 3.0 and 2x USB 2.0 headers.

Up to the SATA ports and we seem to be missing an SATA Express option which limits this boards appeal to high-speed data transfers. This board has something I haven’t seen on a motherboard in years, a speaker. It got extremely annoying when overclocking and testing due to it warning of high temperatures almost constantly. The second USB 3.0 header on this board is mounted at right angle to make it easier to connect and route cables from the front of the case.

The board has a lot of capacitors strewn across it in random configurations. The DDR4 DIMMS on this board are reversed making it extremely difficult to remove the sticks if you have a large graphics card installed.

The top of the board is no fuss and functional. The heat sink slightly overhangs a few capacitors to neaten things up and the power connector and fan header are lined up to make it more streamlined.