Supermicro C9Z390-CG-IW

The fourth and final Supermicro board from the quadruplet of Z390 motherboards is the smaller sized C9Z390-CG-IW. The C9Z390-CG-IW as the name suggests takes a lot of the important elements from the ATX sized C9Z390-CG and puts it in a mini-ITX sized frame. There is a full-length PCIe 3.0 x16 slot with steel slot reinforcement and the board also includes two PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots; one on the front and one on the rear. Also included are four SATA ports which feature straight-angled connectors.

Usually with mini-ITX motherboards, one of the minor benefits is faster memory support due to the shorter tracks, but Supermicro is advertising the C9Z390-CG-IW to support up to DDR4-3866 which is the same as the other models barring the C9Z390-PGW which offers up to DDR4-4133.  The C9Z390-CG-IW also looks to have just two 4-pin fan headers which are, unfortunately, one of the pitfalls with the mini-ITX form factor; less space usually means fewer features and headers.

Controller wise the board is using a Realtek ALC1220 HD audio codec to power the five 3.5 mm audio jacks and S/PDIF optical output on the rear, an Intel I219V Gigabit controller for the single LAN port and a dual-band 802.11ac wireless networking adapter is also included. The rest of the rear panel is comprised of three USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A, one USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C, two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, a PS/2 combo port and a pair of display outputs consisting of a DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 2.0 ports.

The Supermicro C9Z390-CG-IW is the smallest of the four Z390 SuperO series motherboards and is designed to retain the similar power, performance and feature characteristics of the C9Z390-CG, but in a more compact mini-ITX frame. Most of what has been said looks to be true, but the obvious pitfalls come with a smaller and seemingly lower specification power delivery. This model does however retain the single 8-pin 12 V ATX CPU power input and the specifications indicate the same TDP support with up to a maximum of 120 W officially support from the CPU. The pricing and availability of the C9Z390-CG-IW is yet to be announced.

Supermicro C9Z390-CG Choosing The Right Z390 Motherboard
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  • gavbon - Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - link

    Thank you Hickory, will update now; this information wasn't available to us at the time Reply
  • bill44 - Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - link

    All this boards, but only 1 with Thunderbolt 3. Looks like Thunderbolt 3 is dead (free or not).
    Type C ports and HDMI 2.0 is in short supply too.

    Hopefully next year, we can have two or more USB C (maybe even 3.2), HDMI 2.1, PCIe 4/5 and Thunderbolt 3/4 (Titan Ridge?). Or maybe not, just the same old things hoping for 2020/21.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - link

    There's no licensing fee for TB, the controller chip itself still costs money (IIRC $20 or $30) and still eats 4 PCIe lanes. Worse, IIRC to make the video out feature work they need to be CPU lanes; meaning that adding it means your main GPU slot is an x8, and the secondary one only x4. Reply
  • gavbon - Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - link

    Yeah it's a case of certain vendors opting to dismiss including TB3 ports, which only seems sensible on mini-ITX boards where PCIe lanes aren't too much of an issue. Consumer choice is important though and I'm still glad ASRock has included it; it could be a key buying decision for some! Reply
  • gamingkingx - Friday, October 12, 2018 - link

    Just too bad it is only wired as a x2.. And it is wired into the chipset as far as I am aware, so you are gonna max out your I/Os pretty fast. Reply
  • bill44 - Wednesday, October 10, 2018 - link

    Sure, anything you add will cost something. The are plenty of non-gamers who prefer TB3 vs x16.
    This also highlights how old current PC architecture is. Either we need more PCIe lanes, or faster lanes. Otherwise, all advances will be hindered.

    Up to 6 USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports? You’ be lucky to get 4. Why can’t we have 6 Gen2 ports and the rest Gen1 an no antiquated USB 2.0? PCIe resources.
    All new peripherals use Type C, but this boards generally give you only 1 (saving money on redrivers). USB 3.2 (20 Gbps)? When it comes around, ithis too will need more PCIe lanes. M.2. PCIe 3.0 x4? All lanes are maxed out; the only way forward is faster lanes.

    In the past, Gigabyte was a TB3 champion including the functionality on many of their boards. Now, not a single one.

    Cost saving by motherboard makers? Prioritising gamers? Or simply no demand for TB3.
    The outcome is the same.
    Reply
  • repoman27 - Thursday, October 18, 2018 - link

    Intel merely said that they planned "to make the Thunderbolt protocol specification available to the industry under a nonexclusive, royalty-free license" sometime this year. This hasn't happened yet, and is referring to the protocol spec, not the silicon that Intel produces. If and when they decide to do this, ASMedia or whoever could then begin development of their own Thunderbolt controllers. This means that third-party controllers probably won't appear in shipping products until sometime in 2023.

    As for the currently available Thunderbolt 3 controllers, tray prices range from $6.45 to $9.10. But you also need a USB Type-C and PD controller, power switch, and high-speed mux which runs around $4.59, plus the connector and a few other bits. I don't believe Intel charges a royalty on finished Thunderbolt products, but they do require licensing and certification which are paid for by the OEM and may add significant cost to relatively low-volume products.

    AFAIK, Windows PCs are still required to connect Thunderbolt controllers via the PCH. Apple is the only one using PEG lanes for Thunderbolt, and they don't do that on the 27-inch iMacs where it might adversely impact the GPU.
    Reply
  • Dug - Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - link

    I hope it's not dead. Far more useful than USB C. I would be fine with USB C except there doesn't seem to be a good USB C to USB C hub, which really restricts how many devices you can use. I'm really glad to see it on ASRock itx board so I can attach a portable SSD array. Reply
  • imaheadcase - Wednesday, October 10, 2018 - link

    Tons of monitors of USB-C, anker sells USB-C hubs, I don't think i've seen thunderbolt in a desktop PC to date though. That best part of USB-C is being able to just plug phone into it and copy paste to desktop files (no Microsoft didn't invent that, it was always that way by default in windows) Reply
  • Valantar - Wednesday, October 10, 2018 - link

    TB3 is far from dead, it just has little use in desktop PCs. Have you looked at laptop lineups recently? TB3 is _everywhere_. My workplace (a major university here in Norway) has moved entirely to TB3 docking solutions as they're the only full-featured and universal(-ish) solution.

    eGPUs are useless on desktops. Desktops don't need docks. USB 3.1 is plenty fast for external storage, and if you need faster storage, desktops can fit that internally. The only real use cases for TB3 on a desktop are TB3 networking (for fast direct transfers between PCs) and adding things like extra NVMe or >GbE networking on ITX boards that don't have room for that and a GPU.
    Reply

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