Intel Xeon E3-1230Lv3 1.8GHz “Haswell” 25W CPU Review




/ 6 years ago

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The Motherboard


Firstly, it is worth mentioning the motherboard we are going to be using. Since this Xeon E3-1230L CPU is designed for server grade reliability and 24/7 operation, it seems only sensible to go with a server grade motherboard. Enter the SuperMicro C7Z87-OCE motherboard. Designed to be versatile and reliable the SuperMicro C7Z87-OCE motherboards takes advantage of solid capacitors, extensive ESD protection, ferrite chokes and operating temperatures up to 50 degrees celsius. There’s also a server grade power design ideal for maximising power efficiency but also providing grunt for overclocking should you want to use a different non-Xeon CPU (like the Core i5 4670K or Core i7 4770K. The accessory pack is as you’d expect for a server-grade motherboard – quite basic. There are six SATA cables, a rear I/O panel with shielding, some documentation and a utility/driver CD.

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The motherboard doesn’t look that appealing but it has everything you’ll need. Aside from the server grade components which we already mentioned this motherboard has other key features the enterprise user will find useful including a tonne of PCI Express connectivity and a PLX chip to give you three PCIe 16X slots. If you’re using this as a 24/7 mining, hashing or rendering rig all that extra PCIe connectivity will be incredibly useful.

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The CPU area looks basic but it actually has a lot of advanced power componentry including ferrite chokes and solid capacitors. A flashy heatsink simply isn’t needed and the only reason these are so commonplace on consumer motherboards is purely for aesthetic purposes or to make up for inefficient power components. With the SuperMicro C7Z87-OCE motherboard it doesn’t need the heatsinks for either of those reasons – it is lean and efficient which is just what the doctor ordered.DSC_9899

Again here are those PCIe lanes we’ve already mentioned. You get 3 X PCIe 3.0 x16 slots and 3 X PCIe 2.0 x4 slots. The electrical configuration of all the slots will vary by population characteristics but the key is there’s more than enough to go around for a Z87 motherboard.DSC_9900

Here’s that crucial PLX chip that makes things happen in the PCIe department. There is also a debug LED which is again another vital feature for a motherboard aimed at the server-grade market.

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There are eight SATA III ports which is probably more than enough for this kind of motherboard. The onboard buttons are particularly noticeable and these are used to control the overclocking functions (OC1 = 15% | OC2 = 20-25% | OC3 = user defined) and the final button clears the CMOS. The finalised retail version has labelled buttons so they are easier to tell apart. Eagle eyed users will also be able to spot the onboard motherboard speaker – something I think is sensible for this kind of market.

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The rear I/O is reasonably well fleshed out with dual USB 2.0, HDMI, DVI, VGA, Thunderbolt, four USB 3.0, dual Gigabit LAN and 8 channel HD audio.

Other key connectivity that I’ve missed include a TPM header, internal power button (by the CPU socket), a COM port, chassis intrusion header and chassis LED control.

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