2018 looks to be a year of surprises. Besides yesterday's Kaby Lake-G reveal, today we've got a new motherboard announcement from NZXT, of all companies. The case, cooling, and cool-lighting experts have announced the NZXT N7 Z370, an ATX motherboard for Intel's Coffee Lake CPUs. The focus for NZXT's first-ever motherboard appears to be customizable aesthetics—not a surprise, considering where it hails from.
Builders can use NZXT's CAM software to control fans and RGB LED strips hooked up to the N7 Z370. The board includes two LED light strips in the box, as well as lengthy extension cables (just under 20", or 50 cm). Surprisingly, the board itself doesn't have any on-board LED lighting, but you can pick from black or white for the metal board cover. The heatsinks cooling the power delivery hardware and chipset can likewise be covered in shrouds colored blue, red, or purple to synchronize with other NZXT hardware.
As for the board's more practical functions, they resemble those of a typical high-end Z370 motherboard. The N7 Z370 will take in 64 GB of DDR4 memory at speeds up to at least 3866 MT/s. There are pair of M.2 connectors, both supporting PCIe 3.0 x4 devices. A pair of PCIe x16 slots supports two-way SLI or Crossfire, and the N7 Z370 offers up 15-phase power delivery for overclockers. The onboard Gigabit Ethernet connection is Intel-powered, while audio duties are handled by a Realtek ALC1220 codec.
The suitability of any motherboard for overclocking will have a lot to do with the board's firmware. Since this is NZXT's first board, we'll have to mark down a big question mark in that box. The N7 Z370 does have onboard power and reset buttons, as well as diagnostic LEDs. There's a CMOS reset button around the back, too. The rear panel also includes a DisplayPort connection, which is somewhat unusual.
NZXT says the N7 Z370 will be available later this month. The board should go for $300 in the US and €324.90 in Europe. The company offers three-year warranty coverage.