NZXT’s first motherboard is the colorful N7 Z370

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.

Comments closed
    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    NZXT have zero experience making motherboards – I’m assuming they just went to an OEM like Foxconn and said, “Hey, can we have one of your generic UEFI ATX Z370 boards but with our logo in the BIOS” and the rest is just PCB dye and plastic/metalwork that NZXT do actually ahve experience with.

    I’ll be looking forward to the first review. Corsair managed to dominate the enthusiast PSU market, despite being new entrants with zero experience only a decade ago.

    • ronch
    • 2 years ago

    I see some comments here complaining about covering the components and undermining cooling efforts, or expressing concern regarding such.

    How many complaints were there when the likes of Asus did this?

      • Chrispy_
      • 2 years ago

      Plenty, trust me.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 2 years ago

      Here’s the oldest review of a similarly-shrouded board I can find on TR.

      [url<]https://techreport.com/discussion/20863/asus-sabertooth-p67-motherboard#metal[/url<] And, uh...yeah. Chrispy_ is right.

        • DPete27
        • 2 years ago

        Not to mention that Asus only covered up the mobo, and NOT the heatsinks themselves. Even nowadays, when someone covers the VRM heatsinks in the IO shroud, they usually include a tiny fan in there to push air through.

    • tsk
    • 2 years ago

    Review
    [url<]http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nzxt-n7-z37xt-1151-coffee-lake-motherboard-review,5415-4.html[/url<]

    • DPete27
    • 2 years ago

    As if inefficient decorative VRM heatsinks weren’t bad enough, now we can cover them with plastic shrouds?

      • mudcore
      • 2 years ago

      That’s my immediate reaction. It looked like some motherboard makers, at least Gigabyte that I’ve seen, were directly addressing poor VRM cooling in redesigns shown as CES…. and then NZXT trouts out this. Ugh.

      • Takeshi7
      • 2 years ago

      My Asus Tuf motherboard covers the VRM heatsinks with a plastic shroud, but there’s a fan at the back that blows in air from the I/O panel and the plastic shroud actually channels the air over the VRM heatsinks so it works really well. Unfortunately, I don’t see that on this design.

      • Chrispy_
      • 2 years ago

      I would hope they’re actually painted or anodised aluminium, actually.

        • DPete27
        • 2 years ago

        [quote<]The heatsinks cooling the power delivery hardware and chipset can likewise be covered in shrouds colored blue, red, or purple[/quote<] That made me think you get all colors of shrouds in the box when you order. If that's the case, they're certainly going to be plastic. Even if they are aluminum, I'm not sure it would matter. I doubt the shrouds are touching the heatsinks in any meaningful way to transfer heat between the two. More than likely, it's still just trapping heat/air.

    • just brew it!
    • 2 years ago

    Hopefully this does not adversely affect cooling of the motherboard components.

    A question for anyone who would consider buying something like this: Why buy a windowed case, then hide the motherboard?

      • Kretschmer
      • 2 years ago

      I consider case windows an abomination. That said, if I were hit in the head and wanted to make my PC pretty, a product like this would really create a sleek and clean look in your PC.

        • just brew it!
        • 2 years ago

        It would look even sleeker and cleaner without the window, which is my point.

        Why would you buy a case that is meant to show off the internal components, then hide most of the internal components under a shroud?

          • Anovoca
          • 2 years ago

          I suspect for the same reason Ferrari adds an engine window for a v12 engine that is 1sq foot? Most people that buy premium hardware just care about letting people know they have the premium hardware under the hood, and less about seeing it actually function.

          • Kretschmer
          • 2 years ago

          Because people want to show off their sleek GTX cards and florescent tubing, not their mess of pcbs, headers, and the like. You’re hiding the shiny bits of the mobo, not the sexy components that plug into it.

      • Takeshi7
      • 2 years ago

      Because it can actually work really well.
      [url<]https://i.pinimg.com/736x/24/65/df/2465df98b4bec57ffd449d74af4941d3.jpg[/url<] Edit: or just check out NZXT's H700i press images. It looks great.

        • Kougar
        • 2 years ago

        Yeah, some of the photos I’ve seen are rather nice. Can make some great minimalist systems, with the option of a little accent color depending on the case or any lighting used.

        It’s ironic, people finally get a motherboard with zero flashy RGB LEDs and are still drastically unhappy.

    • Takeshi7
    • 2 years ago

    I knew it! I’ve been asking NZXT about this ever since they showed this motherboard in the H700i press images last year. And then they posted a picture of their boss’ battlestation on facebook with this. I thought it might have just been a custom 3D printed motherboard cover or something, but they were always hush hush when I asked what motherboard was underneath the plastic.

    • Bauxite
    • 2 years ago

    I wonder if they just contracted with asus/asrock/gigabyte/msi/whatever to do the actual board and sell it as their own. Would be a lot more palatable on the bios/drivers/support front to know this and what vendor. There are a couple things about it that make me think its one of the A* vendors.

      • DrDominodog51
      • 2 years ago

      My bet is on ECS making this.

        • tsk
        • 2 years ago

        Yes it is ECS, confirmed by Gamersnexus.

          • MOSFET
          • 2 years ago

          And last I checked, ECS also makes Intel’s NUCs.

    • RoxasForTheWin
    • 2 years ago

    Just looking at the choice of colors and material, it fits their design language. If I had the money (or course after reviews are out) I’d probably buy the black one for a matte blackout build, though I’d likely have to paint the purple bits

      • Neutronbeam
      • 2 years ago

      Ah, yes, the Vader aesthetic–always a good choice; goes with everything casual or formal for every season.

      • RAGEPRO
      • 2 years ago

      It’s not completely clear from the press kit, but it LOOKS LIKE you buy the black or white version, which includes the black board, and then black or white armor kit including black/white heatsink covers. The colored ones (purple/red/blue) are extra.

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