NZXT might be more famous for their cases and their coolers, but as we’ve been seeing more and more recently they are dipping their toes into the world of motherboards. Most of the recent chipsets have an NZXT N7 motherboard to accompany them and the newest Intel Rocket Lake chipset, the Z590, is no exception.,Understandably motherboards are complicated things to build and require a certain amount of specialist knowledge and equipment, so NZXT have partnered up with Asrock to combine one of their PCBs with the touches that make this newest addition to the N7 range a motherboard befitting of the NZXT branding.,The biggest benefit to the end user is clearly that the NZXT N7 supports their own take upon the RGB formula, known as the NZXT Hue, natively. Until the day when the manufacturers get their heads together and wire all their RGB LED strips the same we’re stuck with something which is otherwise simple being non-transferrable across brands. So, if you’ve already invested in a NZXT Kraken cooler or perhaps their HUE lighting infrastructure then the N7 could be a very attractive way to simplify your system build.,Let’s see what it brings to the party.,
The N7 Z590 specifications will be familiar to anyone who has been paying attention to the latest Intel chipsets. They are very much like the Z490 but with the addition of the PCI Express 4.0 technology which brings faster USB and M.2 performance, alongside increased bandwidth for the latest graphics cards. The key element of the N7 is its support for the NZXT RGB devices. Let’s look at it in the flesh and see how it stands up.
The design of the N7 Z590 will be very familiar to anyone who has looked at previous iterations of the NZXT N7 motherboard. The one on the box is white, in keeping with their case design, but we’ve been sent a black one for those of you who prefer things dark and mysterious., ,
Inside the box the accessories are somewhat sparse, although given how few we actually need it is a good way to keep the cost down. SATA Cables, WiFi antenna and an M.2 screw and stand are the important bits.,
We’ll go over the N7 in more detail as we go through, but it’s worth pointing out how good it looks with the full cover armour. Once you’ve put your hardware in there isn’t loads of any motherboard visible, however, we’re big fans of covering up everything where possible for that clean, neat aesthetic.,
Beneath that stylish cover is the power phases, which on the N7 Z590 are 12 phase 50A affairs, a significant drop from the 90A power phases we’ve seen on the majority of the Z590 motherboards. Maybe that explains the simple heatsink design.
Starting as always at the top left of the PCB we find the 8+4 12V CPU power input alongside the CPU fan. It’s nice that these are not tucked away next to a heatpipe so the N7 should be an easy build for your knuckles
Moving further along we have the pump header a little across from its CPU cousin, and then the two NZXT RGB headers that allow you to integrate their HUE RGB LED Strips into your build without needing a HUE controller. Perfect for those of you who like careful cable management.,
At the bottom edge is where the majority of the connectivity happens, with front panel headers next to the onboard power and reset switches. They sit alongside another, albeit vertically mounted, USB Type-A front panel header.,
Next up are three system fan headers to ensure you have maximum cooling flexibility. Despite the ability to plug NZXT RGB strips into the N7 PCB there are still three USB 2.0 headers for your Kraken and other controllable devices. There is also a pair of regular RGB and addressable RGB headers for those of you who have some alternative lighting hanging around.,
Its a shame NZXT sent us the black board, sure its stealthy but we have always felt that the wow factor with their boards was the white version. Its worth pointing out that its a really easy board to mod, painting is just one of many options you could use to make yours unique. We would like to think NZXT would honor warranty if you did make some aesthetic tweaks, if not then they are definitely missing a trick and a huge marketing opportunity to try and shift a few more. ,