NZXT N7-Z37XT Motherboard Review

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darthbonehead

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Jan 9, 2018
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How can you make a $300 motherboard look cheap and nasty?

Don't like the N7 branding either, NZXT should steer clear of that.
 

Gregory_3

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Oct 2, 2015
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Those heat sinks had better be effective. As attractive as it looks, I'm not sure about the wisdom of placing a layer of plastic over the soldered components.
 

PureBlackFire

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complete lack of USB 3.1 gen 2/type C connectivity, wifi, blue tooth, competent vrm cooling and close ecosystem lighting and fan control are what somebody considers "moderately" reduced feature set for a $300 motherboard? I'd say it's a sub par first offering from a company new to the motherboard market. at $180 this isn't a bad board, but even at $180 you can get all the relevant features here and USB 3.1 gen 2.
 

AnimeMania

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Dec 8, 2014
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Crashman

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It's not plastic, except for those thin strips between the slots. The rest is steel. The manual says to leave the plastic strip off if you put an M.2 drive there...

I'm sure if you look long and hard you'll figure something out, it's not like NZXT spilled the beans.

I thought Sabertooth was plastic? Anyway, the whole time I was testing it I kept coming up with "it's a fine board, too bad about the price", so I tried to write that in the nicest way :)

 

Karadjgne

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About the only contract mobo builder I can think of that wouldn't have issues with direct brand competition conflicts would be Foxconn, and they definitely have the resources to design and/or manufacture mobo's to vendor specs.
 

PureBlackFire

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this motherboard is made by ECS.

 

Tanyac

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That price will probably translate to around $450 - $475 AUD by the time they reach us. And we get only 4 sata ports (Well, wont fit my, I have 6 sata devices). The 9 fan headers is good, and I have to agree with other comments.. The plastic look doesn't impress.

But what's worst about this board.. It's NZXT and dependent on their CAM software, which is an absolute telemetry and stability/reliability nightmare..
 

Crashman

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It's steel. If you decide it looks like plastic, that's on you :)
Maybe they'll sell it for $300 AUD as well, just to boost the brand?

 

robodan918

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Looks terrible. Performs meh. No USB 3.1 10Gbps (A or C ports). No built-in wifi. Only 2x 16x slots. Thanks Tomshardware I won't go anywhere near this
 

g-unit1111

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Yeah it reminds me of the old Asus X79 and Z97 boards where they had that cheap "armor" on the whole board and it wound up trapping hot air underneath the board. And then their response was 2 even cheaper plastic 40mm fans to circulate the air, and it would just recirculate the hot air instead of blowing it out.

Looks terrible. Performs meh. No USB 3.1 10Gbps (A or C ports). No built-in wifi. Only 2x 16x slots. Thanks Tomshardware I won't go anywhere near this
You're not really supposed to use Wifi on desktops anyways, that's what the LAN port is there for.
 

g-unit1111

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That looks almost identical to the Asrock Z370 Taichi - Cyberpower must contract out to Asrock's manufacturer for these.
 

Crashman

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I won't be running Cat6 to my wife's PC. And when the cable company was blocking me from using an access point (they'd send a kill signal to the modem), I used my PC as an access point. So there's two examples. Of course I soon switched service providers and no longer needed to use my PC as an access point.

 

AnimeMania

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Thanks, it is identical to the ASRock Z370 KILLER SLI/AC with a new paint job.
 

g-unit1111

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They can do that?

I only have the Wifi routing to my PCs because the first one is far away from any router to be able to run cable, and the second one is an Asrock board with built in Wifi that actually performs pretty decent. I would prefer to run CAT 6 but I'm not going and poking holes through walls to run cables.
 

Crashman

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Long story short, I had a modem/router/access point, the cable co said I needed an upgrade to get the latest speeds, I said "Nah, I'm fine with my current speeds"...so after six months or so of arguing with them they began throttling me down to like 128k. I relented, they came out and put in a new modem and said if I wanted a router and Wi-Fi from that point forward I'd have to rent it from them, and I basically told them where to go. I added my own AP/Router and they started sending signals to terminate the connection. I called them and they said my hardware was crap, I needed to rent from them. So I got a new AP/router and it worked for a while, but then they started sending out the kill signal again. This was in the router logs. Both routers. I had a discussion with them and they basically said that I wasn't paying to connect multiple devices to my internet connection so I was basically trying to steal from them, and that to make things right I had to rent my equipment from them. So that's when I started using my PC as an access point. It had a second Ethernet port that I'd use for my test systems, so everything passed through my PC and the modem only saw one device, a PC. But to heck with them I said, and now I'm on DSL.

Technical details? I'm not a network expert so I had to actually look up all the stuff I was seeing in my logs to determine what was even going on at the time.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
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Efficiency deficiency could have have excluded an award if one were on the table. On the other hand, you'd experience the same issue on any other board if you were using fixed voltage for your overclock, and we have to think about those users before getting, as Questors would say, "Uppity" about efficiency.

 

Karadjgne

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Motherboard performance is a benchmark. That's it. Ppl as users couldn't tell performance differences if they tried, the speeds at which these boards operate are so far in excess of what's humanly possible to determine. There's only the add-ons like ASR killer lan or Asus ROG bios that sets any board apart firmware wise.

Lack of USB 3.1 A/C ports? So what? Most of the world has no use for those ports as USB3.0 is just now starting to become popular with manufacturers. Many things are still using USB2.0 headers as there's honestly no need for the bandwidth 3.0 brings.

Motherboard wifi is a gimmick. I have wifi on my MSI Z77 Mpower and have used it exactly once. It got outdated that fast, it runs half the speeds of my $15 TP-Link. Not even close to what's capable with hardwire. And the firmware hasn't seen any driver updates since Oct 2013. My cell phone has faster up/down speeds than the mobo wifi on the same frequency with the phone sitting on top of the pc. To me, lack of wifi on a mobo just means more space for more important stuff.

2x pcie x16. With lackluster sli/cf support and even less mgpu support from DX12, more than 2x pcie x16 slots is a waste of space and resources. Then you add in cards like the gtx1080ti and sli/cf becomes relatively pointless for anyone other than a crypto-miner.

As far as I can see, the only thing about this board that's totally out of whack is the price. It's got some gimmicks that are slightly different to other mobo's, but that's true of any vendors lines, but still remains a perfectly usable board for a good majority of ppl. It's just priced far beyond what that same majority of ppl would pay for a usable board.
 
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