Not every year we look at brand new motherboards. Heck, that's not every 10 years. In an enthusiastic PC world, certain things are relatively easy, while others present a greater challenge. Spank the label on CLC Asetek? Relatively easy. Hire designers to work with established production facilities to make variations of existing cases look slightly different from others? Not too difficult. Getting that facility to produce an entirely new case design that might involve new tooling? A bit challenging
But generate an entirely new motherboard from clean sheet? Only the most experienced motherboard brands will do it. Until now?
Labeled has been designed in California and manufactured in China, N7-Z37XT is the first NZXT foray into the motherboard market. We are not given details about how much control ODM provides about its circuit design, although it is likely that NZXT is at least responsible for determining which connector to use and where to place it.
Designed to support the Grid + (fan) and Hue + (lighting) controls NZXT, N7-Z37XT is available with either W1-white or -B1 black shroud.
Specifications Motherboard NZXT N7-Z37XT
- Socket : LGA 1151
- Chipset : Intel Z370
- Form Factor : ATX
- Voltage Regulator : 15 Phases
- Video Ports : DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4
- USB Ports : 5Gb/s: (4) Type A; (5) USB 2.0
- Network Jacks : (1) Gigabit Ethernet
- Audio Jacks : (6) Analog, (1) Digital Out
- Legacy Ports/Jacks : ✗
- Other Ports/Jacks : CLR_CMOS Button
- PCIe x16 : (2) v3.0 (x16/x0, x8/x8)
- PCIe x8 : ✗
- PCIe x4 : (2) v3.0
- PCIe x1 : (1) v3.0
- CrossFire/SLI : 2x / 2x
- DIMM Slots : (4) DDR4
- M.2 Slots : (1) PCIe 3.0 x4 / SATA, (1) PCIe 3.0 x4
- U.2 Ports : ✗
- SATA Ports : (4) 6Gb/s
- USB Headers : (2) v3.0, (3) v2.0
- Fan Headers : (9) 4-Pin
- Legacy Interfaces : ✗
- Other Interfaces : FP-Audio, S/PDIF-Out, (2) RGB-LED, Noise Detection Module
- Diagnostics Panel : Numeric
- Internal Button/Switch : BIOS backup / BIOS Selector
- SATA/RAID Controllers : Integrated (0/1/5/10)
- Ethernet Controllers : WGI219V PHY
- Wi-Fi/Bluetooth Controllers : ✗ / ✗
- USB Controllers : Integrated Only
- HD Audio Codec : ALC1220
- DDL/DTS Connect : ✗
- Warranty : 3 Years
Conspicuously absent from the N7-Z37XT specification sheet is any genuine USB 3.1 Gen2 controller, in the fan market where almost every traditional brand has just upgraded the latest PCIe 3.0 x2 version. Some boards in the price class even have two of them, the second is dedicated to the newly introduced front panel header. We only test one case with newer Gen2 connectors, but it will be interesting to see if NZXT introduces that is not supported by this board.
Boards in the N7-Z37XT price class usually have dual gigabit Ethernet as well, and the absence of those extra features makes a striking difference on the I / O panel. On the other hand, some of the absentee features have enabled NZXT to avoid sharing of resources, which is something even can not be done by its competitors. All features of N7-Z37XT can be used simultaneously.
Intel Z370 PCH is still limited to 30 HSIO resources, and NZXT employs 29 of them as two NVMe M.2 slots, two additional PCIe x4 slots, PCIe x1 slots, eight USB 3.0 ports, and four SATA ports. NZXT fills multiple I / O panels with USB 2.0, which does not require HSIO resources. We also found quite a lot of analog audio ports to support 7.1 surround, Line In and Line Out together, along with S / PDIF optical output, HDMI, DisplayPort, and CLR_CMOS keys.
While it's possible to configure up to four NVMe drives using a combination of four-lane PCIe x4 path slots and 2 x4 PCI slots, the chipset link to the CPU is still limited to the four-track DMI of Intel. And while there is no HSIO division that will disable the slot or device, a separate PCIe x16-lane CPU controller will still serve two x16-sized slots in x16 / x0 or x8 / x8 mode, using the second card's automatic detection. to make that transition. No magic tricks or latency boost centers; only a well-designed design to make full use of existing resources.
Available in blue, red, purple, white, and black, the hot wash shroud is made of the same painted steel with the larger motherboard shroud. Removing the upper cooling shroud also facilitates access to connectors along the top edge.
Removing the two plastic covers shows two M.2 slots and a Port 80 diagnostic code screen. A third plastic piece of a similar style does not include imports, and possibilities are added according to the cover styles M.2. The main USB 3.0 connector and four SATA ports can also be viewed from this angle.
The lower edge has an HD-Audio header front panel, power and reset buttons, three USB 2.0 headers, a second USB 3.0 header, four fan headers, an AC-97-style front panel button and a LED group, BIOS switch selector switch, when deployed, copy the active firmware ROM through the inactive ROM.
The top of the N7-Z37XT has five fan headers and an RGB LED connector. The second RGB LED connector is visible in the rectangular shaft hole near the top of the front edge.
While a black plastic I / O hood is screwed, the motherboard shroud is painted securely with metal locks. Underneath was a traditional looking board with a matte black mask.
The N7-Z37XT mounting kit includes four SATA cables, two RGB magnetic / adhesive strips, two RGB adapter cables, two RGB extension cables, one-link SLI bridge, I / O shield and unobtrusive threaded hardware.
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