Recently, numerous motherboards have appeared in the market. But to get the most feature-filled B550, our NZXT N7 B550 Motherboard review will give essential details on it.
NZXT continues aiming to get into the new product categories. So as time changes and progresses, NZXT stepped up their game to match. Lately, they just released their first-ever AMD-powered board that uses the B550 chipset for AMD Ryzen 3000 and 5000 processors.
Here comes the NZXT N7 B550 Motherboard. It’s their first motherboard that attempts to give PC builders a chance to make an AMD-powered system. With it, builders can utilise other NZXT products like lighting, cases, as well as CPU-pooling.
It’s also a premium board with an AM4 socket made for those who love matte styling. This product goes together with NZXT’s buildable benefits, the standard array of RGB connectors, plus CAM software support.
It’s quite pricey compared to the competition, but there’s a lot to like about it. To learn more, continue breezing through our NZXT N7 B550 Motherboard review. We’ll help you decide if it’s something you’d need for your build.
Let’s begin our NZXT N7 B550 Motherboard review with the packaging and contents of the board.
We got the black-coloured N7 B550, and it looked pretty neat and sleek. It came in a simple and very basic-looking white package with an image of the board in front.
Inside, NZXT made sure that the motherboard was kept secure and protected. So, you don’t have to worry about any damages that could appear while in transit.
Like other board partners, NZXT’s package includes a couple of accessories to get you started with your build. These include x4 SATA cables, a Wi-Fi antenna, x2 screws for M.2 sockets, plus a user guide for reference.
Next, our NZXT N7 B550 Motherboard review will discuss all of the board’s design and functions.
NZXT N7 B550 Motherboard Review – Design and Functionality
N7 B550’s design is good with its matte black finish while sporting the heavily-shrouded style present on the N7 Z490.
The nature of these shrouds may appear divided or polarising by some people. As for the hotspots like VRM & chipset heatsinks, they sport a circular pattern to provide extra surface area. However, the look is primarily for aesthetics.
Speaking of the board’s aesthetics, it’s actually very good, thanks to its solid cover and matte black theme. We love that the cover feels genuinely solid and adds rigidity to the N7 B550.
Now if you’re into built-in RGBs, note that the N7 B550 doesn’t have any on it. Despite this, it has a 4-pin RGB header, a 3-pin aRGB header, plus two 4-pin NZXT RGB headers present. With these, there are a ton of connection points, especially for lights.
The company has the NZXT CAM software that manages RGB controls. It’s compatible with a number of ecosystems, making it highly convenient for users.
Just like the classic designs of NZXT, there are lots of connectors that are closely set on the board’s edge. This design layout is perfect for easier and more convenient cable management.
DRAM Slots, Power Connectors, & Fan Connectors
Since the board is heavily shrouded, there’s not much to see outside the fan and power connectors. On the top portion, above the left VRM bank, you’ll see two EPS power connectors. These are the 8-pin (required), and 4-pin (optional) lead to power your CPU.
Still in the same area but to its right, you’ll find the first two (out of seven) 4-pin fan headers. Then, there are two more on the top-right corner.
All these headers support up to 2A/24W output which is a lot for most pump and fan setups. In between the fan headers, you’ll find x2 4-pin NZXT RGB headers for controlling compatible NZXT products.
Just below these, there are the four DRAM slots that do not use reinforcements. The N7 B550 supports up to 126GB RAM with speeds of DDR-4 4,666+ (OC) for the Vermeer-based CPUs.
Looking at the motherboard’s far-right portion, you’ll spot the 24-pin ATX that’s visible through its metallic shrouds. It’s needed to power the motherboard, plus a front panel USB 3.2 2nd generation type-C header.
The NZXT N7 B550 utilises a 12+2 (+2) phase power delivery for the board. Here, power is brought to a Renesas RAA-229004 (6+2) controller, then on to the Intersil ISL-6617A phase doublers. Lastly, it’ll go to the 50A Vishay Si-C632A Dr MOS MOSFETs.
PCIe, M.2, and SATA
On the bottom half of the N7 B550 motherboard, the only features present are the PCIe slots and bottom-edge headers. It makes for a spotless and seamless appearance that conceals the PCB that all boards have.
The far-left edge sports the audio parts where you’ll find the Realtek ALC-1220 7.1 channel codec. It comes along with a couple of audio caps as well. Generally, a lot of people will see the audio solution as adequate for their preferences and needs.
The centre of the board has four PCIe slots (two full-length ones and two x1-sized ones). There are also two M.2 sockets that are concealed below the shrouds.
Beginning with the PCIe slots, the top slot that’s reinforced is a PCIe 4.0. For the second full-length slot, it works at PCIe 3.0 x4.
This combination supports Crossfire-X (2-card) and AMD Quad Crossfire X configurations.
Below and above the full-length PCIe slots, there are two M.2 sockets. The top socket is a wired PCIe 4.0 x4 that supports up to 80mm-long drives.
The second slot is a PCIe 3.0 x2 that backs SATA-based modules that are up to 80mm. When utilising the SATA module on the M2_2 (second socket), the 5/6 SATA ports are disabled.
To the right, there are more shrouds over the chipset heatsink. On the board’s right edge, there are six SATA ports that support the RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 modes.
Also, in this spot are two front panel USB 3.2 1st generation headers.
Basically, if this motherboard has a lot of something, it’s the available USB ports.
Fan and RGB Headers
Across the bottom is a collection of headers and buttons. These include the RGB headers and USB ports.
From left to right, you’ll find these: front panel audio, UART header, plus the 3-pin aRGB & 4-pin RGB headers. There are also three USB 2.0 headers, three system fan headers, and Dr. Debug LED. Lastly, you’ll also find the reset/power buttons, as well as the front panel header.
The connectors are dual-right-angled connectors, which are ideal for cable management but not for compatibility. If one doesn’t function due to your case’s design, neither may work.
The Rear I/O
On the rear I/O, you’ll find the integrated matching black I/O plate and ten USB ports. You’ll also see four USB 3.2 Gen2 ports, including three type-A ports and one type-C port. There are also two USB 2.0 ports and four USB 3.2 Gen1 ports.
Additionally, you’ll find three more 4-pin fan headers in this section. These are 2 Amp current rated, which are best utilised with splitters or pumps.
Here, you’ll also see the HDMI 2.1 port for video connectivity, Clear CMOS buttons, and BIOS Flashback. Other connections include the Wi-Fi antenna and the 5-plug and SPDIF audio stack.
This time on our NZXT N7 B550 Motherboard review, we’ll proceed to talk about the motherboard’s key features.
Key Features of the NZXT N7 B550 Motherboard
The N7 B550’s key features make this a unique B550 motherboard for AMD processors. Here are the things that it can offer:
The NZXT N7 B550 is available in black or white for a seamless aesthetic. Its design blends well with the background of any nZXT H series PC case for a sleek look.
The N7 B550 motherboard comes with intuitive control of seven fan channels and RGB lighting channels through the CAM software. It supports lightning accessories from all manufacturers.
The N7 B550 comes with a front panel, Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, and USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C. Plus, it uses all PCIe lanes from the chipset and CPU. With the integrated rear I/O shield and optimally placed headers, N7’s layout allows for easier building.
This part of our NZXT N7 B550 Motherboard review is where we focus on its specifications.
The N7 B550 motherboard sports an AM4 socket, B550 chipset, and the ATX form factor. For its voltage regulator, it has the 16 phases (12+2+2, plus 50A MOSFETs for the Vcore). This board has the Intel dual-band wireless AX-210 Wi-Fi 6E, as well as the Bluetooth V5.2.
For expansion, it has one PCIe 4.0 x 16 slot and a PCIe 3.0 x4 slot. There’s also two PCIe 3.0 x1 slots and an M.2 slot (Key-E, 2230 Wi-Fi).
For the board’s storage, it has six SATA (6Gbps) and M.2 (PCIe 4.0 | x4 SATA SSD support). Plus, it also has one M.2 (PCIe 3.0 | x2 SATA SSD support), while the audio is the Realtek ALC-1220.
On the rear ports, there’s x2 Wi-Fi, one HDMI, and two USB 2.0 ports. Other ports include three USB-A 3.2, a USB-C 3.2 2nd generation ports, and four USB-A 3.2 1st generation ports. Its network jack is the 2.5Gb LAN.
When it comes to the audio jacks, these include five analog audio jacks and one optical SPDIF jack.
The N7 B550 has a total of four RGB headers. These include one 3-pin aRGB, one 4-pin RGB headers, and two 4-pin NZXT headers.
For its wireless and Bluetooth connectivity, it uses the Intel Dual Band Wireless-AX210 Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2.
Hands-on with the NZXT N7 B550 Motherboard
In this part of our NZXT N7 B550 Motherboard review, we’ll now talk about how the motherboard performed. This will include its gaming and overclocking performance, temperatures, and power consumption. But before that, we’ll talk about the CAM software and its BIOS.
NZXT uses CAM, an all-in-one utility software. It’s where you control overclocking, RGB lighting, audio, fan speed, power, and other settings. You can also utilise it for managing fan controllers and create lighting profiles for RGB accessories.
The CAM software’s interface was simple, so it was easy to see all the menus. The left side of the interface displayed the menus and sections.
On the right section, you’ll find the Controls where adjustments on the settings will be made. During our tests, CAM worked well, and we didn’t experience any issues like lagging or unresponsiveness.
When it comes to software control, we appreciate CAM a lot. It’s a convenient software and a single destination for users to monitor components and manage various settings.
Overall, it’s quick, user-friendly, and extremely convenient.
NZXT worked with ASRock in developing the N7 B550 motherboard, and that shows with the BIOS’ overall setup. Like the CAM software, it has a user-friendly interface that’s easy to understand. With that, you don’t have to worry about not understanding a thing.
The BIOS features a black, white, and purple theme, matching NZXT’s brand colours. All the text on the interface was easy to read, which is one of the things we appreciate.
The top portion of the interface shows the headers, including Main, Advanced, Overclocking, PC Monitoring, Tool, and more. The left portion displays the fields you can edit, while the right shows the description of each selection.
Most of the options are under the sub-headings, so we didn’t have to search thoroughly to find commonly used features. Everything was easily accessible, so we didn’t have any issues with this.
NZXT N7 B550 Motherboard Review Summary
Now it’s time to wrap things up in our NZXT N7 B550 Motherboard review.
The N7 B550 is NZXT’s first AMD motherboard, and it’s impressive for a first release. Although NZXT went with B550 instead of X570, it comes with some high-end features like Wi-Fi 6 compatibility. Aside from that, it has an excellent layout that allows for easier setup.
It also comes with the CAM software and BIOS, which are both user-friendly. Most importantly, it performed excellently without any issue during our tests, making it an excellent AMD motherboard.
In conclusion to our NZXT N7 B550 Motherboard review, we highly recommend this product. If you add this motherboard to your build, you can purchase it from the company’s official website.
Thank you for your time, and we hope you found our NZXT N7 B550 Motherboard review helpful!