A Pair Of DDR4 Z690 Boards, The NZXT N5 And NZXT N7
Built By ASRock, Made Cool By NZXT
The NZXT N5 and NZXT N7 are both Intel Z690 motherboards which support DDR4 but offer different features and very different aesthetics. They also retail at different prices, $300 for the NZXT N7 and $240 for the NZXT N5, which gives you a hint as to which board will offer more features for you.
The NZXT N5 features 8+1 DrMOS power phase design, Intel Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, Realtek 2.5Gbit LAN and four M.2 connectors. The memory support includes frequencies up to 5000MHz. On the backplate you will find two USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, one Type-C and one Type-A, with four USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A’s for devices that don’t need the extra speed. Video output is limited to HDMI, which could be important for some. The tested performance was good, but the design of the board’s power is not conducive to serious overclocking.
The NZXT N7 is built a little more robustly with a 12+1 DrMOS power phase design which will make it far more proficient at overclocking than the N5. The networking remains the same, however there are only three M.2 ports and official DDR4 support caps at DDR4-4800. The missing PCIe lanes are assigned to the third PCIe slot, on the N5 you get one each of Gen 5 ×16, Gen 4 ×4, and Gen 3 ×1 whereas the N7 offers a Gen 5 ×16, a Gen 4 ×4, and a Gen 3 ×4. In a pinch you could get an adapter to attach an M.2 drive to that third PCIe slot and still get full performance.
Take a peek at both to learn more about their quirks and qualities.
The underlying ASRock motherboard uses DrMOS VRMs and supports DDR4 memory, so our expectations are not too high – but let's take a closer look in this review.