NZXT Launches Tricked Out N7 Z490 Motherboard For Intel Comet Lake CPUs
NZXT has not been in the motherboard game very long, having made a name for itself with computer cases and later branching into cooling products, power supplies, lighting, and even custom PC builds. However, it found a way to stand out from the crowd. This is exemplified again with its latest motherboard offering, the stylish N7 Z490.
This is the third motherboard in NZXT's lineup, the other two being (in descending order) the N7 Z390 and its first-ever board, the N7 Z370. And like those two previous models, the N7 Z490 blends high-end features with the ability to trick out the aesthetic, using metal shrouds. There are two to choose from at the outset—matte white, as seen in the photo above, and matte black shown below.
The metal shrouds afford builders the luxury of piecing together a cleaner looking build, should they want to go that route. Alternatively, users can remove the shrouds and leave the motherboard naked, save for strategically placed heatsinks to prevent critical components from overheating. The PCB itself is black, so it is still somewhat sleek.
There is also the possibility that NZXT could launch themed metal shrouds in the future, like it has done in the past. For example, there is a Nuka-Color cover available for the N7 Z370 and a Vault Boy cover available for the N7 Z390.
Underneath the dressing sits an intriguing offering based on Intel's latest generation Z490 chipset for Comet Lake. It offers both onboard Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) and Bluetooth 5.1 wireless connectivity, a pair of M.2 slots for high-speed NVMe SSDs, four DDR4 DIMM slots, four SATA 6Gbps ports, and various headers for USB connectivity and RGB lighting.
For the real I/O panel, the N7 Z490 features two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Ports (Type-A and Type-C), two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, two USB 2.0 ports, a 2.5Gb ethernet port, audio ports (five 3.5mm jacks and S/PDIF), and an HDMI 1.4b output. There is also a 'clear CMOS' button on the panel.
This is built around an 8+2 power phase design, and according to NZXT, it offers "strong BIOS support." The board itself is actually built by ASRock, to NZXT's design specifications.
You can buy the N7 Z490 now for $229.99 direct from NZXT.