NZXT N7 B550 Motherboard Review
Published: 25th March 2021 | Source: NZXT | Price: |
The AMD Zen architecture has proven to be wildly popular. Some of this is certainly due to how many people cut their teeth on AMD hardware and thus have a soft spot for the manufacturer, but largely it's the incredible performance and attractive pricing. Anyone who has been looking lustfully at the 5000 series processors, in particular the Ryzen 9 models, will know that they make the Playstation 5 look easy to find. They've been flying off the shelves way quicker than AMD can manufacturer them.
Undoubtedly one of the best features of the AMD platform is how flexible it is. Whilst Intel are determined to make you buy a new motherboard every time they release the tiniest update to their chipsets or CPUs, AMD are happy for you to put almost any processor in a compatible socket and take full advantage of their hardware. Whether it's a Ryzen 5000 series in a X470, or a 3000 series in a X570/B550. That's where the NZXT N7 B550 motherboard comes in.
Beneath that gorgeous white armour beats an affordable B550 motherboard that sits right in the middle of the ones we've reviewed. Many of the high end B550 motherboards are so expensive that you're better off just going with an X570, but the lower priced models are where the B550 really shines, having the majority of the features we all love so much - PCI Express 4.0 out the wazoo - without totally breaking the bank. Usually buying an affordable model means you get one which looks like it cost what it did. The NZXT N7 uses their white heatshield which we saw used successfully on the Z490 N7 motherboard to bring you a B550 which is a capable performer and would fit perfectly into one of their chassis.
That factor will very much determine how much you desire the the NZXT B550 N7. If you haven't invested in the NZXT ecosystem and so having a motherboard which works in harmony with the rest of your system whilst also fitting in aesthetically, then there is no reason in particular to pick the N7. Let's be clear, there is no reason not to, but you will only make the most of it if you have a Kraken cooler, or their HUE lighting system, and especially an NZXT chassis. It's a very solid performer and although it never really tops our graphs it's worth noting that all of the B550 motherboards we've tested have very similar performance, and the NZXT has no holes in it's armour. Except the literal ones that keep it cool of course.
If you tick those boxes then the NZXT N7 B550 will fill that void in your life whilst bringing all the benefits of the latest addition to the AMD chipset range, including some futureproofing upgrade room should the Ryzen 5000 series processors ever make their way back into stores.