Slickest 1151 Motherboard

Discussion in 'Intel MoBos' started by _l_, May 16, 2018.

  1. _l_

    _l_ [H]ard|Gawd

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    Decided it was time to do another Intel PC gaming build and was hunting for a 1151 300 series motherboard. Used a MSI Z370 Gaming M5 for my last build in January 2018 and was about to order it again when I happened upon this one:

    NZXT N7 Z370

    wow, it's the slickest looking motherboard; perfect for mounting on a Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted case because after all I have to admit ... looks ARE sometimes important {8^o

    This board had good performance reviews ... what do you think?

    A detailed "by the parts" HardwareCanucks review is HERE
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  2. _mockingbird

    _mockingbird Gawd

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    How do you feel about ECS/EliteGroup?
     
  3. Kardonxt

    Kardonxt 2[H]4U

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    That's a big premium for a few plastic bits on a bare bones mobo imho.
     
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  4. _mockingbird

    _mockingbird Gawd

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    You have to account for the man-hours that NZXT spent on the phone calling ECS.
     
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  5. auntjemima

    auntjemima Hand Jobs Legend

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    Explain. I love reading.
     
  6. _l_

    _l_ [H]ard|Gawd

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    how do you feel about ASUS having done the same thing in the past, used ECS or some other contract manufacturer such as Flextronics to make its boards when ASUS couldn't meet demand in its own facilities?
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018
  7. _mockingbird

    _mockingbird Gawd

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    ECS built the NZXT N7 Z370
     
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  8. Kardonxt

    Kardonxt 2[H]4U

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    The worst part is that it looks like a stripped down version of the ECS Z370 Lightsaber that has an MSRP of $199.

    IMHO NZXT is going the wrong direction with their "make a clean PC with all NZXT parts" goal. I would develop a line up of shrouds and covers for existing mobos \ components and sell them for $50 a pop.
     
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  9. _l_

    _l_ [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yea, that 4 year warranty along with stellar looks that has minimal company logos plastered all over it as well as no over-sized chunky chipset logo heatsink like the competition always seems to use is a real killer to a new entry into the market.

    Their next release needs to have armored x16 PCI-e and DDR connectors and metal instead of plastic M.2 covers (can be used as heatsink plus will cover the two 8-segment displays when a M.2 is installed in that slot. Also, smaller segment displays like on the MSI Z370 Gaming M5 would be a nice touch)
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2018
  10. Kardonxt

    Kardonxt 2[H]4U

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    Well since NZXT doesn't make motherboards I wouldn't be so sure on the greatness of the 4 year warranty that's probably handled by a 3rd party. The full featured ECS Lightsaber is $199. With the striped downed features this would probably come in around $150? That's a huge premium for a chunk of plastic added. I would take an Asus ROG Maximus or GB Gaming 7 anyday over this at $249. I don't really think the chintzy plastic makes the build look any better to begin with.
     
  11. trick0502

    trick0502 [H]ardness Supreme

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    not good. i had one mb and it lasted 3 months. never again.
     
  12. _l_

    _l_ [H]ard|Gawd

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    ok, been using my N7 for the past week and I like it, a lot. Works very well for gaming with i5-8400 and GTX 1080 FTW.

    Very easy to navigate BIOS settings, super slick looks - even the mounting screws sit flush with the shroud (nice attention to detail NZXT). Board thickness is not as stout as say a Gigabyte Ultra 3 board but it's still thick enough to be rigid and the shroud makes it even more so (IMO with the shroud a thicker board would have been a waste of resources and money). Has one x1 slot and two x4 but can use x1 cards in the x4 slots so no problem.

    Audio is good quality but output level into headphones is not acceptable so I need to address this. Bios updating was one-click (after the .exe was DL'ed), XMP sets DDR4 3000 to 2999 no problems there. Can't OC the i5-8400 so no hands-on for OC. Looks to use quality components throughout and parts placement is very good (reviewers mentioned the easily removable perforated VRM cosmetic shield being in the way of the 8-pin CPU connector but I found it to not be an issue whatsoever, no connector/wire rubbing though the space is tight once the cover is put back on (a notch cut out in the shield wouldn't have hurt here but nothing a dremmel and some black spray enamel can't handle easy enough).

    Reviews say the NZXT LED strips and extensions were removed from the offer so they could lower the price from $299 to $249. I paid $230 (shipped) at the Egg and it came with the LED strips/extensions. Really nice boxing design, way more accessories than I'll ever need and it sports a Four Year Warranty. I called NZXT to ask a tech Q and got someone on the phone within 1-2 minutes so perhaps it will be very good Customer Service there. The issue was the screw cylinders that secure the PCB to the stand-offs that NZXT supplied is a common thread type (M3?) but the Thermaltake Core P3 case uses a different thread type. The tech said to he would send me a set of stand-offs with the correct thread type but I then realized I had an extra case laying around and sure enough the stand-offs were the same height as Thermaltake's and the thread type matched the NZXT cylinder stand-off screws :cool:

    Some have voiced concern that ESC made this N7 board but it's made to NZXT specs and visually it looks to have the same quality components, parts layout and board build as any other similar priced board I've used (such as the MSI Z370 Gaming M5 I used back in January)
     
  13. Orddie

    Orddie 2[H]4U

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    i agree! i like the non logo and all single color look. Fuck features... its alllllllll about the looks IMO (yes im shallow)
     
  14. _l_

    _l_ [H]ard|Gawd

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    uh hu ... like MSI, ASUS and Gigabyte LED Racing boards, et? No vanity there LOL

    See how you are? I just got a "Can't Get Enough of Your Stuff" award from [H} and you go and make a comment like that ... geez I get no respect at all.

     
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
  15. Orddie

    Orddie 2[H]4U

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    1- im OK
    2- congratulations
    3 - what?

    when i click the link i see nothing but plain color motherhood. that is what my comment is based off of
     
  16. HiryuuX

    HiryuuX Limp Gawd

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    I expected the Asus Maximus line mentioned in this thread :D

    Not a fan of the NZXT N7's feature set but it's certainly unique looking.
     
  17. _l_

    _l_ [H]ard|Gawd

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    $130, you forgot to mention the built-in digital LED controller (currently retails for $50) and the two LED strips with extension cables (currently retails for $40) and I paid $230 New so $130 is a more accurate guess and no, the shroud is not plastic - it's metal

    What are you calling "stripped down" features? Is it the 4 instead of 6 SATA ports? I prefer having "always full lanes" for both M.2 pci-e drives rather than 6 SATA ports and with the two M.2 ports I'm not using any of the four SATA ports anyway so what features are you folks talking about that are so vital to have that this board lacks?
     
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  18. Kardonxt

    Kardonxt 2[H]4U

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    Feel free to admit ECS built NZXT mobos sucks anytime ;)
     
  19. _l_

    _l_ [H]ard|Gawd

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    you were right
     
  20. Kardonxt

    Kardonxt 2[H]4U

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    O man, now I feel like a jerk. I was expecting standard internet "your moms a whore" or something lol.

    Sorry you had a rough time with it. I'm interested to hear what the exact problem was.
     
  21. _l_

    _l_ [H]ard|Gawd

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    On-board HDMI port worked well but would not auto-switch to PCI-e x16 GPU correctly. It did work with a GTX 1080 FTW but when I switched to my GT 740 the trouble started. On restart aftrer install of the GT 740 GPU the Screen remained blank (even the onboard HDMI port) and no audio out of the onboard HDMI port when it does output video but onboard Audio Out jack worked. Removed the GPU card and onboard HDMI worked ok again.

    Sent the board back and received a replacement from NZXT. They had promised a sealed in the box replacement but the seal was broken and the board already had a WIn 10 key assigned to it and ... it had the same failure my board had but the box/board serial tags had a different serial # than what I sent them (I'm guessing they accidentally sent me a failed customer return). Tried my GT 740 (it's 3.0 x16) and two HD (2.0 x16) cards and no video output so sent it back and they sent me a sealed in the box replacement FedEx Next Day and ... had the same problem.

    I know all three GPU cards work on my Gigabyte 78LT HTPC board.

    MSI board is due to arrive tomorrow so we'll see ... but I'm confident things will work out now
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
  22. Spartacus09

    Spartacus09 Limp Gawd

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    Sounds like at least their support is responsive and willing to work with you at least.
    Thats a plus you don't see from all of them *cough* asus *cough*.
     
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  23. _l_

    _l_ [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yes, their CS was excellent, very nice reps and easy to reach on the phone