NZXT expands its spiffy motherboard lineup with a Z590 model for Rocket Lake
NZXT makes some of the most aesthetically pleasing motherboards on the market, provided you like the look of metal white or black covers that hide the majority of the printed circuit board. Its latest offering, the N7 Z590, carries on that tradition.
As the model name implies, the N7 Z590 is based on Intel’s flagship Z590 chipset for its 11th Gen Core desktop processors (like the Core i9 11900K), otherwise known as Rocket Lake.
Underneath all those sleek covers sits a six-layer PCB and a 12+2 DrMOS power phase design. More layers can mean more traces and/or better separation of traces, which can be helpful in reducing electromagnetic interference. A six-layer PCB is sort of mid-range in the grande scheme of things—some cheaper boards use four layers, while more expensive ones can have eight or even 10 layers.
As for the power phase design, higher numbers are generally better (the first number indicates VRM phases for the CPU and the second number points to VRM phases for other components), to deliver cleaner power. This can help with stability, especially when overclocking.
You can install up to 128GB of DDR4-4600 memory on the N7 Z590. And for storage chores, the board serves up four SATA 6Gbps ports and a pair of M.2 slots for those gum-stick sized SSDs. One of those slots supports PCI Express 4.0 (unless you install a Comet Lake processor, then it drops down to PCIe 3.0) to take full advantage of PCIe 4.0 SSDs, some of which push speeds in the neighborhood of 7,000MB/s.
The rear I/O consists of the following:
- 2x USB 2.0
- 3x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
- 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C
- 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
- 1x HDMI
- 2x wireless antenna SMA connectors
- 1x clear CMOS button
- 1x LAN (RJ45)
- 1x optical S/PDIF
- 1x 8-channel audio
Connectivity is expandable by way of several onboard headers. You’ll also find headers for plugging in all-in-one liquid coolers and RGB lighting. And for wireless connectivity, this board supports Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.1.
We have not spent any hands-on time with the N7 Z590, but we did review the N7 Z490, and were generally impressed with the performance, features, and pricing. ASRock actually makes NZXT’s motherboards (hence why it can maintain competitive pricing), and we assume that is still true of the Z590.
That said, the price is a little higher on the N7 Z590. NZXT is selling it for $280, compared to $230 for the N7 Z490 (Intel) and N7 B550 (AMD). Like those other models, you can choose between white or black covers. Or just leave them off if you prefer to see the PCB.
Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD”*”,8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).