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NZXT N7 B550 Motherboard Review

M.2 PCIe Performance

We test M.2 PCIe performance using a WD_Black SN850 PCIe Gen 4 SSD.

Performance from the M.2 slots is as disappointing as we would expect given the underlying ASRock board’s poor design choices and NZXT’s lack of cooling heatsinks.

Yes, the Gen 4 slot runs our WD_Black SN850 at full speed initially, but it doesn’t take long to observe severe thermal throttling and performance drop-off due to the 90C-plus running temperature.

At this point, your 5GBps SSD can quickly drop to sub-500MBps on writes.

It is a severe oversight that NZXT omitted M.2 heatsinks – basically no other board vendor ditches them at this price point.

Plus, the speeds from the Gen 3 x2 slot are undeniably frustrating at sub-2GBps on our 3.5GBps capable SSD.

The NZXT/ASRock M.2 solution is very poor for a £210 motherboard.


Rightmark Audio Analyser is a freeware benchmarking utility designed to objectively test the performance characteristics of audio solutions. We setup a line-in line-out loop and execute the record/playback test before generating the results report you see below. A sampling mode of 24-bit, 192 kHz was tested.

Thankfully, the audio solution scores well in Rightmark Audio Analyser thanks to the use of Realtek’s quality ALC1220 codec.


Unfortunately, we cannot test 10Gbps speeds due to the ongoing AMD platform USB issues. And we do not have access to a WiFi 6E router, either.

But 10Gbps USB and high-speed WiFi connectivity are significant strengths for the N7 B550 and should not be overlooked.

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