September 9, 2020 | 13:00
EVGA has announced its EVGA Z490 Dark K|NGP|N limited edition motherboard with a focus squarely on extreme overclocking, much like the EVGA Z490 Dark model before it.
The E-ATX motherboard is a collaboration between EVGA and one of its longtime employees, Vince 'K|NGP|N' Lucido, widely regarded as one of the best sub-zero overclockers out there. The board aims to make it a little easier to replicate K|NGP|N's past efforts with everything about it tweaked with overclocking in mind, while seeming remarkably familiar to those who have spotted the Z490 Dark motherboard before.
It offers 18-phase power delivery, along with some unconventional design choices too. For instance, it has just two memory slots which are mounted horizontally across the top of the board, just above the LGA1200 socket. It's all designed to enhance airflow although you'll need to make sure the chassis works as well alongside this plan. The memory slots are able to take up to 64GB of DDR4-5000 although it's expected that overclockers will almost certainly push those speeds a fair bit further than that. That's also where the EVGA Z490 Dark K|NGP|N differs from the Z490 Dark before it as it supports DIMMs up to 5,000MHz compared to its predecessor's 4,800Mhz.
In the top right corner of the motherboard is two 2-digit debug LEDs for monitoring CPU voltage and temperature too. It also features some convenient onboard buttons for clearing the CMOS and general resets for when you need to make some tweaks, along with triple BIOS support. You can also disable PCIe slots as and when needed.
Besides such specific overclocking adjustments, the EVGA Z490 Dark K|NGP|N also has plenty going for it with other features. That includes storage options like two PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, one U.2 port, and eight SATA ports. Six of the eight SATA ports support RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays while an ASMedia SATA controller handles the other two.
You also get three full-length PCIe 3.0 slots which operate at x16, x8/x8 and x8/x8/+4 as well as one half-length PCIe 3.0 x4 slot. There's also a 2.5G Ethernet controller and Wi-Fi 6 support, along with 7.1 channel audio from Realtek.
Understandably then, given the limited edition/extreme overclocking angle of the EVGA Z490 Dark K|NGP|N, it's not cheap. It's currently available directly from EVGA for $600. Given the EVGA Z490 Dark model is $100 less for what looks almost like the same board (outside of the memory slot tweaks), we're hoping the K|NGP|N version is offering better components across the board (pun not intended) rather than simply a bit of extra marketing and the addition of K|NGP|N's hand-signed name on the box.
December 11 2020 | 17:30