While many of the tier one motherboard makers have abandoned factory supported overclocking you can still find hardware that supports it. Generally speaking this hardware always costs more due to the additional accessories and extra time building and testing that everything works as it should. Of course that is for mainstream hardware that you find on launch day and is where many companies stop.
To find hardware that is truly unique you must play the waiting game. This is what we did back in the DFI LanParty days where you would often wait six months for the new overclocking board to be released only to have a revision to that board come out a short time later. Those were the awesome times to be a hardware enthusiast and yet many were upset.
In this review I’ll be looking at what might be considered the next best thing, the EVGA Z390 Dark. Much like what DFI did with their LanParty boards the EVGA Dark is what I would call a revision and enhancement of the EVGA Z390 FTW that improves and tunes the motherboard for extreme overclocking while still offering out of box performance for fans of high-end hardware.
Before we dive into what makes this motherboard special lets go over the specs.
- Chipset – Intel Z390
- SLI – 2-Way SLI
- SATA – 6 Native SATA 6.0Gbps Ports / 2 ASMedia SATA 6.0Gbps Ports
- RAID 0, 1, 5, 10
- USB – 4x USB 2.0 (4 Ports from 2 Internal Headers)
- Memory Support – 2 DIMM Dual-Channel (up to 32GB) DDR4 4600MHz+
- Capacitors – 100% Solid State
- Ethernet – 2x Intel® Gigabit NIC
- Audio – Creative Sound Core3D Quad-Core Audio Processor
- Display Outputs – 1x mDP
- Fan Headers – 8 (2 CPU PWM, 6 PWM/DC)
- PCB – 10 Layers
- PCI-E Slot Arrangement – 3x16, 1x4
- NVMe Support – Yes (PCIe)
- E-ATX Form Factor
- Length: 11.99in - 304.5mm
- Width: 10.89in - 276.6mm
- 150% Increased Socket Gold Content
- Creative 5.1 Channel HD Audio + EVGA NU Audio
- Dual EVGA Probe-It Connectors
- EVGA E-LEET X Tuning Support
- EVGA's Latest GUI BIOS Featuring OC Robot and In-BIOS Stress Testing
- Highly-Efficient 17 Phase Digital VRM
- Intel® Optane™ Memory Ready
- New Integrated EVGA Wireless Module with Intel Dual-band WiFi / BT5.0 with external antenna
- Onboard Clear CMOS, Power and Reset Buttons
- Onboard Temperature and Voltage Monitoring
- Reinforced PCIe slots
- SafeBoot button to reset the motherboard and go into the BIOS with last known good settings without clearing CMOS
- Slow Mode switch locks CPU multiplier to lowest possible setting to allow users to switch between max OC and low speeds in real-time.
- SPI flashing via USB allows you to flash your BIOS without a CPU
- Triple BIOS Support
That is a huge list of features to digest so take your time and click the “Next Page” button when you’re done. Done? Great click away!