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  • EVGA Z490 Dark Motherboard Review
  • EVGA Z490 Dark Motherboard Review


    Board Layout and Features Continued

    Overclocking and benchtop controls can be found scattered around the motherboard.  Near the CPU socket you’ll find the BIOS selector and slow mode switch.  Between the two is a block of DIP switches for disabling individual PCI Express slots.

    In the upper corner near the main 24-pin power connector you’ll find Power, Reset and CMOS reset buttons along with a white USB port.  This is for the BIOS Flashback feature for when the board cannot flash the BIOS normally.  The BIOS SafeBoot button is the black one near the fan headers while the red button will reset the CMOS.

    A feature that was first added to the X299 Dark was the quad digit multi function POST indicator that will show POST codes while the system is booting and then transfer to a CPU temperature display when complete.  Quad digits allow for voltage display that you can activate from the UEFI menu and will display voltages and temperatures of any item on the motherboard.

    Speaking of voltage the dual Probe-it headers are located near the VRM heatsink and will now report on twice as many voltages as before. 

    • From left to right the function for the J3 connector: VCORE/Ground, VDIMM/Ground, VGT/Ground, VSA/Ground, and VCCIO/Ground.
    • From left to right the function for the J5 connector: VCCPLL/Ground, VCCPLL_OC/Ground, VCCST/Ground, PCH/Ground, and DMI/Ground.

    Another great feature are the status LEDs that show up as a group near the top of the motherboard.  Additional LEDs can be found around the motherboard giving you a visual indicator on "where" a failure occured along with what features are currently enabled. (think PCI Express disable switches, when disabled the LED will not light)

    Internal SATA connections number eight and follow the new SATA6 connection standard.  Six come directly from the Z490 chipset and support RAID levels 0, 1, 5 and 10.  An ASMedia port has been added for ports 6/7.  These are a secondary controller that has been included so that older operating systems can be installed mostly for benchmarking support.

    Two U.2 ports are also available for when those drives become available.

    The Z490 chipset comes with 24 PCI Express 3.0 lanes and unlike the lanes coming from the processor the chipset PCIe are intended for connectivity and storage.  You will find a total of two M.2 slots on the motherboard all with different key types for different devices.  Be sure to install the drives correctly and realize that activating an M.2 slot may disable something else on the motherboard.