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


    Onboard and Included Features

    The I/O panel is rather self explanatory and quite sparse for any motherboard.  Starting at the left you will find the combo PS/2 port and two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports next to that is on the board WiFi and a CMOS reset button.  Dual Intel Ethernet i219V and i225V 2.5GbE sit atop four USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, you’ll find another USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A and a Type-C after passing over a Mini DisplayPort socket.  Analog audio jacks complete the 6 channel audio offering with digital connections over optical.

    Onboard Audio

    The audio solution found on the Z490 Dark is a new design based on the Realtek ALC1220 system supporting 7.1 channel audio and is matched with the EVGA NU Audio application.  Like most of the high-end gaming motherboards you’ll find some specialized audio capacitors near the controller to help keep things clean.

    Sadly gone are the days of separated audio sections on the motherboard however EVGA is keeping it real by including a gold band where the separation would normally be located.

    Included Goodies

    One of the benefits to upgrading to a specialized motherboard is to get more features onboard and more accessories in the box.  The EVGA Z490 Dark comes with a number of accessories including what you see below.

    In keeping with the current NVIDIA trends the board only supports 2-Way SLI and includes a single SLI connector to match the custom length between the expansion slots.  The other items include WiFi antennas, Probe-lt test leads, four SATA cables and some paper documentation.  Drivers can be found on an included EVGA branded flash drive. 

    One of the coolest features of the EVGA Dark series of motherboards is the PCB bench table.  This wafer doubles as a visual aid for all of the components on the motherboard with the added benefit of holding your motherboard during a benchmark session.  Your expansion cards will be flopping in the wind but by golly the board will be supported allowing you to overclock like Kingpin.

    There are longer standoffs included to convert the blank PCB into a table.  Of course some assembly is required.

    Missing Manual

    While there is a quick start guide included with the motherboard and the full manual is found on the included USB drive.  For the most part you should only need USB drive twice.  Once, when installing the drivers and again when you cannot get your system running and the answer to your problem is located in the manual on page 148.