The computer hardware world has been getting a little strange these days. Components are still expensive and, at the time of this review, there are some products that are difficult to find. Combine that with a fundamental change in how we us our DIY builds and it makes you wonder how much longer we can keep this up.
As many of you know I love motherboards, they are the foundation any system build and often dictate how you build your computer. For instance, a board with lots of expansion slots have the potential for supporting more expansion cards while boards with a powerful and efficient VRM designs can offer better support for overclocking and larger processors.
In this review we will be looking at the EVGA Z790 Dark. This motherboard supports LGA1700 Raptor Lake processors, DDR5 system memory and has been built to support modern overclocking and performance system configurations used for high-end gaming, overclocking and specialized workstations.
The EVGA Dark series has always prioritized performance and overclocking and made that a fundamental decision when it comes to UEFI features, board design and available features. Of course, we cannot expect that everyone will be using this motherboard for its intended purpose and much like owning an exotic supercar there is some joy in knowing that you have purchased the best with the option to turn things up or, simply enjoy what you have and, expect a little more from your purchase.
- Chipset – Intel Z790
- SATA – 6 Native SATA 6 Gb/s Ports, 2 from ASMedia ASM1061
- RAID 0, 1, 5, 10
- USB – USB 2.0 (2 Internal Headers + SPI to USB Type-A)
- Memory Support – 2 DIMM Dual-Channel (up to 64GB), DDR5 8000MHz+(OC)
- Capacitors – 100% Solid State
- Ethernet – 1x Marvell 10 Gigabit NIC, 1x Intel® 2.5 Gigabit NIC
- Audio – Realtek ALC1220 7.1 Channel HD Audio
- Fan Headers – 8 (2x 3A Pump, 2x CPU PWM, 4x PWM/DC)
- PCB – 14 Layers
- PCI-E Slot Arrangement – 2x16, 1x4
- NVMe Support – Yes (PCIe Gen4)
- E-ATX Form Factor
- Length: 12in - 304.8mm
- Width: 10.89in - 276.6mm
- Built for EVGA ELEET X1 Software
- EVGA Integrated Wireless Module with Intel Dual-band WiFi 6E / BT5.2 with external antenna
- EVGA Probe-It Connector
- EVGA's Latest GUI BIOS Featuring OC Robot and In-BIOS Stress Testing
- Highly-Efficient 21 Phase Digital VRM
- Intel® Optane™ Memory Ready
- Onboard ARGB Headers controlled through EVGA ELEET X1
- Onboard Clear CMOS, Power and Reset Buttons
- Onboard Temperature and Voltage Monitoring
- PCI Express® Gen 5
- Realtek 7.1 Channel HD Audio
- Reinforced PCIe slots
- SafeBoot button resets the motherboard and goes into the BIOS with last known good settings without clearing CMOS
- SPI flashing via USB allows you to flash your BIOS without a CPU
- Supports Intel Socket 1700 Processors
- Thermal Sensor header allows you to input data from external devices for more effective monitoring
- Triple BIOS Support
That is a huge list of features and while some motherboard makers like to list every single feature, I applaud EVGA for sticking with only what really matters.