EVGA Unleashes Z690 Dark K|NGP|N Edition Motherboard: Alder Lake Goes Extremeby Gavin Bonshor on February 18, 2022 1:00 PM EST
- Posted in
- Alder Lake
- Z690 Dark
Although these long, cold, and dark nights are starting to come to an end, EVGA has launched its darkest and most devilish desktop motherboard to date, the EVGA Z690 Dark K|NGP|N Edition. Designed in collaboration with legendary extreme overclocker Vince 'K|NGP|N' Lucido, the Z690 Dark K|NGP|N Edition boasts an impressive feature set including support for DDR5-6600 memory, three PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots, eight SATA ports, and a large 21-phase power delivery to push Intel's Alder Lake to the extreme.
Built around the Intel's high-end Z690 chipset, the EVGA Z690 Dark K|NGP|N Edition isn't a conventional motherboard by any stretch of the imagination. It is based on the E-ATX form factor and has interesting design characteristics, including a transposed LGA1700 socket that allows extreme overclockers to mount LN2 pots more easily.
To make the board more robust, EVGA includes a large black metal backplate on the rear of the board to reinforce the PCB. This also includes right-angled connectors, including two 8-pin 12V ATX CPU power inputs and a 24-pin 12V ATX motherboard power input that intrudes into the PCB with a handy cutout designed to make cable management more effortless. It also includes an impressive accessories pack that features an EVGA flat test bench plate that we saw in our previous review of the EVGA Z590 Dark motherboard.
Looking at the feature set, the Z690 Dark K|NGP|N Edition includes two full-length PCIe 5.0 slots that can operate at x16 and x8/x8, with three PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots that sit in between the PCIe slots and underneath a large black finned 'Dark' branded heatsink. There are eight SATA ports for conventional storage and optical drives, six of which are from the chipset with RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 support, and two that come via an ASMedia ASM1061 SATA controller.
Even though the Z690 Dark has a solid feature set for enthusiasts, the real focus by EVGA with this model is on extreme overclocking. This includes a large 21-phase power delivery cooled by an active heatsink with two fans. It also has a 10-layer PCB throughout and contains an overclocker's toolkit in the top right-hand corner that consists of dual two-digit LED debuggers, a power button, a reset button, dip-switches to disable PCIe slots, and a slow mode switch. There's also a probe-lt header where users can monitor voltages in real-time from various components on the board, such as the CPU and power inputs.
The large black metal backplate on the rear of the EVGA Z690 Dark K|NGP|N Edition
In terms of connectivity, there's plenty on the rear panel, including one USB 3.2 G2x2 Type-C, four USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, and two USB 3.2 G1 Type-A ports. For networking, EVGA uses two Intel I225-V 2.5 GbE controllers and includes Intel's latest AX211 Wi-Fi 6E CNVi. Despite focusing on performance, EVGA has also gone with a premium audio solution, including a Realtek ALC1220 HD audio codec and an EVGA NU Audio SV3H615 headphone amplifier with five 3.5 mm audio jacks and a single S/PDIF optical output.
The EVGA Z690 Dark K|NGP|N Edition is currently available to purchase at the EVGA website for $830. However, at the time of writing, purchases are limited to one per household, and it seems as though it's only available to EVGA Elite Members at this time.
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Silver5urfer - Saturday, February 19, 2022 - linkNo it's not fine and you are wrong. This board is gutter trash. Let me explain it.
ASUS already leads all the world top ranks. Memory layout for Dual Rank and 2 DIMM slots is there on Gigabyte Aorus Tachyon, ASUS Maximus APEX, MSI Unify X.
Yes DDR4 or DDR5 this is the best way to get maximum performance. Be it high performance DRAM kits like Dual Rank for DDR4 or the new DDR5, esp with the new memory and as per Intel Datasheet DDR5 memory is best operated at Dual DIMM slot as having 4x makes the speed lower.
Now why this board is bad, first they came too late to the party like always, next is EVGA's policy of the BIOS is pathetically bad, esp the fact that TiN left the company it's all Kingpin now, and their standards have fallen have you seen their X299, Z490, Z590 having LED issues ? Next their BIOS updates are very very slow, only advantage of EVGA is the BIOS but ASUS leads them by a huge factor.
Now the board itself, there's no PCIe x4 slot, there's basically 2 x16 slots. With the super massive Z690 chipset you have ton of lanes to bifurcate and add a PLX chip with another one or a pair of x16 slots they did not, and more over you have just 3x NVMe SSD slots, this is a gigantic rip off. You have MSI, GB, ASUS have 4xM.2 slots on even old Z590 series and X570 but this big chipset has just 3x. It's inexcusable when you are paying such top dollar. On top yeah the PCH is limited which ix 4.0x8, max bandwidth. But the problem was never that even on Z390 or Z590, as many do not completely saturate the PCH bus on the Mainstream machines.
And next, the board doesn't have 10G LAN, no Thunderbolt either. Look at the I/O it's laughable piece of junk, like WTF ? You have just 6 USB-A ports and one USB C. That's pathetic. Look at Z590 Ace for instance, 10x USB ports !! Z690 Apex has 10x USB ports.
meacupla - Saturday, February 19, 2022 - linkDo you have reading comprehension issues?
I said the other makers should copy the 2 DIMM slot design with shorter traces, because DDR5 is already capable of 32GB and 64GB configurations with 2 slots, while 32GB is the optimal configuration where you will actually get faster DDR5 speeds.
Rather than having 4x DDR5 slots with long traces, and echoing, which cause poor signal quality , and poor speeds, that you are literally better off with a good DDR4 kit.
Do you know that this board is aimed at the LN2 overclocking market?
It has two PCIe 16x placed exactly like that, because the top slot can become unstable under LN2.
You should literally only buy this if you want to do LN2, which is why it's price tag is perfectly fine.
So, again, this board is priced just fine, but it does have a feature, having only two DIMM slots, that should exist on medium and lower end DDR5 boards.
Silver5urfer - Saturday, February 19, 2022 - linkYou do not even know what you are talking. As I clearly said, dude go and look at MSI Unify X, Aorus Tachyon and ASUS Apex they have 2DIMM slots only and short trace path only and geared for high Memory OC, Z390 Dark and up all of them had same thing, ASUS also same since Z390.
And as I clearly addressed your "muh LN2" Apex takes all Hwbot ranks from Cinebench, CPU frequency, and for instance top 10900K ranks and yes LN2 only since top ranks are mostly LN2, no EVGA board exists in top ranks. It's always ASUS Apex. Even below ranks EVGA is seen very less.
Again this board is not the only one which has 2DIMM slots, EVGA lost that edge a long time and MSI and GB also started doing it since Z490, Z590. Plus EVGA Z590 was a total trash board for Memory OC too (it cannot clock DDR4 at 5000MHz not even on Gear 2. Forget Gear 1. While ASUS took 5000MHz+ and Aorus Tachyon also failed at that) and esp the BIOS is garbage for 10th gen as well while Z590 ASUS and MSI do very well.
Finally this board has small x4 slot as I checked pictures again. No this board is not good for the price at all. They do not even ship a damn manual. Too overpriced, too much brand value money much more than ASUS.
sonny73n - Saturday, February 19, 2022 - linkYou're absolutely correct. EVGA is high-end wannabe. They use mediocre components for their "high-end" products to maximize profits. Nevertheless, they do have the best customer service and easy RMA. I would never want any EVGA component for my personal rigs.
Samus - Monday, February 21, 2022 - linkAnecdotal as it may be, I've come across a number of EVGA boards, and have two Z77 ITX's in service still running BlueIris DVR's (one of few ITX boards with dual Gbe at the time) and have never had a stability problem or otherwise. Great boards.
Tom Sunday - Monday, May 23, 2022 - linkI have had a great deal of luck and performance delight with EVGA products including MB’s. EVGA’s RMA service turned out to be unequaled and even better than dealing with AMAZON. I had several products where I simply changed my mind on and EVGA had no problem in taking them back. Store credit or cash return! I also check AMAZON reviews quite often and particularly the ‘verified buyer’ comments. Opinions of people who actually have the product on hand and paid for it goes a long way with me. EVGA in the reviews is usually on top. For that matter I will continue to favor EVGA (and Seasonic) simply on the fact of their continued tech-service and RMA processes. In a way it’s like people coming back from Disney World and the only thing they comment on is “Clean Restrooms!” and not the performance of the rides. Or favoring McDonalds not exactly for the food but getting the same quality served nationwide every time.
Calin - Tuesday, February 22, 2022 - link"So, again, this board is priced just fine, but it does have a feature, having only two DIMM slots, that should exist on medium and lower end DDR5 boards."
Everybody wanting that board will already have a perfectly functional workhorse (laptop or desktop) with enough RAM, enough disks, enough performance for any foreseeable task.
These boards are toys that will only run benchmark software for (hopefully) new speed records.
Just like cars - while $50,000 is very expensive for a "workhorse" car, $1,000,000 is cheap for a toy Bugatti.
firewrath9 - Tuesday, February 22, 2022 - linkMajority of the world records is held by Splave on the Aqua OC, not on the Apex. Sergmann also has the majority of the locked chips WR on the tachyon.
firewrath9 - Tuesday, February 22, 2022 - linkOn the other XOC boards (Unify-X, Tachyon, Apex, Aqua OC). are also 2 dimmers.
The dark Kingpin is the second most expensive XOC board, second only to the Aqua OC with the waterblock, and has the least amount of world records despite being sent out to several top tier overclockers such as Luumi :p
just buy the Apex or Tachyon, unless you want to deal with EVGA's bios team (aka one person) "optimizing" DDR5 just like they "optimized" for DDR4 (aka only optimized for one IC and even then several issues.
DigitalFreak - Friday, February 18, 2022 - linkThey should have just called it the Z690 E-Penis Edition.