How do you justify spending $600 on a motherboard alone? Most people don’t, but for those who are willing to pay that kind of premium, EVGA’s Z490 Dark Kingpin (because I refuse to type it as “K|NGP|N”) attempts to earn its high price by batting users over the head with overclocking amenities for their Intel Comet Lake setup, like a triple BIOS and dual DDR4 memory slots.
Wait, just two memory slots? (This is the last question I’ll ask, I promise. Cool with that?) Having just two DIMM slots is usually an indication of a small form factor (SFF) motherboard, but this one is actually bigger than even a standard ATX mobo, falling into the extended ATX (E-ATX) category, measuring 12 inches long by 10.89 inches wide (304.8 x 276.6 mm).
EVGA is not skimping on memory support to save a buck. For the most part, overclockers who chase world records often do so with just a single stick of memory, and sometimes two, but rarely more than that. In this case, the Z490 Kingpin Edition supports up to 64GB of DDR4-5000+ memory, versus 128GB of DDR4-4400+ memory on the regular model. So you get fewer DIMM slots, but a board that is tweaked to facilitate higher frequencies.
Other overclocking aids include a pair of debugging LEDs in the upper-right corner, in-BIOS stress testing, PCIe disable switches, a 10-layer PCB and 18-phase digital VRM, high quality capacitors, onboard temperature and voltage monitoring, dual probe-it connectors, and onboard clear CMOS, power, and reset buttons. There’s also a “Slow Mode” switch that will lock the CPU multiplier to the lowest possible setting, so users can switch between the maximum OC and low speeds in real time.
For general usage, the board serves up eight SATA 6Gbps ports (six of them native, the other two by way of an ASMedia controller) with RAID 0/1/5/10 support, two M.2 slots, four PCIe slots, dual LAN ports (Intel 1Gbe and Intel 2.5GbE), onboard 7.1 channel audio, and onboard Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity.
Users will also find five USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, a single USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, a mini DisplayPort, and a PS/2 combo port, along with various USB headers.
The Z490 Dark Kinpin Edition is available now direct from EVGA.