EVGA Z690 DARK K|NGP|N Edition (DDR5)

Usually unveiled later on in Intel's chipset product cycles, EVGA has announced that it will be bringing two Z690 models to market sometime in the near future. The first of these is the EVGA Z690 Dark K|NGP|N edition, which is primarily geared towards extreme overclocking, just as previous versions have been. Unlike the Z590 Dark we reviewed, the Z690 model has been endorsed by legendary overclocker and in-house technician Vince Lucido.

Designed around the premium Intel 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 some interesting design characteristics including a transposed LGA1700 socket that allows extreme overclockers to mount LN2 pots with ease.

This also includes right-angled connectors including two 8-pin 12V ATX CPU power inputs, a 24-pin 12V ATX motherboard power input which intrudes into the PCB with a handy cutout designed to make cable management easier. To make the board more robust, EVGA includes a large black metal backplate on the rear of the board to reinforce the PCB, and 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. For conventional storage and optical drives, there are eight SATA ports, six of which are from the chipset with RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 support, as well as 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 probelt 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 is using two Intel I225-V 2.5 GbE controllers and includes Intel's latest AX211 Wi-Fi 6E CNVi. Despite a focus 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.

Colorful iGame Z690 Ultra D5 EVGA Z690 Classified (DDR5)
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  • Dahak - Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - link

    Will there be a list of DDR4 only board as well?
  • Ryan Smith - Wednesday, November 10, 2021 - link

    Yes, we're also putting together a guide for DDR4 boards.
  • jh20001 - Wednesday, December 1, 2021 - link

    Any news on the DDR4 story? Would be nice to know what model is the best for performance/features in the eyes of others.
  • Flunk - Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - link

    Intel's actually released a compelling new chipset? I'm surprised to see DDR5 and PCIe 5 support, but USB 4 seems to be notably absent, despite there being no reason at all to omit it. Intel is finally one-upping AMD after a few years of playing #2.
  • Exotica - Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - link

    Thunderbolt4 is usb4 capable…
  • CharonPDX - Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - link

    Yep, the only thing USB4 adds over "USB 3.2 2x2" is Thunderbolt support. Therefore any Thunderbolt 4 device is automatically USB4. In fact, essentially any board with "Thunderbolt 3" along with USB 3.2 2x2 basically get "USB4" status for free.
  • DigitalFreak - Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - link

    USB 3.2 2x2 is 20 Gbps. USB 4 is 40 Gbps.
  • 12345 - Wednesday, November 10, 2021 - link

    That's why they mentioned TB3. 40Gbps support is also optional for USB4.
  • 12345 - Wednesday, November 10, 2021 - link

    DP 2.0 is mandatory for USB4 so TB3 support isn't good enough.
  • KarlKastor - Wednesday, November 10, 2021 - link

    That is only the name. The question is, with what speed you can run USB devices.

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