EVGA built a $500 decked-out motherboard for extreme overclockers

This year's CES is coming to an end, though not before EVGA rolled out a new Z390 Dark motherboard, a new competitor for the best gaming motherboard crown, for Intel processor owners. Aimed at enthusiasts with big budgets, the Z390 Dark is an extended ATX (E-ATX) motherboard with a host of high-end features and overclocking amenities.

EVGA is mainly targeting professional overclockers with this one, and extreme overclockers who aspire to set world records.

"After setting the bar with the X299 DARK, EVGA went back to work to design the next generation of motherboards designed exclusively for the world's top overclockers... or those looking to become one of the world's top overclockers. No effort was spared to improve the power design, layout, or features of the Z390 Dark," EVGA says.

Part of that is obviously marketing hyperbole, though looking over the spec sheet, the Z390 Dark isn't short on bells and whistles. Some of the features are subtle, like right-angle connectors—EVGA claims this is the first motherboard to offer both 24-pin and dual 8-pin right-angle connectors. Depending on the case, this can make it easier to route the power cables out of the way for a cleaner-looking layout.

EVGA also turned the CPU socket 90 degrees to allow the memory to run parallel to the top of the chassis. In addition, the entire 17-phase VRM sits underneath a large passive heatsink.

"This design allows for chassis airflow to pass unimpeded over the top of the power connectors, across the cpu and memory, and through the rear-panel heatsink," EVGA says.

LED diagnostics and system monitoring are part of the package, as are onboard power, reset buttons, and clear CMOS buttons. There's also a dedicated internal USB port for updating the BIOS even when there's no CPU installed, or if the PC won't boot into the BIOS.

Other features include three M.2 ports, a U.2 port, eight SATA 6Gbps ports (six native, two powered by an ASMedia chip), dual gigabit LAN ports, and reinforced PCIe slots.

All of this adds up to an premium price—it's available now for $499.99 direct from EVGA.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).