One of the biggest names on the extreme overclocking scene is Vince 'K|NGP|N' Lucido, who is highly regarded as one of the best sub-zero overclockers. He is a longtime employee of EVGA, and collaborates exclusively with its hardware team to develop unique overclocking-centric hardware. The latest collaboration is the EVGA Z490 Dark K|NGP|N - a limited edition motherboard with an 18-phase power delivery designed for overclocking. There is also more conventional features such as two PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, eight SATA ports, U.2 port, with a 2.5 G Ethernet controller and Wi-Fi 6.

One of the most interesting elements on the EVGA Z490 Dark is its unconventional desktop design, with just two memory slots mounted horizontally across the top, just above the transposed LGA1200 socket. The 90-degree angle is usually done for airflow reasons with specific chassis in mind, and only two memory slots assists in memory-latency driven workloads.

The memory slots are qualified up to 64 GB of DDR4-5000, although for this board it wouldn't be a surprise to see overclockers push speeds further. The socket is also better angled for easier mounting of the large copper pots that sub-zero overclockers use with liquid nitrogen. Overclocking features for this sort of board usually extend to driving extra power, sometimes even external voltage control, as well as monitoring tools for accurate thermal and voltage measurements. 


Vince 'K|NGP|N' Lucido personally signs the packaging of each limited edition Z490 Dark

For storage there is a pair of PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, with a single U.2 port and eight SATA ports with six of these supporting RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays, while an ASMedia SATA controller powers the other two ports. Three full-length PCIe 3.0 slots operate at x16, x8/x8, and x8/x8/+4, with a secondary half-length PCIe 3.0 x4 slot.

The top right-hand corner features two 2-digit LED panels that monitor CPU voltage and temperature, with a power and reset button also added. Focusing on networking, the Z490 Dark is using a pair of Intel-based Ethernet controllers, one I225-V 2.5 GbE and one I219-V Gigabit, with an Intel AX201 providing both Wi-Fi 6 and BT 5.1 device support. The audio codec looks 'amped' as well.

The limited-edition EVGA Z490 Dark K|NGP|N model is currently available for $600 direct from EVGA, with a limit of two per household. This is $100 more expensive than the standard EVGA Z490 Dark model ($500), although the K|NGP|N variant is likely to use perhaps better binned components to ensure extreme overclocking consistency. Both models come with a 3-year manufacturer warranty.

Related Reading

Source: EVGA

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  • Oxford Guy - Wednesday, September 9, 2020 - link

    People seem able to comprehend that SLI and Crossfire are dead, likely because corporations have told them so. But, they continue to buy into the very dead overclocking thing because companies don’t want to tell them it’s dead. Baaa... Reply
  • PeachNCream - Wednesday, September 9, 2020 - link

    Overclocking satisfies an emotional desire to create differences between peoples' computers that would otherwise consist of similar components. The idea of making those changes (and selling parts that supposedly permit it) is to establish a sense of uniqueness. Most people like to stand out or feel special so overclocking helps with that need even if it offers little in the way of practical benefits. Reply
  • Spunjji - Friday, September 11, 2020 - link

    Nailed it. Reply
  • MamiyaOtaru - Monday, September 14, 2020 - link

    wish there were more boards nowadays that weren't covered in plastic junk. I mean this one has some, but not as much as a lot of them. I kinda like seeing the PCB and chips and traces and such. The "armor" covering so many new motherboards is awful looking Reply
  • Udyr - Monday, September 21, 2020 - link

    The plastic junk is there to cover a lazily designed heat sink. So instead of making a nice looking aluminum one, they just throw in whatever garbage on top to hide the ugly piece of metal Reply
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