When it comes to high-end Intel Z690 motherboards for 12th Gen Alder Lake processors, the $2,099 MSI Meg Z690 Godlike sits on the throne. However, for those who don’t want to spend a mortgage payment on a motherboard, EVGA has just announced its Z690 Dark Kingpin, which comes in at a comparatively more affordable price of $829.99.
Since it’s at the top of EVGA’s motherboard family, we’re looking at a 10-layer PCB design and a 21-phase voltage regulator module (VRM). The Z690 Dark Kingpin only has two memory slots supporting up to 64GB DDR5-6600+. EVGA also includes two fans behind the I/O ports that blow cool air over the LGA-1700 CPU socket (which is rotated 90 degrees compared to other Z690 motherboards).
You’ll also find two PCIe 5.0 x16 slots, three M.2 PCIe 4.0 NVMe slots, two Intel I225-V 2.5GbE ports, eight SATA-III ports (six native from the Intel chipset, two from a separate ASMedia ASM1061 controller) , U.2 connector, four USB-A 3.2 ports, one USB-C 3.2 port, Realtek ALC1220 7.1 audio, one Probelt header, right-angle power connectors, two ARGB/two RGB headers, and one external antenna for the Intel AX211 Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6E module.
EVGA has also included a POST indicator on top of the E-ATX motherboard, which is joined by physical power and reset buttons. To the left of the POST indicator is a dedicated USB port for updating the BIOS. Speaking of BIOS, the Z690 Dark Kingpin has a triple BIOS (accessible with a physical switch) and a dedicated secure boot button.
The Z690 Dark Kingpin is currently available direct from EVGA, priced at $829.99. However, the first 24 hours of availability are limited exclusively to EVGA Elite Member Level. But we have a feeling that unlike the best game cards for gaming which are still incredibly hard to find in stock at MSRP, you’ll have no trouble grabbing a Z690 Dark Kingpin when sales open to the general public in the next few months. 24 hours.