Visual Inspection

Opting for a unique and unconventional set of design characteristics, the EVGA Z590 Dark is primarily geared for extreme overclocking. This includes a transposed LGA1200 socket with plenty of space for users to mount an LN2 pot, as well as adopting right-angled connectors throughout, including power connectors and fan headers. Looking at fan headers, there are six in total, with two designated for CPU fans and six for chassis fans or water pumps. EVGA includes an RGB LED logo on the rear panel cover, with two ARGB and two RGB headers onboard for users to add external LED strips.

Dominating the lower portion of the board is a set of large black heatsinks and the board's PCIe slots. EVGA includes two full-length PCIe 4.0 slots that can operate at x16 and x8/x8, with one half-length slot electronically locked down to PCIe 3.0 x4. In between the full-length slots is a trio of M.2 slots, one with support for super-fast PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe drives, one limited to PCIe 3.0 x4, and the other limited to PCIe 3.0 x4/SATA. The third M.2 slot shares bandwidth with the bottom full-length PCIe 3.0 x4/SATA slot. 

Other storage options include one PCIe 3.0 x4 U.2 slot for stackable storage and eight SATA ports. Six of the SATA ports support Intel RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays, while an ASMedia ASM1061 SATA controller powers the other two.

Looking at DRAM support, the EVGA Z590 Dark has two horizontally mounted memory slots above the LGA1200 socket, which is designed to bolster the overclocking ability. The two memory slots can support up to DDR4-5333 out of the box with a maximum capacity of up to 64 GB. Not only this, but it allows extreme overclockers better access to the CPU socket.

EVGA also includes an extensive overclocker's toolkit, which is primarily located along the top edge of the board. A power and reset button pairing is included, with a 3-way BIOS selector switch as the Z590 Dark comes with three BIOS ROM chips. Also included is a set of PCIe dip switches that allow users to enable or disable them, as well as a small clear CMOS button.

Focusing on the power delivery on the EVGA Z590 Dark, it is equipped with a sizable 21-phase power delivery which is split into 16+1+1. There are sixteen Renesas ISL99390 90 A smart power stages dedicated to the CPU VCore, which are doubled up using eight Renesas ISL6617 doublers. This means the CPU VCore section is technically an 8-phase design, so the power delivery operates at 8+1+1. This is a slight stretch labeling it as 21-phases. In essence, it is, but the CPU VCore is using a doubled 8-phase design.

EVGA also includes a pair of ON Semiconductor NTMFS4C05N high side and NTMFS4C10N low side MOSFETs for the VCCIO2 voltage, one Renesas ISL99360 60 A power stage for the  VCCSA, one and one ISL99360 A power stage for VDDR voltage. Overall it's a pretty comprehensive power delivery and one that has been designed with extreme overclocking in mind. The CPU socket also uses the flatter tantalum capacitors, which stop obstructions when mounting an LN2 pot.

Keeping the power delivery cool is a large pair of heatsinks that are interconnected to the chipset heatsink via a single heat pipe. Helping keep things running cool is a pair of 40 mm cooling fans that vent the air out via the rear of the I/O shield.

The Z590 Dark uses a Realtek ALC1220 HD audio codec with an assisting EVGA NU SV3H615 amplifier for integrated audio. EVGA is also using four large yellow Bennic Bi-Polar audio capacitors, which are premium quality. The ALC1220 HD audio codec omits any EMI shielding, and EVGA uses a line of separation from the rest of the board's components.

EVGA includes one USB 3.2 G2x2 Type-C, four USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, and two USB 3.2 G1 Type-A ports on the rear panel. The Realtek ALC1220 HD audio codec and EVGA NU SV3H615 power five 3.5 mm audio jacks and S/PDIF optical output, while an HDMI 2.0b and DisplayPort 1.4 video output pairing provide integrated graphics support. Networking support consists of two RJ45 ports powered by individual Intel I225-V 2.5 GbE controllers, with an Intel AX201 Wi-Fi 6 CNVi delivers both wireless and BT 5.2 connectivity. Finishing off the rear panel is a PS/2 combo port and a small clear CMOS button.

What's in The Box

The accessories bundled with the EVGA Z590 Dark include two Probelt voltage monitoring cables, three M.2 thermal pads, and screws, as well as an Intel AX201 Wi-Fi 6 antenna set. It wouldn't be a motherboard accessories bundle without SATA cables which EVGA provides four, and an EVGA case badge and a small USB flash drive with the board's software and drivers.

EVGA also includes a printed backboard that allows users to set a system up like a test bench, which also has a visual map of the board's components. Also included are ten long standoffs and ten screws to allow users to install the motherboard onto the backboard.

  • Quick installation guide
  • Bench table stand
  • 10 x standoffs and screws
  • Intel Wi-Fi 6 antenna
  • Driver/software installation USB drive
  • 4 x SATA cables
  • 3 x M.2 thermal pads
  • 2 x Probelt OC cables
  • EVGA case badge
EVGA Z590 Dark Overview BIOS And Software
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  • gavbon - Saturday, October 16, 2021 - link

    Value is all relative to what a user is willing to spend. For extreme overclocking, that's dependant on the quality
  • Alistair - Friday, October 15, 2021 - link

    Quick! Buy it 2 weeks before it is obsolete! Hurry! ;)
  • Silver5urfer - Friday, October 15, 2021 - link

    Obsolete ? LGA1700 ADL is going to be a generation first product on DDR5 with Gear 4 and Gear 2, on top of new trash cores shoved in because of high power consumption. Plus a basic PCIe5.0 for GPU X16 only. Yeah more DMI and more lanes but questionable Intel Hardware Scheduler on top of the big little BS first adoption on top. Plus the added cost for all the new tech.

    If we follow the leaks ADL barely matches Zen 3 in SMT and perhaps in ST boost how it translates to real world ? Gotta see, RKL was also like that but came at huge power spike and not much in SMT. This new ADL has inferior cores going to magically beat in real workloads ? Nah.

    Nope this platform is not Obsolete only issue is PCIe NVMe SSD slots aren't there and must use PCIe slot and RAID them. If used with 10th gen then PCIe3.0 will be a negative on the GPU lane when used with NVMe SSDs.
  • Alistair - Friday, October 15, 2021 - link

    You can buy it using DDR4 and it is in no way inferior, if you don't want DDR5. The new big cores are just better than Rocket Lake big cores, so who cares about the small cores, those are just extra. With Intel you can even disable any cores you don't want. Why are you comparing to AMD when we are talking about Z590 being obsolete vs the latest Intel, AMD has nothing to do with my comment. A lot of funny responses in your comment.
  • Silver5urfer - Friday, October 15, 2021 - link

    It's not obsolete is the fact gauging by the performance it offers. The fact that AMD was mentioned is because on how RKL was compared to it and had ST advantage but nothing in SMT and huge power draw.

    Small cores no one cares ? Are you drunk lol. Intel is screaming from their chest that these 8x Atom trash are better than SMT cores AND the fact on how the Cinebench leaks showed it barely reaches to AMD's top SKU in the same tests. And you think disabling those small cores is going to net you the performance boost that Intel is claiming, what a pathetic joke. Those cores are needed if you disable you lose SMT Multicore advantage. Period. AND finally DDR4 is Gear 2 by default there was a latest leak saying Gear 1 is maxed out at 3600MHz probably similar or could be worse than RKL IMC.

    You took the AMD and other aspects and discarded everything related to being a new platform on top of the extra costs, done with your kind of garbo useless replies.
  • amnesia0287 - Friday, October 15, 2021 - link

    Assuming anyone will be able to actually find them in stock. I wasn’t under the impression intel had solved the silicon shortages.
  • Wrs - Sunday, October 17, 2021 - link

    Oh come on, Z590 is at higher risk of obsolescence than a typical chipset. Every CPU supported is 14nm. You could be stuck between the power hungry RKL and the soon to be two generation lag of Comet Lake. Both already have problems comparing to Ryzen.

    LGA1700 should offer you the ability to reuse ddr4. The number of technologies being added is what obsolescence is about, no? The only thing to save Z590 from obsolescence is if ADL is trash, and you simply don't know that, not from the public leaks.
  • Flying Aardvark - Sunday, October 17, 2021 - link

    That makes no sense. RKL is the fastest gaming CPU where it counts, minimum frames per second / 99th percentile.,398... Take a look for yourself. Who cares if it's 14nm? Larger process nodes have their advantages as well. Performance is what matters. If you're looking to save on energy, buy yourself a tablet. The only thing obsolete is whatever you're running in your rig today instead. Ryzen has plenty of problems, you're just not informed. Stay salty, poor boy.
  • Wrs - Sunday, October 17, 2021 - link

    Obsolescence is about what's around the corner, not what you have today. I just think buying any Z590 today is asking for buyer's remorse. Around the corner, we're expecting expanded cache Ryzens for AM4 - which may not be much except for gaming - and ADL on Z690. ADL consists of two new cores on a finer process (I consider it coequal with Zen 3's 7nm), translating to a higher overall core/thread count and cache, and ITD with all its potential game optimizations. Unless ADL has a poor showing or developers don't support ITD, won't ADL make Z590 suddenly feel lackluster? It could be a mild Pentium 4 moment.

    It's true that RKL holds pole position for most games right now. It's just that the edge over a 5800x is really small, the cost of that power budget is substantial, and many of us weigh other workloads too, including multitasking while gaming.
  • Silver5urfer - Monday, October 18, 2021 - link

    As a platform probably yes because of only I/O - PCIe3.0 for CML and RKL gettin Gen 4 but at 8C max and insane ABT power spiking and heat. In terms of performance not yet. ADL is a brand new platform and with questionable core design it's already having a lot of news around DRM, Application optimizations and etc. Why should I pay for beta testing a product ? Esp when the DDR5 is so new and PCIe5.0 barely has any effect and the whole socket longevity along with Intel Thread Director drama and Win11 shenanigans ??

    Intel clearly lost their way. RKL was the first sign of that, IMC massively downgraded on that. With ADL DDR4 is not going to run at 4000MHz C15. It's not going to happen. The leaks show max of 3600MHz just like AMD, AM4 platform has a TON of issues, I was on the verge on pulling a trigger on Crosshair 8 Dark Hero but the USB drop out, WHEA issues, random PCIe issues, million AGESA updates. FCLK instability all these are there some of them only if you push the CPU but what's the point in buying a 16C or 12C processor and shoving it in an OC capable high VRM mobos likes of Aorus Master or Xtreme etc or even the X570 DARK and run it on all stock ?

    All of these compound to one thing per my analysis, CML / RKL LGA1200 is a better mature platform to put money in for the next 5 years of it's life.

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