When it comes to over-the-top Intel Z690 motherboards for 12th-Gen Alder Lake processors, the $2,099 MSI Meg Z690 Godlike sits on the throne. However, for those that don’t want to spend a mortgage payment on a motherboard, EVGA just announced its Z690 Dark Kingpin, which comes in at a comparatively more affordable price of $829.99.
Given that it sits at the top of EVGA’s motherboard family, we’re looking at a 10-layer PCB design and a 21-phase voltage regulation module (VRM). Z690 Dark Kingpin has just two memory slots supporting up to 64GB of DDR5-6600+. EVGA also includes dual fans behind the I/O ports that blow cool air across the LGA-1700 CPU socket (which is rotated 90 degrees compared to other Z690 motherboards).
You’ll also find dual PCIe 5.0 x16 slots, triple M.2 PCIe 4.0 NVMe slots, dual Intel I225-V 2.5 GbE ports, eight SATA-III ports (six native to 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, a Probelt header, right-angle power connectors, two ARGB/two RGB headers, and an external antenna for the Intel AX211 Bluetooth 5.2 and WiFi 6E module.
EVGA also included a POST indicator at the 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 the BIOS, the Z690 Dark Kingpin features triple-BIOS (which can be accessed with a physical switch) and a dedicated Safe 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’s Elite Member tier. But we have the feeling that unlike the best gaming cards for gaming which are still incredibly difficult to find in stock at MSRP, you won’t have any trouble grabbing a Z690 Dark Kingpin when sales open to the general public within the next 24 hours.