EVGA’s X299 Dark motherboard can’t be any more black

You may recall that way back in May when Intel released the Core-X series of high-end desktop CPUs, EVGA announced three motherboards for the new mega-tasking CPUs. The X299 FTW-K and X299 Micro already hit the market, but EVGA held off its most hardcore, overclocker-oriented X299 motherboard until today. The X299 Dark is finally ready for prime time.

Even just by looking at this board, you can tell it's not messing around. The X299 Dark is black-on-black, devoid of gloss or glitz. There are no RGB LEDs or even any accent lighting at all. EVGA remarks (unsurprisingly) that those design choices are intentional, as the board is focused on pure performance. The mobo takes LGA 2066 CPUs up to and including the Core i9-7980XE, and it connects them to four DDR4 DIMM slots (one per channel). EVGA says you can install up to 64 GB of 4000 MT/s memory in quad-channel mode with Skylake-X processors, or 32 GB of 4133 MT/s memory with Kaby Lake-X CPUs in dual-channel mode.

Given the X299 Dark's overclocking focus, there's a whole feast of features for that crowd. Two separate sets of diagnostic LEDs, on-board power and reset buttons, and an easy-to-reach CMOS reset button are just the beginning. This board has three separate BIOS chips with a physical switch to select between them. The PCIe slots have hardware switches so that you can disable them to keep them from interfering with your overclocking efforts. You can even use PS/2 mice and keyboards if you'd rather disable the USB ports.

The design of the board has actually changed slightly since we first saw it back in May. Perhaps in response to the X299 VRM controversy in June—or perhaps due to feedback from in-house pro overclocker Kingpin—EVGA has completely revised the VRM cooling on the X299 Dark. A pair of small axial fans force air across a thick pile of micro-fins, and a heat pipe connects that radiator to another one near the I/O cluster. Given that the aforementioned Kingpin has apparently set 12 world records using this board, we suspect EVGA's cooling solution works.

A slim centrifugal fan rests over the X299 PCH and forces air through the plastic shield over the dual M.2 M-key sockets to keep speedy SSDs cool. That shield will also protect them from any blow-off shed by hot cards installed into the four steel-reinforced PCIe x16 slots. Other storage accomodations include eight SATA ports and a pair of U.2 connections. There's also an M.2 E-key socket ripe for a Wi-Fi card (not included). The X299 Dark does include a pair of Intel-powered Gigabit Ethernet connectors, though. Audio comes courtesy of a Creative Sound Core3D chip.

If you're in the market for this motherboard and somehow haven't already ordered one, you might be waiting a while. For the moment, the board is only available from EVGA's web shop, and it's an "Elite Member Exclusive." That means you have to have purchased and registered an EVGA graphics card or two other EVGA products, or barring that, put up at least 100 posts on the company's official forums. Folks so qualified can buy what is surely one of the most hardcore X299 motherboards for $500.

Comments closed
    • The Egg
    • 2 years ago

    Just the other day, I was thinking about how much I missed having 40mm fans. You know what else it could use? PATA cables.

    Hell…while we’re at it, just pull the whole chipset, and replace it with something unstable from VIA.

    • captaintrav
    • 2 years ago

    I like the little fans for VRM cooling. No way those start to make an unholy racket about 63 days after you buy the thing. /s

      • caconym
      • 2 years ago

      Yeah, that really takes me back to the bad old days.

    • Glock24
    • 2 years ago

    It’s a nice Darth Motherboard 😛

    On a more serious note, I’ll like for other manufacturers to have LED devoid models. Not everyone wants a christmas tree for a motherboard.

    • crabjokeman
    • 2 years ago

    Pffft. What a poser black board. If it was a real black board, all the I/O ports would be black. It looks like something from a box of Lucky Charms cereal back there.

      • Concupiscence
      • 2 years ago

      Submitted, [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgMf2Go-qCE&t=32s<]without further comment.[/url<]

    • Thresher
    • 2 years ago

    Is that a blender in your office?

    No, it’s just my motherboard.

    • NoWhiteKnight
    • 2 years ago

    I need a mobo like this that works with the Threadripper.

    • JosiahBradley
    • 2 years ago

    I love the cutouts for the power pins!

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 2 years ago

    I guess fans are [i<]in[/i<].

    • Concupiscence
    • 2 years ago

    “It’s like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black.”

      • morphine
      • 2 years ago

      I see you’re a man of culture as well.

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 2 years ago

      [quote=”Douglas Adams”<] "It’s the wild colour scheme that freaks me out," said Zaphod, whose love affair with the ship had lasted almost three minutes into the flight. "Every time you try and operate these weird black controls that are labeled in black on a black background, a little black light lights up in black to let you know you’ve done it." [/quote<]

      • Neutronbeam
      • 2 years ago

      I’m not buying it until they come up with something darker than black–like advanced black or ultra black or quantum negative black.

        • tazpa
        • 2 years ago

        You want Vantablack.

      • Captain Ned
      • 2 years ago

      What is this thing, some Galactic hyper-hearse??

    • Canuckistani
    • 2 years ago

    “‘It’s the wild colour scheme that freaks me out,’ said Zaphod, whose love affair with the ship had lasted almost three minutes into the flight. ‘Every time you try and operate these weird black controls that are labeled in black on a black background, a little black light lights up in black to let you know you’ve done it.’” – Zaphod Beeblebrox

    • Wirko
    • 2 years ago

    What a funny shape for a hovercraft.

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