Refocused EVGA Announces 'Unbelievable' Z790 Raptor Lake Motherboards For Overclockers

evga z790 dark kingpin
You've almost certainly heard the bombshell news that EVGA is leaving the graphics card business entirely over a purported personal dispute with NVIDIA. The company insists that it isn't going anywhere despite graphics cards comprising some 78% of EVGA's revenue, at least for now. Almost as if to prove that point, EVGA is among the vendors showing off motherboards for Intel's brand-new Z790 Raptor Lake platform.

There are two boards as part of the announcement: the EVGA Z790 DARK K|NGP|N, and the EVGA Z790 Classified. They differ in the details, but both boards are radically different from most motherboards on the market: they feature CPU sockets rotated 90 degrees, repositioned memory slots to accommodate, and virtually all of the connectors are edge-mounted—including not only SATA and USB plugs but also ATX power, a pair of EPS12V connectors, and even at least one fan connector.

evga z790 kingpin

While both boards are very strictly high-end products aimed at overclockers, the Classified board is probably the one most users will be more interested in. That's largely thanks to having a full four DDR5 DIMM slots, as the K|NGP|N board is limited to just two slots, owing to that model's focus on extreme overclocking. Granted, filling out all four DIMM slots will result in lower memory speeds. Whichever board you choose, you get a pair of PCIe 5.0 x16 slots, although the K|NGP|N board supports auto-switching so that you can use a GPU installed in the bottom slot at the full x16 speed if needed.

Other shared connectivity includes eight SATA ports, 2.5-Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, and 7.1 analog audio outputs. The K|NGP|N board gets an additional 10 GbE jack and three M.2 SSD slots, while the Classified model has a pair of USB Type-C ports onboard that support DisplayPort connectivity in addition to 20 Gbps USB4. "This board is unbelievable," says its namesake, Vince "K|NGP|N" Lucido.

evga z790 classified
EVGA Z790 Classified

Of course, these overclocking oriented boards have onboard diagnostic readouts, power and reset buttons, as well as ridiculously overbuilt power delivery hardware. The more modest Classified model comes with a 19-phase VRM and a 12-layer PCB, while the top-end DARK K|NGP|N gets a 14-layer PCB and a 21-phase VRM that give the board what EVGA describes as "excessive overclocking support."

newegg z790 motherboards preorder
Screenshot of Intel Z790 motherboards already up for pre-order at Newegg.

This launch is interesting, because EVGA is rarely among the first vendors to provide motherboards for new platforms. Unfortunately, EVGA neglected to provide pricing or availability information for its upcoming system platters, but you can sign up for updates if you absolutely want one as soon as they're available. Based on the feature set of these boards and the pre-order pricing of Z790 models that went up on Newegg today, we wouldn't expect them to be cheap.