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EVGA X299 Dark (Intel X299) Motherboard Review (Page 4)

By Steven Bassiri from Jul 11, 2018 @ 10:00 CDT
TweakTown Rating: 95%Manufacturer: EVGA

EVGA X299 Dark Circuit Analysis Continued


Creative's CA0132 Core3Di audio controller is found on the motherboard along with what we believe are some amplifiers and electrolytic audio capacitors. The audio section is well separated from the rest of the system.


Two Intel NICs are on the motherboard, the first uses an i219v PHY and works with the PCH's integrated MAC to produce one of the NICs. The second is a standalone i210AT Gbit NIC. USB 3.1 is provided by an ASMedia ASM2142 controller with an ASM1543 type-C switch and CC logic chip.


An ASMedia ASM1061 is used to provide two SATA6Gb/s ports; they are even marked as legacy so I would only use them if I run out of Intel ports. The ICS 6V41742B clock generator is used for overclocking the BCLK; it's very common on X299 overclocking motherboards.


We find a Fintek F71889AD SuperIO controller on the motherboard, but we also find an NXP Kinetis 48MHz microcontroller, as well as multiple Nuvoton NCT7802Y hardware monitoring/fan control ICs. We think the Fintek controller takes care of main SIO responsibilities such as temperature monitoring, voltage monitoring, and things such as the PS/2 port on the rear IO.

However, we believe this monitoring is expanded through the use of the NXP microcontroller, and we think the microcontroller provides the ability for the system to monitor the crazy amount of voltage it does. We also believe that the microcontroller is part of the diagnostic system of the motherboard (helps with LEDs and the multi-use POST code display), and perhaps is responsible for ensuring fully monitoring support for both Kabylake-X and Skylake-X CPUs. Oh, there is a second clock generator on the motherboard, an ICSDBL0851, we think it's there to ensure stable PCI-E frequency.


We find multiple high-speed TI CDx405x switches, and they seem to be used for the hardware voltage monitoring system on the motherboard or to ensure the board works well with both Kaby and Skylake CPUs. We found similar hardware on one other X299 OC focused motherboard to expand upon normal hardware monitoring. We the motherboard's PCH gets power from similar single chip VRMs we found for the DDR4 VPP. Our 2nd and 3rd BIOS ROMs are located near the PCH.


Oddly enough we find two different brands of quick switches, well not really. The Texas Instrument ones are typical quick switches, while the Perciom ones are more complex 2-lane exchanges switches. There are many more Texas Instruments switches.

PRICING: You can find the product discussed for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:

United States: The EVGA X299 Dark, LGA 2066, Intel X299, SATA 6Gb/s, USB 3.1, USB 3.0, EATX, Intel Motherboard 151-SX-E299-KR retails for $449.44 at Amazon.

United Kingdom: The EVGA X299 Dark, LGA 2066, Intel X299, SATA 6Gb/s, USB 3.1, USB 3.0, EATX, Intel Motherboard 151-SX-E299-KR retails for £439.09 at Amazon UK.

Canada: The EVGA X299 Dark (Intel X299) Motherboard retails for $600.58 CAD at Amazon Canada.

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