EVGA X299 Dark Motherboard Review a Core i9 Platform for Speed


EVGA X299 Dark Motherboard Power Consumption

Power consumption can vary a significant amount depending on processors used and the number of HDDs/ SSDs/ expansion cards used. Here we test just a primary system. We test with the same graphics card and NVMe SSD in all our tests. Power is measured at the wall and the graphics card and SSD were not stress tested.

EVGA X299 Dark Power
EVGA X299 Dark Power

For our tests, we use the AIDA64 Stress test which allows us to stress all aspects of the system. We see the X299 Dark Motherboard with Intel Core i9-10980XE uses almost 100watts less when compared to X399 platforms using AMD 2990WX processors. It is competitive under load with higher-TDP platforms but at idle, the power consumption is close to the lowest we have seen.

Final Words

The EVGA X299 Dark motherboard was easy to get up and running. Installation was simple and we found the EVGA’s full UEFI GUI interface to be the best we have used so far. This is a very over-engineered platform designed for extreme overclocking. Our Intel Core i9-10980XE with water cooling has been reported to hit 5.1GHz. For users focused on per-core license costs, this can be very attractive. The EVGA X299 Dark is one of the best motherboards to use for this as it has accumulated many world records.

EVGA X299 Dark Angle View
EVGA X299 Dark Angle View

We were not a fan of the M.2 cooling cover, although it provides good cooling to the M.2 drives underneath its location means you have to take off all GPU’s to access this area. We do like the EVGA X299 Dark comes with 2x M.2 NVMe slots and 2x additional U.2 ports for a large configurations of fast NVMe storage options. That is something many of the more expensive 3rd generation AMD Threadripper platforms have missed.

At this time the EVGA X299 Dark is retailing for approximately $439.99 and the Intel Core i9-10980XE is going for around $1,000. No doubt this can be a costly platform when completely outfitted, but it is also significantly less expensive than 3rd generation AMD Threadripper and Intel Xeon W systems. You can read more about our thoughts on those platforms Analysis of Our Q4 2019 HEDT Processor Reviews.

This platform feels like a race car. It is focused on getting the maximum performance. One misses features such as a full set of eight DDR4 DIMMs for maximum capacity. Networking is wired only at 1GbE speeds. Features like Bluetooth are not present. For the market the X299 Dark is targeting, this makes a lot of sense. At the same time, buyers need to be aware that it is built like a race car and these trade-offs were made to focus on leaning the platform for performance.

If you are looking for a maximum performance X299 platform for the Intel Core i9-10980XE, the EVGA X299 Dark should be on your list for consideration.


  1. EVGA says the RAM slot layout with one DIMM per channel allows for higher clocks because even the presence of the other four slots electrically would reduce signal integrity because of electromagnetic interference.


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