EVGA announced the X299 Dark, FTW K, and Micro motherboards to prepare for the launch of Intel’s new X-series CPUs.
You might have guessed from their names that all of these motherboards feature the X299 chipset–and you’d be correct! They’re made specifically for the upcoming Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X processors, both of which require boards with the X299 chipset and LGA2066 sockets. Where the X299 Dark, FTW K, and Micro differ is in how they plan to let you take advantage of the power these many-cored and threaded CPUs have promised. (Oh, and as long as you’re curious, you should check out our review of the Intel Core i9-7900X to see if it lives up to those promises.)
EVGA said in its announcement that the X299 Dark was “designed from the ground up to be the best overclocking motherboard on the planet.” That’s why the X299 Dark features four-way SLI support, provides power to the CPU via a 14-phase digital VRM, and has a dedicated cooling solution for M.2 drives to keep them “as cool as possible under even the most stressful environments.” If you’re looking for an EVGA motherboard to combine with an X-series processor with the intention of pushing all your hardware to the limit, the X299 Dark will probably be the right choice.
The X299 FTW K is all about gaming performance…and RGB lighting. The former is addressed via support for up to 128GB of DDR4-4133 memory via eight DIMM slots and a four-layer memory T-routing design. EVGA also included a Killer NIC that “prioritizes and reduces latency to keep you at the top of your game from the first match to the last.” Then the company moved on to lighting with an RGB LED I/O cover, an RGB LED chipset heatsink, and RGB fan header support. Basically, if you want to RGB all of the things, the X299 FTW K will let you RGB all the things.
Then comes the X299 Micro. This board’s primary draw is its micro-ATX form factor, which will allow it to squeeze into smaller cases than its larger siblings. Fitting into those smaller spaces does require the X299 Micro to drop a few of the other boards’ features: it only supports two-way SLI (down from the four-way and three-way SLI of the X299 Dark and FTW K, respectively) and up to 64GB of DDR4-4133 memory across four DIMM slots. Those trade-offs could be worth it, though, if you’re more worried about case size than about overclocking or sheer gaming performance.
You can find a few more details in EVGA’s announcement of the X299 series motherboards. The company said these products are “coming soon,” but it hasn’t yet updated its website with product pages for any of these boards, nor has it revealed their MSRPs. We reached out to the company for more information and will let you know if we learn more.
EVGA isn’t the only manufacturer pumping out X299 motherboards. Gigabyte is offering three Aorus Gaming boards with the chipset, and if you pre-order by June 25 you’ll receive a free item, which changes based on your choice of retailer. MSI is also running a pre-order event for five X299 motherboards across various product lines. (Though the offer only applies to two of the motherboards; the others don’t come with any bonuses.)