The first Z590 board from EVGA to land on our test bench is the Z590 FTW WIFI. The latest version is an improvement over the last generation in many ways, including native PCIe 4.0 support (with a Rocket Lake CPU), improved power delivery, and an improved appearance, for $429.99. The FTW WIFI brings a well-equipped Z590-based board to the premium segment.
EVGA’s motherboard lineup for Z590 consists of two boards, the Z590 FTW WIFI and the flagship Z590 Dark. I miss the ITX based Stinger motherboard from a few generations back. It would be a good SKU to have as most partners offer at least one ITX option. We can’t say there’s something for everyone here (no mATX either). However, EVGA brings quality motherboards to the table in what they do have.
In terms of performance, the EVGA Z590 FTW WIFI and its default settings were slower on average than the other results. In gaming, however, it performed well, matching the other boards. Finally, our CPU reached 5.1 GHz at about 1.35 V and our RAM was running at DDR4 4000. Note, however, that the RAM is 1:2 by default with our DDR4 3600 kit. But switching to 1:1 was just a BIOS setting – no other adjustments were needed.
Overall, I like how the FTW look has changed over the past generation. While I tend to equate EVGA cards more with a “benchmarking” motherboard (function over form), the company has done a great job of adding some aesthetic improvements to the bottom half of the board, as well as the RGB element to change. The Z590 FTW comes with 1 GbE and Intel-based Wi-Fi 6, a premium (though last-generation) Realtek audio codec, three M.2 sockets, and a robust power supply. We’ll discuss these features and more below. First of all, here are the full specs of EVGA.
Specifications – EVGA Z590 FTW WiFi
|Wall outlet||LGA 1200|
|Voltage regulator||12 Phase (6+2, 90A SPS MOSFETs)|
|Video ports||(1) HDMI|
|(1) DisplayPort (v1.4)|
|USB ports||(1) USB 3.2 Gen 2×2, Type-C (20 Gbps)|
|(4) USB 3.2 Gen 2, Type-A (10 Gbps)|
|(2) USB 3.2 Gen 1, Type-A (5Gbps)|
|Network connections||(1) 2.5 Gbe|
|Audio connections||(5) Analog + SPDIF|
|PCIe x16||(2) v4.0 x16, (x16/x0, x8/x8)|
|PCIe x1||(1) v3.0 x1|
|CrossFire/SLIE||2-Way Nvidia SLI|
|DIMM slots||(4) DDR4 5100+(OC), 128GB capacity|
|M.2 slots||(1) PCIe 4.0 x4 / PCIe (up to 110mm)|
|(1) PCIe 3.0 x4 / PCIe (up to 80mm)|
|(1) PCIe 3.0 x4 / PCIe + SATA (up to 110mm)|
|SATA ports||(6) SATA3 6 Gbps *Supports RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10|
|USB headers||(1) USB v3.2 Gen 2 (Front Panel Type-C)|
|(1) USB v3.2 Gen 1|
|(1) USB v2.0|
|Fan/Pump Heads||(8) 4-pin|
|RGB headers||(2) ARGB (3-pole)|
|(2) RGB (4 pin)|
|Other interfaces||FP-Audio, TPM|
|Diagnostic panel||2-character LED|
|Internal Button/Switch||Power and reset buttons|
|Safe Boot Button|
|BIOS selector switch|
|Ethernet controller(s)||(1) Intel I219-V (2.5GbE)|
|Wi-Fi / Bluetooth||(1) Intel AX201 (WiFi-6, MU-MIMO, OFDMA, BT 5.2)|
|USB controllers||ASMedia ASM3142|
|HD audio codec||Realtek ALC1220|
Along with the motherboard, the box contains the basics, but enough to get you started. Below is a full list of all included extras. Including a USB stick for drivers instead of a CD is a nice touch, which we wish were more common.
- Quick Installation Guide
- USB stick (drivers)
- Wi-Fi antenna
- (2) SATA cables
- (3) M.2 thermal pads
- EVGA sticker
After removing the cardboard from the retail packaging, we are greeted by a vastly improved aesthetic. The familiar all-black PCB is giving way to black heat sinks and veils in critical locations. The VRM heatsink uses a finned arrangement, with a heatpipe to distribute the load between the two fin arrays. Surrounding the PCIe area is a ribbed heatsink with ‘FTW’ cutout that covers the two M.2 sockets and the chipset.
As for RGB lighting, the FTW WIFI goes back to minimum, with only the “Z590 FTW” on the IO cover illuminated. The board also includes four total RGB headers (two RGB, two ARGB) on the bottom of the board if this isn’t enough for your needs. Overall, I like the visual improvements. EVGA went from a purpose-built performer look on Z490 (and earlier) to one that looks good too, in the Z590 version.
We focus on the top half of the board and take a closer look at the plastic IO cover with the RGB lighting. A simple matte cover lets the saturated but not very bright RGB elements show through. On the right side are two EPS power connectors: an 8-pin (required) and a 4-pin (optional) that power the CPU. To its right are the first (of eight) fan headers. Strainers support up to 2A/24W power while the pump head is 3A/36W. This should be enough power to support your fans and water cooling efforts. The heatsinks with VRM fins do a great job of keeping temperatures up and looking good.
Just to the right of the socket area are four DRAM slots. The Z590 FTW supports 128 GB RAM, with speeds up to DDR4 5100+(OC). As always, your mileage may vary when reaching those speeds as it will depend on the power of the CPU and the kit you choose.
As we go along, quite a bit is happening on this part of the board. There are three additional 4-pin fan headers, the debug LED for POST troubleshooting, and a convenient USB BIOS update port. In addition, there are two buttons here: one for on/off, the other for resetting the system. The last two features are great for those using the board on an open chassis. There’s also a vertically oriented USB port, meaning you don’t have to reach around the back to the rear IO area to plug in a USB stick. For the extreme overclocker or someone who uses an open chassis, this is a great added value.
Moving to the right, you’ll find the 24-pin ATX connector, which is oriented 90 degrees from the stock orientation, in typical EVGA fashion. This makes for a cleaner look as the thick ATX cable wouldn’t stick straight up like on most other motherboards. Finally, just below the ATX connector is the USB 3.2 Gen2 port on the front panel.
The EVGA Z590 FTW WIFI uses a 17-phase power system, in what appears to be a 14+2+1 configuration. For the CPU, power is supplied through the 8-pin EPS connector(s) and sent to a Renesas ISL69269 (X+Y+Z=12) controller. Then the controller sends power to a set of phase doublers and then to 90A Renesas ISL99390 Smart Power Stages (SPS). The 1,260A available is more than you’ll ever need for ambient overclocking and is also easily capable of extreme (read: sub-ambient) overclocking.
Looking at the bottom half of the board, this is where we saw the most significant difference in appearance from the last generation FTW WIFI. Z590 adds a bit of eye candy, with large heat sinks covering the M.2 sockets and chipset. On the left, hidden under a shroud, are the Realtek ALC1220 codec and four large Rennic audio capacitors. While the last-generation audio solution will be satisfactory to all but the most discerning listeners, I would have liked to have used the 4000 series codec.
In the middle of the board we find three PCIe slots (two full-length, one x4) and three M.2 sockets, which is typical for this class of board. Starting with the PCIe slots, both full-length slots are connected to the CPU and support PCIe 4.0 using a Rocket Lake processor. The top slot is wired for x16, while the bottom is up to x8. If both slots are occupied, it breaks down into x8/x8. This configuration supports Nvidia 2-Way SLI and AMD 2-Way Crossfire. The bottom slot has PCIe 3.0 x1 speeds and connects through the chipset.
On the M.2 storage front, the EVGA has three sockets. The top is PCIe 4.0 x4 and the bottom two are PCIe 3.0 x4. The top socket supports PCIe-based drives up to 110mm, while the bottom sockets support modules up to 80mm. The middle M.2 supports both PCIe and SATA based modules, while the bottom is only PCIe. The manual does not mention lane sharing between the SATA ports and M.2, although it is not clear that there is none.
Moving to the right, we go over the chipset heat sink and end up on the right. Here we have a 90 degree USB 3.2 Gen 1 header and six SATA ports.
At the bottom of the board are several headers, including additional USB, RGB, fan headers, and more. Below is the full list, from left to right:
- Front panel audio
- (4) RGB/ARGB headers
- (3) fan heads
- (2) USB 2.0 headers
- Bios selector switch
- Safeboot Button
On the back IO area is another pre-installed IO board to match the black theme of the board. In total there are seven USB ports. From left to right are two USB 3.2 Gen1 ports, four USB 3.2 Gen2 ports (all Type-A), and a single USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C port. For video, the FTW WIFI includes a DisplayPort (v1.4) port and HDMI (v2.0). Above a set of USB 3.2 Gen2 ports is the Intel 2.5 GbE port, and next to it is the Intel Integrated Wi-Fi module. The audio stack consists of five analog ports and a single SPDIF port. There’s also a handy reset CMOS button and a legacy PS/2 mouse/keyboard port. Our only concern here is that seven USB ports may be too little for some users.
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