- Say goodbye to visible cables – Concept PC parts from MSI, Asus, and Gigabyte eliminate cables by routing connectors to the rear of the motherboard.
- Motherboards leading the way – MSI’s “Project Zero” motherboards and Gigabyte’s “Project Stealth” line already offer rear-connected motherboards, perfect for clean builds.
- Graphics cards follow suit – Some new graphics card designs, like Gigabyte’s “Project Stealth,” draw power directly from the motherboard, eliminating the need for visible power cables.
Building a PC has its ups and downs. There’s the excitement of ordering new parts and assembling your new rig, but you also have to deal with perfect cable management and, often, some starting troubles. But, the actual hardware we use to build our PCs has mostly stayed the same over the years — until now.
If you remember Computex 2023, you would have seen some concept PC parts showcased by the likes of MSI, Asus, and Gigabyte. Specifically, these were motherboards, graphics cards, and cases designed to eliminate almost all visible cables by routing all the connectors to the rear of the motherboard. In the last few months, we’ve seen these concept parts become available to buy, making it possible to achieve a cleaner build than ever and get rid of ugly cables forever.
1 Motherboards of the future
Cables? What cables?
I’ve built a lot of PCs and the number one complaint I have is that there are just too many cables crowding my view, especially if I need a clean-looking build. The best motherboards can help you create a clean build, but they only do so much. Well, this might not remain a problem for too long now. With almost every single manufacturer joining the “war on cables”, you don’t need to wait a lot longer for these futuristic motherboards to be available in retail.
These boards will work just fine for my next white-themed build with hidden cables.
In fact, rear-connected motherboards from MSI, dubbed “Project Zero”, have been widely available for about 2 months now. Supporting both AM5 and LGA 1700 sockets, these motherboards move all the connections to the back of the board. I love the black-and-white design language of these MSI boards, perfect for black as well as white-themed builds. These boards will work just fine for my next white-themed build with hidden cables.
Gigabyte is calling its invisible cables line of products “Project Stealth” and is already selling combos with motherboards, graphics cards, and cases. While I couldn’t find the individual products separately, builders targeting a mid-range Intel build with an RTX 3070 can definitely consider these combos. If you’re not one for bundles, you can wait till the second quarter of the year for Asus to start shipping its BTF (Back to the Future) line of motherboards, graphics cards, and cases.
2 Graphics cards with no cables
Getting power from the motherboard
You might think relocating all the motherboard connectors to the rear side will solve the issue of ugly cables altogether. But you’d be forgetting the huge PCIe power cable running from your high-end graphics card to your PSU. For a truly hidden-cables setup, this annoying, and often ugly, cable needs to go. And that’s exactly what some new graphics card designs are planning to achieve.
The graphics card draws all of its power directly from the motherboard.
Gigabyte’s Project Stealth comes as a DIY kit with “Stealth” variants of its popular graphics cards, motherboards, and cases. The graphics card draws all of its power directly from the motherboard through a PCIe high-power connector tucked away facing the motherboard. For now, you might feel limited by the few options and the fact that these products aren’t sold separately. But, things will only get more exciting going forward.
Asus’ BTF graphics cards will soon hit shelves. You’ll need a compatible Asus BTF motherboard but that’s about it. Other brands like Inno3D have also revealed some proprietary designs for graphics cards with the power connectors shifted to the backplate area. Which design ultimately becomes the standard, only time will tell. But I sincerely hope that this new-age, no-cables initiative doesn’t get lost to manufacturer rivarly.
3 Cases that can make it all work
The one to contain them all
If you’re going completely cable-free with a futuristic motherboard and graphics card design, you’ll also need a compatible case to make sure everything works perfectly. Fortunately, the solutions from Gigabyte, MSI, and Asus have already taken this into account, offering case designs that accommodate the new motherboards.
You might still be tempted to not go for a bundled solution, instead opting for one of the best PC cases. Well, you’ll love to know that brands like Silverstone and Enermax had already announced (back in 2023) cases that could work with different motherboard brands that shove their cables to the back. And, others like Thermaltake, Inwin, Phanteks, Cooler Master, be quiet!, Lian Li, and Aerocool have either announced products or have designs in the works.
There’s still hope for cool PC part concepts
Seeing all the traction these new motherboard, graphics card, and case designs are getting, I’m hopeful for more such concepts that keep things fresh in the PC building space. We’ve seen SSDs on GPUs, so I’m assuming anything can happen. Now, if only graphics card prices could keep coming down, we could all afford those shiny RTX effects without spending nearly a grand on the GPU alone.