Hidden Connector Builds are now a thing as ASUS Unveils BTF Motherboards and Graphics Cards with Hidden Connectors

The innovative Advanced BTF (Back to the Future) solution is an easy and clean approach to PC building that keeps cables out of sight

ASUS today announced the ROG BTF and TUF Gaming BTF White ecosystems, each designed to hide cables so builders can achieve a clean and organized aesthetic with PCs built for a wide variety of scenarios. This innovation is realized through a PCIe® high-power connector on graphics cards compatible with the graphics card high-power slot on BTF motherboards.

BTF vs. Advanced BTF

The ASUS ecosystem of BTF components gives users plenty of options as they are planning a hidden-connector build. With the combination of a BTF chassis and a BTF motherboard like the TUF Gaming B760M-BTF WiFi D4, users can tuck away all the cables that connect directly to the motherboard, including the cables that supply power to it, connect 2.5-inch SATA drives, connect case fans, and connect to front-panel buttons and I/O ports.

Yet that is not quite all the cables in a modern PC build equipped with a powerful graphics card. GPUs often require more power than the PCIe x16 slot can supply, so they require users to connect a PCIe power cable. For users who prefer to hide that wire as well, ASUS offers the Advanced BTF approach. Advanced BTF motherboards include a graphics card high-power slot ready to supply all the power that a BTF graphics card needs. Users will need a graphics card with a PCIe high-power connector in order to build an Advanced BTF PC.

The high-end choice with hidden connectors: the ROG Maximus Z790 Hero BTF

ASUS is debuting two new BTF motherboards enabling hidden-connector builds, starting with the cutting-edge ROG Maximus Z790 Hero BTF. In aesthetics and specifications, this premium board takes many cues from the ROG Maximus Z790 Dark Hero. Like the Dark Hero, it bears shadowy tones, armored panels and hulking VRM heatsinks. Polymo lighting on the I/O shroud sets it all off with the perfect accent. This microstructural array of light and color features two layers of RGB lighting that work in tandem to display a luminous ROG design.

Despite the similarities among these boards, they end up looking strikingly different with the connectors and headers tucked out of sight. The armored elements of the ROG Maximus Z790 Hero BTF now extend all the way to the bottom of corners of the build. The edges are cleaner and more distinct. The Q-Code and Q-LED diagnostic features to reflect system status are a bit easier to take advantage of in their less-busy surroundings. For any builder who leans toward a less-is-more aesthetic, the ROG Maximus Z790 Hero BTF is a major step forward.

As one of the latest ROG Z790 motherboards, the ROG Maximus Z790 Hero BTF boasts a cutting-edge feature set. A PCIe 5.0 x16 slot stands ready for the best graphics of today and tomorrow, and in line with it is a graphics card high-power slot that allows users to install a BTF graphics card. Dual Thunderbolt™ 4 connectors at the rear panel stand ready to support next-generation peripherals at full speed, and ROG SupremeFX 7.1 audio paired with an ESS® ES9218 Quad DAC™ for front-panel connections provides crisp, clear gaming audio no matter what headset or speakers users plug into their PC. A USB 20Gbps connector gives users a connection to a high-bandwidth USB Type-C® port on the front panel.

A BTF motherboard with bold white accents: the TUF Gaming Z790-BTF WiFi

These days, many PC builders are leaning toward the classy, clean look of a white-themed build. ASUS already offers a lineup of white peripherals, monitors, cases, graphics cards, AIO coolers and more, but now it is ready to add a white-themed BTF motherboard into the mix. Meet the TUF Gaming Z790-BTF WiFi motherboard.

This board’s striking contrast between its premium black PCB and its white shrouds and heatsinks sets it apart from the rest. The hidden-connector design enables an upgraded and expanded M.2 heatsink, ensuring great cooling for SSDs and a bold look for a build. Even the ASUS WiFi Q-Antenna boasts a white finish, making sure that a build has a cohesive look.

PC builders trust TUF Gaming motherboards to deliver great gaming features, a ruggedized aesthetic and reliable performance. The TUF Gaming Z790-BTF WiFi charges into the fray with an enhanced power solution with 16+1+1 power stages, a six-layer PCB, ProCool sockets, alloy chokes and durable capacitors for stable power delivery. It is more than ready for a 14th Gen Intel® Core™ processor. Like the ROG Maximus Z790 Hero BTF, the TUF Gaming Z790-BTF WiFi is ready for an Advanced BTF build with its graphics card high-power slot ready to power a BTF graphics card

WiFi 7 support preps users to take advantage of the next generation of wireless networking with a compatible router, while an Intel 2.5 Gb Ethernet port provides a high-speed wired connection. Users will find an onboard USB 20Gbps Type-C port on the rear I/O panel ready to deliver blistering file transfer speeds to external storage, and a total of four PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots let users install a spacious and speedy storage array for their gaming library.

Two chassis options for a BTF build

For the most part, standard PC DIY components will work with a BTF motherboard. Users will not need specialized CPU coolers, power supplies, SSDs or RAM; but they will need a compatible chassis. Standard motherboard trays will not let users access the connectors on a BTF motherboard.

For out-of-the-box compatibility, ASUS offers two options. First is the ROG Hyperion GR701 BTF Edition. A special edition of our award-winning chassis, the ROG Hyperion GR701 BTF Edition takes the original’s premium feature set and adds motherboard tray cutouts perfectly positioned for users to access the connectors of their BTF motherboard. Like the original, it boasts outstanding cooling performance with its dual 420 mm radiator support, four 140 mm fans, and a built-in fan hub. It offers plenty of elbow room for even the beefiest of graphics cards, and it aids the build process with a 34 mm-deep cable management chamber with a 46 mm-wide routing channel.

To give the TUF Gaming Z790-BTF WiFi a perfect home, ASUS is debuting an all-new TUF Gaming chassis: the TUF Gaming GT302 ARGB. This dazzling white mid-tower chassis is ready for a BTF motherboard, and it offers a host of cooling upgrades and innovative features ready to simplify the build process.

For great out-of-the-box airflow, the TUF Gaming GT302 ARGB includes four 140 mm ARGB fans. Exceptionally thick units — 28 mm thick — ensure top-tier airflow and static pressure. Since so many builders opt for AIO liquid CPU coolers these days, ASUS is debuting a new feature with the GT302 that greatly simplifies the process of installing an AIO: The entire top panel is detachable so that users can easily install and clean the radiator.

The GT302 also offers a compelling balance of size and component compatibility. As a mid-size tower, it does not demand as much desk space as does the ROG Hyperion BTF, yet it can still comfortably accommodate ATX motherboards and high-end graphics cards with substantial cooling solutions.

BTF graphics cards ready to join the fray

Users can use a traditional graphics card or a BTF graphics card for a BTF motherboard; the PCIe 5.0 x16 slots are ready for whatever GPU users care to install. But a standard graphics card will require its usual power cable to be connected in the usual place — and that cable may stick out in a hidden-connector build. That is why ASUS has developed two BTF graphics cards: the ROG Strix GeForce RTX™ 4090 BTF Edition and the TUF Gaming GeForce RTX™ 4070 Ti SUPER BTF White Edition. Rather than using traditional 16-pin external power connectors, these cards have a PCIe high-power connector on the bottom for power transmission, a mechanism not unlike what ASUS uses in its GPU servers. (Note that while users do not need a BTF graphics card when using a BTF motherboard, if they purchase a BTF graphics card, they will need to install it in a BTF motherboard.)

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