ASUS goes all-in with hidden connector design
The company is gearing up to introduce its first RTX 40 graphics card without standard power connectors.
The BTF (Back To The Future) Alliance is a collaboration between ASUS, Thermaltake, and Silverstone. Each company has a unique role and contribution to this project, which aims to create a new standard for PC components and design. ASUS is not the first company to experiment with hidden connectors for motherboards, but it is one of the first to introduce such a design in the current market.
The company has just unveiled its TUF Gaming B760M-BTF WIFI motherboard, which is a Micro-ATX board that has all the connectors on the backside of the board. This design requires a compatible chassis and power supply, and ASUS will likely offer this board as part of a bundle with other BTF products.
The BTF series is growing fast, and ASUS has more ideas for hidden power connectors. The next step is to eliminate the GPU power cables altogether, not just hide them. ASUS has developed GC-HPWR connector that extends the PCI Express power delivery from 75W to 600W, making external power connectors unnecessary. The product that would utilize this type of design are called “Advanced BTF”.
The first GPU to feature this design is the ASUS RTX 4070 BTF, which is scheduled to launch on September 15th. However, there are some limitations, such as the availability only in the Chinese market (TX and ATS series) and the lack of supporting motherboards. The B760M TX BTF design, which will be launched soon, will solve the latter issue. However, there is no information on the availability of other models.
This power connection standard is unlikely to revolutionize the GPU industry anytime soon. It may avoid some of the issues of the new 12VHWPR standard, but it also requires a complete overhaul of the motherboard design, which is unlikely to happen beyond a limited run by ASUS. Not to mention the low resale value of such GPUs that require this connector.
ASUS TX series are not the only models that will use this connector. The company also revealed its TUF Gaming series, which is more likely to reach the global market. However, the GPU design shown here is based on the ATS-Megalodon series, which is exclusive to the Chinese market.
ASUS TX graphics cards are currently available in RTX 4060, RTX 4060 Ti and RTX 4070 models, priced at 2,789 yuan, 3,789 yuan and 5,289 yuan respectively. These cards lack said connector, so updated models may cost more. According to ASUS media, the company will launch its TX BTF series on September 15, while the TX BTF motherboard will launch a day later.