ASUS has been advocating this idea for a few months now, and although it’s not a completely new topic, the company needed time to move beyond prototypes and develop actual products, ensuring they are user-ready. The innovation, known as BTF, entails substituting front-facing connectors on motherboards with concealed connectors on the opposite side. This innovation is now expanding to GPUs, incorporating a brand-new PCIe-based connector.
The fresh connector removes the necessity for external cables, as the power is exclusively provided through the motherboard connector. Consequently, RTX 40 BTF cards, including the flagship RTX 4090 ROG STRIX, no longer feature the 12VHWPR connector. ASUS is also introducing the RTX 4070 TI SUPER from the TUF Gaming series, equipped with ASUS’s proprietary PCIe solution in place of the traditional connector.
ASUS is partnering with diverse companies to materialize this concept. It’s crucial to highlight that these graphics cards will demand dedicated motherboards with the designated connectors, and cooperation with PC chassis manufacturers is necessary to guarantee sufficient space for cabling. This concept signifies the advancement of the BTF series, now branded as “Advanced BTF,” with a focus on the GPU to eradicate visible cables.
As of now, no other GPU brand has shown endorsement for this concept, suggesting that the ASUS RTX 40 BTF series is poised to remain a niche product. The challenge lies in promoting it to gamers who might contemplate a future card upgrade. This could lead to a restricted pool of potential buyers for a pre-owned BTF GPU, particularly given the need for a specific BTF motherboard, though not entirely ruling it out.
ASUS introduced a unique concept: a specialized adapter designed to fit into the male PCIe connector on the GPU, enabling users to route the native 12VHWPR cable. It’s important to note that this adapter isn’t compatible with all motherboards; however, it is functional with Mini-ITX designs and when the GPU is vertically mounted.
The BTF concept may be more appealing to gamers who aren’t actively engaged in the DIY market or don’t regularly replace PC components themselves. It’s highly probable that ASUS and their collaborators will eventually introduce complete BTF systems. Currently, there is no information available on pricing or release dates. ASUS’s posts offer additional insights into proposed motherboard and chassis models aligned with this concept. ASUS anticipates more chassis options from Aerocool, be quiet!, Cooler Master, Corsair, Inwin, Lian Li, Phanteks, Silverstone, and Thermaltake in the first quarter, so keep an eye out for updates from these brands.