Skip to main content

Cable-free GPUs are real, and they’re the future of ultra-clean PCs

An Asus GeForce RTX 4070 Megalodon graphics card seen from the rear on a table.

Asus gave us a glimpse into the future at Computex 2023 with its concept graphics card that is essentially cable-free. Instead of having any traditional 8-pin or 16-pin power connectors, the company showcased an RTX 4070 with a proprietary interface that draws power directly from the motherboard.

Reports now suggest that the company is pretty serious about the concept and is set to introduce products with the new interface later this year. According to WCCFTech, Asus has confirmed that it is working on mass-producing the “cable-free” GPU at Bilibili World 2023 exhibition in Shanghai. 

Basically, the additional PCIe-like interface slots right into a compatible motherboard and has the power connectors at the rear. So while there are power cables involved, they do not feed directly into the GPU. What this means is that you still have to deal with the cable mess (since it is now at the back), but at least you don’t have to fret about melting 12VHPWR connectors

One of the biggest things to consider here is that the cable-free GPU also needs a motherboard that supports this method of power delivery. Asus had also demoed a compatible Z790 TUF Gaming motherboard featuring all power connectors at the back. Notably, the proprietary connector on the motherboard for the GPU power delivery was labeled as “GC_HPWR”. While that name is temporary, it is crucial that Asus brings at least a handful of such motherboards if it is hoping to gain any success. It is also expected that these new GPUs and motherboards will be priced slightly higher compared to the existing ones. 

An Asus TUF Gaming Z790 BTF motherboard with hidden connectors, shown from the rear.

Having power connectors at the rear of the motherboard is not a new concept. If you remember, Gigabyte announced a refresh of Project Stealth in January that’s aimed at streamlining the process of cable management and improving airflow inside a PC case. The kit included a Z690 motherboard with connectors on the back, as well as an Nvidia RTX 3070 graphics card and a cabinet with the front panel featuring a mesh design. It is an ingenious way to keep (most) cables hidden away from sight, thus creating a system that is much cleaner and way more optimized for efficient airflow. 

All of this sounds pretty interesting, and while I am all-in for clutter-free cable management, I already have certain scenarios in my head that can be potential issues. When it comes to Asus’ concept, not only are the power connectors for the GPU being moved to the back, but they are also supplying up to 600 watts of power through the motherboard via the new interface. That doesn’t sound very pleasant, at least to me. One could easily fry their entire motherboard due to a loose connection or a faulty PSU.  

This takes me to the next problem at hand. Not all PC cases have the provision to accommodate motherboards with power connectors at the back, and I am not even talking about the m-ATX and mini-ITX categories. Even if your existing case does somehow offer the space, one has to be extra careful as you could bend or break these connectors with all the extra cabling that is usually stuffed at the back. 

It is too early to say whether these concepts will be foolproof or not, but they are definitely intriguing and could be the next step of evolution in PC building. 

Editors' Recommendations

Kunal Khullar
A PC hardware enthusiast and casual gamer, Kunal has been in the tech industry for almost a decade contributing to names like…
This ultra-durable 2TB external SSD is $115 off until tomorrow
SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD sitting next to keys.

In this day and age, everyone has some files, photos, or videos that they want to keep safe. You can do so with the SanDisk Extreme, an ultra-durable external SSD that's currently on sale from Best Buy. The 2TB model will be yours for just $110, which is less than half its original price of $225 following a $115 discount. You're going to have to hurry with your purchase though -- the offer will last until the end of the day, but we're not sure if stocks will still be available by then.

Why you should buy the SanDisk Extreme external SSD
In our SSD versus HDD comparison, the advantages of SSDs include faster speeds and improved durability. You'll enjoy both of these benefits with the SanDisk Extreme external SSD. It offers a read speed of up to 1,050 MB/s and a write speed of up to 1,000 MB/s, which may be slower than the 2,000 MB/s speed of the SanDisk Extreme Pro that appears in our list of the best external hard drives, but still quick nonetheless.

Read more
32-inch Lenovo all-in-one PC is $280 off, and cheaper than an iMac
The Lenovo Yoga AIO 9i all-in-one PC on a white background.

Even with the discounts from Apple deals, the 27-inch Apple iMac 5K is still fairly expensive. If you want something similar but at a more affordable price, you should consider the Lenovo Yoga AIO 9i, which is down to $1,600 from Lenovo following a $280 discount on its original price of $1,880. Stocks of the all-in-one PC may not last long though, so if you think it's the perfect machine for you for work or school, then don't hesitate to complete the transaction for one of the best all-in-one PC deals while the bargain is still available.

Why you should buy the Lenovo Yoga AIO 9i all-in-one PC
The main purpose of going for the all-in-one computers like the Lenovo Yoga AIO 9i is to eliminate all the clutter caused by cables, as it combines the CPU and monitor in one device. If you go for a wireless keyboard and a wireless mouse, the only cable that you'll need is the all-in-one PC's power cable. With all the free space in your desk, you'll be able to work on the Lenovo Yoga AIO 9i's 31.5-inch Ultra HD display without any distractions, so you'll be able to finish your tasks faster.

Read more
Asus ROG Zephyrus gaming laptop with an RTX 3060 is $620 off
A top down look at the new ROG Zephyrus G14.

Gamers have to be very skeptical of the laptop deals that they come across, or else they'll end up with a machine that won't be able to meet their needs. There's no hesitation with the Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 though, as it's built for the specific purpose of playing the best PC games. The gaming laptop is currently on sale from Best Buy with a $620 discount on its sticker price of $1,620, so you'll only have to pay $1,000 for this device. It's highly recommended that you proceed with the transaction right now though, as we're not sure how much time remains before the offer gets taken down.

Why you should buy the Asus ROG Zephyrus G15
Asus ROG machines are no strangers to our roundup of the best gaming laptops, including the smaller Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, so you should trust that you'll receive a top-quality device if you go for the Asus ROG Zephyrus G15. Inside it are the AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS processor and the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card, alongside 16GB of RAM that our guide on how much RAM do you need says is the best place to start for gaming. With these specifications, not only can you run today's most popular titles, but you'll also be ready for the best upcoming PC games.

Read more