The War on Cables was declared to be the hottest PC trend of 2023 after Computex, and at CES 2024, the concept became a reality. Asus showcased its vision for a desktop PC without visible internal cabling, known as “BTF” (Back to the Future). This wire-free initiative will launch in a few months, with major PC case vendors committed to supporting it.
The Asus BTF concept moves all major cable and power connections for components to the back of the motherboard, providing a pristine design aesthetic in the main part of the case. Another similar concept is being promoted by MSI and Maingear, called “Project Zero,” but it handles graphics card cabling differently.
Project Zero still requires routing big GPU cables directly to the standard position on the graphics card, somewhat detracting from the no-wires aesthetic. On the other hand, Asus BTF adds a proprietary, smaller 600-watt PCIe slot to compatible graphics cards and motherboards, eliminating GPU wires and fighting GPU sag.
BTF motherboards will be priced a bit higher than traditional counterparts due to the extra shrouds on the front to account for additional soldering points. Kits for BTF will be available at first to ensure unsuspecting buyers don’t accidentally purchase incompatible components.
In addition, Asus plans to roll out all-white and high-end black-and-RGB’d out kits featuring specialized motherboards and cases that match their respective GPUs’ aesthetic. The company also hopes to initiate a new revolution in custom PC building with the BTF initiative.
The BTF Alliance has been established in partnership with major PC case vendors to create cases that are fully compatible with BTF motherboards. Several brands have BTF cases in the works, with the first models expected to be announced later in the first quarter.
This recent innovation in traditional PC desktop experience is just the beginning, and the War on Cables is gaining momentum. The future of this concept and how it will be received by other PC makers and consumers remains to be seen. However, the introduction of BTF indicates an exciting shift in the traditional PC desktop experience.