What just happened? Asus has showcased a concept RTX 4070 graphics card that doesn't use any 16-pin (12VHPWR) or 8-pin power connector. Instead, the card draws up to 600W of power from a proprietary slot on a custom Z790 TUF Gaming motherboard. The new design moves all power connectors to the back of the motherboard and is likely to make cable management in DIY PCs much easier if adopted widely in the future.
The RTX 4070 showcased by Asus sports two PCIe connectors, including a standard PCIe Gen 4.0 x16 slot on the bottom alongside a secondary one that delivers power. As a result, the GPU needs no power cables, and the whole setup looks much cleaner than traditional PC builds that have multiple cables running from the PSU to the GPU and other components.
In terms of the card itself, it features a triple axial-tech cooling fan system and a dual-BIOS switch that lets the user switch between Performance and Quiet modes. Asus is provisionally using the 'Megalodon' branding for its new card, but says it hasn't decided whether that will be the official name for the retail product.
The motherboard used by Asus for the demo has an ATX form factor with an LGA 1700 socket, a 16+1 phase VRM delivery, 2x PCIe 4.0 x16 slots, 2x PCIe 4.0 x1 slots, and 1x PCIe 4.0 x4 slot. It also houses three 8-Pin connectors and a single 12VHPWR connector, all of which feed power directly to the RTX 4070 through the proprietary slot.
The innovative design could herald a new era of PC GPUs that will bypass power cables and instead rely on a proprietary interface to deliver power from the motherboard to the card. Unfortunately for gamers and enthusiast DIY PC builders, cable-less graphics cards are unlike to become commonplace any time soon, as they require custom motherboards to power them.
Asus is planning to release both the custom motherboard and the cable-less graphics cards later this year, and according to the report, they should be available for purchase globally. The company didn't reveal the prices for either the card or the mobo, but said that they would be a bit higher than the standard offerings.
Potential buyers should note that the modified motherboard will support all standard GPUs, but a connector-less card will only work on custom motherboards. The system will also require a redesigned case to support the rear-facing connectors, meaning people wanting to buy a new cable-free graphics card from Asus will have to invest in other components as well.