If there’s one thing PC builders from all walks of life have in common, it’s the frustration experienced at trying to make a PC’s wiring look halfway decent. Most of us start out with good intentions, but eventually end up with something resembling a rat’s nest due to the fact that all of the motherboard’s connections are on the front of the motherboard, facing the case window or side panel. But what if all those connectors were facing the opposite direction? That’s the route Gigabyte is taking with its newest PC concept, which it calls AORUS Project Stealth.
The concept, which was revealed in a tweet by Aorus France, involves moving or reversing all of the I/O and power connectors on the motherboard so that no wires are visible when peering in through a case window. Of course, doing so means the motherboard would be incompatible with existing ATX cases, so Gigabyte has also created an entirely new motherboard panel to accommodate the revamped layout as well. And since every PC needs a GPU — and they are the worst offenders with their side-facing PCIe connectors and bulky cables — Gigabyte has also fashioned a compatible GPU as well. The big change here is that all of the I/O and power cables connect from behind the motherboard now, so for example that row of USB and audio connectors that runs along the bottom of the motherboard? They are facing backwards now, same with the 24-pin ATX power, 8-pin CPU power, front panel connectors for power, reset, HDD activity, etc. The main benefit of such a design is not just a cleaner look, but the lack of wires would also improve airflow inside the chassis.
The chassis Gigabyte fashioned includes cut-outs for all of the requisite connectors, so the motherboard seemingly “plugs into” the case, allowing you to see all the connections from the back, leaving the front of the motherboard that’s visible completely wire-free. It looks like the GPU also has rear-racing PCIe connectors, though it’s not totally clear in the photos. Presumably there’s a cutout in the motherboard panel to route those thick cables to the rear of the card. Surprisingly, there’s even plugs for 3-and-4 pin fan connectors on the back of the motherboard too, as detailed by Ginjfo.com, but we would need someone to explain how a 120mm rear exhaust fan would have a cable long enough to reach, but maybe Gigabyte already thought of that.
The only issue with this entire setup is that you’d have to buy all three products to make it a successfully clean build. Obviously the motherboard and chassis are made for each other due to the cutouts for cables, but if you added a regular GPU to the mix it could be an eyesore, even if you had modded cables.
For now not much is known about this interesting project aside from the renders and photos, but sources say Gigabyte will reveal more of it at CES 2022, which is just around the corner. Count us as being onboard with this line of thinking, as the placement of connectors on modern motherboard has always made hiding wires both time consuming and frustrating, even for the most diligent PC builders. It also seems like something like this will just be a one-off effort from Gigabyte, as we doubt the industry would coalesce around the idea changing long-standing locations for all the connectors due to the costs involved. Still, it looks pretty slick at least.
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