top of page

Business At The Front, Party At The Back: TUF GAMING Z790-BTF Motherboad

Imagine a motherboard that has all its ports on the back. No more cable clutter or tricky positions, just a smooth and neat appearance for your PC. Sounds great, doesn’t it? That’s exactly what ASUS is offering with their TUF GAMING Z790-BTF motherboard. This innovative design features all ports on the reverse side and introduces a new GPU power connector. But the big questions remain: How does it perform? Is it versatile enough for various builds? And can it truly justify its price point? Join us in this video as we explore these questions and offer our insights on this rather unique piece of hardware. So stick around and let's begin.   

When you first take it out of the box, you’ll notice it’s cushioned with extra foam. This is to prevent any damage to the connectors on the back when placing the motherboard on a flat surface. We’ll delve deeper into those connectors a bit later. 


Now, let’s unpack what comes with this motherboard. The Z790 series board supports the latest 14th gen Intel CPUs and is compatible with the 12th and 13th Gen as well. For those who like to push the limits, it also has a bit of room for overclocking. On the front, there’s a single fan header designated for the CPU cooler. To the right, you’ll find four DDR5 memory slots, and below, there are three PCIe slots. The top slot supports PCIe Gen 5 x16, the middle is a PCIe Gen 4 x4, and the bottom is also a PCIe Gen 4 x16 slot, but it’s only wired for four lanes. 


Beneath the heatsinks, you’ll find four M.2 slots. The top one connects directly to the CPU, while the others link through the chipset. All four are PCIe Gen 4 slots, with the last one also supporting SATA mode.  


To the right of the PCIE slots we now have updated Q release button — this time, it’s a lever for the top PCIe slot. It offers a satisfying click and feels incredibly sturdy when used. 


Right underneath it is the big reason why someone might want to go with this particular motherboard and its called GC_HPWR Power Output slot. Super friendly name I know! 


This is ASUS take on PCIE High Power Connector for the graphics cards which match the “Golden Finger” on the GPU and provide up to 600W of power to the card without any unsightly cables on the front of it. I’m a fan of this clean look; it’s like the cherry on top of your setup. Just pop in a compatible card, and voila, you’re good to go. The catch? It’s fresh on the scene and exclusive to ASUS, so both the GPU and motherboard might pinch your wallet a bit more until others catch up. What’s your take on this innovation? Let us know in the comments below.  

On the underside, all the main connections are right where you’d expect them to be. It’s the simplest approach and avoids any unnecessary headaches. Flip the board, plug it in, and you’re all set. But there is another reason for this. Most case cables tend to follow a standard cable  length, so keeping connectors close to their usual spots means fewer compatibility hiccups. 


The thing that sticks out to me is the power connectors on the left. These are for that special GPU power port and here you have two choices – you can use the new 16 pin High power connector or three standard 8-pin connectors. ASUS has a warning not to connect both at the same time. Also this motherboard does not support 8-pin to 16-pin adapters so be careful here. 


Overall, the heart of this board’s appeal is the special power set-up for the GPU and cables on the back, which brings us to the two problems with back to front motherboards: price and compatibility.  


Sure, there’s a growing number of cases out there ready to embrace this back-to-front motherboard design, and we actually have a few of them in project pipeline to review – so make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss them. The problem here is not the lack of support, but rather the absence of a standard. This means case makers have to double down on their efforts to accommodate more boards, leading to more holes in cases and potential rigidity issues. So we will make sure to be checking that out in the upcoming articles.  


Now over to the 2nd problem – price. It starts with manufacturing process. This motherboard doesn't just feature the same connections on the back like most standard boards, so it’s not a straightforward comparison. Even if it were, the process of installing components on one side, then flipping to install the rest, would require a separate assembly line, adding a layer of complexity that inevitably bumps up the price. Plus, the additional connectors for power and the extra high-power traces running through the motherboard add to the cost. A quick search reveals that a similar TUF Gaming board can be found for about $90 less, and for almost the same price you can actually go up to a higher end ROG Strix motherboard. 


Which leads us well to the conclusion. For the time being, this new style of motherboard is squarely targeting the high-end market, catering to those who are willing to pay a premium for a cleaner setup with fewer visible cables. As the market evolves, it does complicate things a bit, since you’ll also need to consider cases that accommodate rear connections. However, once the industry matures and standardizes, we could see a shift. Having all cables at the back could simplify installation and, if companies can agree on a standard, prices might drop. What are your thoughts? How soon do you see this becoming the standard? We’d love to hear your perspective. Leave the comments down below.  


bottom of page, pub-6094549887784613, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0