MSI Project Zero Deep Dive – Are back-facing cables a good idea?

What is Project Zero?

What is Project Zero?

Project Zero is a simple idea. MSI want zero cables at the user-facing side of motherboards. That means that all of your motherboards’ connectors need to move to the rear. This change allows PC builders to create ultra-clean builds with minimal visible cables.

While Project Zero (Zero Cable) may sound like a simple idea, its implementation isn’t. Motherboards have been built with rear-facing cables for decades, and changing that requires changes to both PC case design and motherboard design. That means that we need new PC cases to make things work.

The aim of this new design scheme for PCs is to simplify PC building and to better display the aesthetic designs of new motherboards, CPU coolers, graphics cards, and other components.

Hidden Cables = Cleaner PCs

MSI showcased their first “Back-Connect” motherboards back at Computex 2023. Today we will be looking at the B650 Project Zero, though we know that similar motherboards will also be available in B760M and Z790 forms.

Below we can see what MSI’s “Zero Cable” design achieved. The only visible cables on this whole PC is the 12VHPWR cable powering its graphics card and the power cables for MSI’s CoreLiquid 360mm liquid cooler. Two cables! That’s crazy!

One thing that we will note here is that MSI’s B650M Zero Cable motherboard looks fantastic. Unlike some other “Back-Connect” motherboards that we have seen, almost all of the PCB area of this motherboard is covered. This is a slick looking motherboard from MSI, so much so that it is almost a shame that our graphics card covers so much of it up.

Mark Campbell

Mark Campbell

A Northern Irish father, husband, and techie that works to turn tea and coffee into articles when he isn’t painting his extensive minis collection or using things to make other things.

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