Enctec’s goal with the Rev. Q270 was to create a board designed specifically with passive CPU cooling in mind (for industrial applications, to limit the build-up of dust from fans). Modern processors generate an incredible amount of heat, and simply put, they weren’t able to design a heatsink with enough surface area to keep a chip cool enough without interfering with other components on the front of the board, like the memory or PCIe slots. So, they moved the CPU socket to the back of the board and created a giant passive cooler.
I’ve had this idea in my head for years that it would be neat if a motherboard manufacturer built a board with all of the connectors on the backside of the board. It sounds foolish at first, but imagine how much more you could do in terms of cable management if everything plugged into the reverse of the motherboard.
Sure, you’d need a case with properly aligned cutouts and enough space behind the motherboard tray to accommodate the build, but that wouldn’t be too difficult to find or make yourself with a Dremel.
I haven’t yet seen a board built like this, but Linus from Linus Tech Tips just showed me that the next best thing does exist.
In his latest video about watercooling an air cooler, Linus shows off a board from Enctec called the Rev. Q270. It looks a bit pedestrian at first glance but upon closer inspection, you soon realize why – the CPU socket is on the back of the board. Weird, right?
Turns out, Steve from Gamers Nexus took a look at the same board and heatsink combo earlier this year. He tested the board with Enctec’s own Cooling Extreme HP-01 fanless heatsink, both with and without a cooling fan.
As a silent PC enthusiast and cable management fanatic, the possibilities here – on both fronts – are very intriguing. I’m still holding out hope that one day, someone will build a board with all of the connectors on the rear but for now, this will have to suffice.