PC Builds

Build a Cable-Free Gaming PC With MSI PROJECT ZERO!

MSI Project Zero PC Build

For most PC gamers, cable management has been one of the biggest sticking points within the PC building process for quite some time. With so many wires to connect and tuck away, it can be hard to keep the inside of your gaming PC looking neat and tidy.

Often, the position of the connectors is one of the major issues preventing builders from hiding those messy cables.

Luckily, MSI have developed a solution that will make it easier than ever, introducing PROJECT ZERO! By moving the connectors to the back of the motherboard, this innovation looks to make the days of messy cables a thing of the past, allowing gamers to build a cable-free gaming PC.

In this build guide, we’ll be taking you through all the parts used to configure our PROJECT ZERO gaming PC and provide insight into the performance you can expect from this system.

Main Components

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 7700X

MPI_AMD Ryzen 7 7700X

Instead of building the best gaming PC possible, we wanted to show how PROJECT ZERO will affect a larger audience of gamers by putting together a reasonably priced system that is built to last. Because of this, our CPU of choice is the AMD Ryzen 7 7700X, as it is a great value for money offering.

With a total of 8 cores and 16 threads, along with clock speeds up to 5.4GHz, this CPU has no issues running the latest games at 1440p. On top of this, the Ryzen 7 7700X can be overclocked, allowing you to optimise the performance of your gaming PC for smooth and responsive gameplay.

Key SpecsAMD Ryzen 7 7700X
CPU GenerationRyzen 7000
Base Clock Speed4.5GHz
Boost Clock Speed5.4GHz
Core Count8
Thread Count16

To top it all off, this CPU is amongst one of the more affordable CPUs capable of running games at 4K, allowing you to bump up the visual fidelity for greater immersion in AAA titles.

Buy the AMD Ryzen 7 7700X on:

$277.85 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-06-13 05:45:51 ET

CPU Cooler: MSI MAG CoreLiquid E360 WHITE

MPI_MSI MAG CoreLiquid E360 White

To keep our gaming PC cool, whilst also providing some additional flair, we’ve opted for MSI’s MAG CoreLiquid E360 WHITE. As one of the cheapest 360mm AIO coolers on the market, the CoreLiquid E360 WHITE performs well above its paygrade.

With three fans across the 360mm radiator and a 3000RPM fan pump, this CPU cooler can dissipate heat at a rapid rate, making it a suitable option to keep a high-end processor cool. On top of this, the CoreLiquid E360 WHITE runs in a quiet manner, allowing you to focus on the game.

Key SpecsMSI MAG CoreLiquid E360 WHITE
Max Pump Noise20dB
Pump Speed3000RPM
Radiator Size360mm
Number of Fans3

In terms of aesthetics, MSI’s MAG CoreLiquid E360 WHITE comes with plenty of RGB lighting, allowing gamers to add a colourful glow to this all-white build. Plus, the rotatable block head allows the design to remain upright, no matter where the cooler has been positioned.

Buy the MSI MAG CoreLiquid E360 WHITE on:

Motherboard: MSI B650M PROJECT ZERO

MPI_B650M Project ZERO Wide

Typically, motherboards rarely take the spotlight in our PC builds. However, MSI’s B650M PROJECT ZERO plays a crucial role in this gaming PC, thanks to the innovative back-connect design.

Unlike most motherboards currently on the market, which have all the connections on one side, this design places connectors on the back of the board. This makes it easier to connect components to this board, whilst also simplifying the cable management process, as the cables can be hidden in the rear chamber of the case.

Key SpecsMSI B650M PROJECT ZERO
Form FactorMicro-ATX
Memory Support128GB DDR5 7600MT/s
PCI-E x16 Slots1 x PCI-E 4.0
PCI-E x4 Slots2 x PCI-E 4.0
Rear IO1 x USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C
1 x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C
1 x USB 3.2 Gen2
1 x USB 3.2 Gen1
1 x USB 2.0
NetworkingWiFi 6E
2.5 Gigabit LAN

In terms of connectivity, this micro-ATX motherboard comes with plenty of support for the latest components, including PCI-E Gen4 lanes for graphics cards and SSDs, as well as up to 128GB of DDR5 memory. Whilst the smaller design does limit the versatility of this board when compared to ATX motherboards, the B650M PROJECT ZERO still includes all the connections needed for most gaming PCs.

RAM: Apacer Panther DDR5 RGB

MPI_Apacer Panther DDR5 RGB

For the memory, we’ve picked out Apacer’s Panther DDR5 RGB. More specifically, their 32GB kit with 6000MT/s transfer speeds, as this will provide our build with the speed needed to allow gameplay to remain swift and responsive.

As our motherboard uses the AM5 platform, it does restrict the choice of memory to DDR5 kits. Because of this, it’s worth investing in a RAM kit that is designed to last, which the Apacer Panther DDR5 RGB can provide.

Key SpecsApacer Panther DDR5 RGB
GenerationDDR5
Capacity32GB
Transfer Speeds6000MT/s
CAS LatencyCL40
RGBYes

On top of this, the silver and black colour combination on the heatsink matches the design of the B650M PROJECT ZERO motherboard. To enhance the visual appeal of this build further, the RGB lighting on the top of the DIMMs provides some additional flair to the internals of this gaming PC.

Buy the Apacer Panther DDR5 RGB on:

SSD: Samsung 990 PRO 2TB

MPI_Samsung 990 Pro 2TB

In terms of storage, Samsung’s 990 Pro is one of the best Gen4 SSDs on the market, mainly thanks to its blistering speeds. With read and write speeds of 7.45GB/s and 6.9GB/s respectively, the 990 Pro can easily run a myriad of games at the highest settings.

Key SpecsSamsung 990 Pro 2TB
PCI-E GenerationPCI-E 4.0
Capacity2TB
Read Speeds7.45GB/s
Write Speeds6.9GB/s

For this build, we’ve selected the 2TB variant, as this will provide plenty of storage to house a collection of games without having to constantly shuffle your library when a new game is released. However, the Samsung 990 Pro 2TB also comes at an affordable price point, which helps to keep the price of this build to a minimum.

Buy the Samsung 990 Pro 2TB on:

$193.95 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-06-13 05:45:51 ET

GPU: MSI RTX 4070 SUPER Gaming X Slim White

MSI’s RTX 4070 SUPER Gaming X Slim White provides an excellent blend of performance and design to our gaming PC, all for a price that doesn’t break the bank. Since launching in January 2024, the RTX 4070 SUPER has been a popular choice for 1440p gaming PCs, as the improved value proposition and DLSS integration compared to the original RTX 4070 is a welcomed addition to the GPU market.

With 12GB VRAM and clock speeds of up to 2.65GHz, the RTX 4070 SUPER is ideal for 1440p gaming, offering high frame rates for a smooth experience in competitive titles. On top of this, the improved core counts provide a significant boost to performance when DLSS is enabled.

Key SpecsMSI RTX 4070 SUPER Gaming X Slim White
Video Memory12GB GDDR6X
Bus Width192-bit
Base Clock Speed1.98GHz
Boost Clock Speed2.65GHz
CUDA Cores7168
RT Cores56
Tensor Cores224
Length307mm
Power Consumption245W

Looking at MSI’s RTX 4070 SUPER Gaming X Slim White specifically, the slender form factor and white-themed exterior makes this card the perfect option for our build. Whilst these designs are becoming more popular, white GPUs are still a fairly rare commodity. As a result, they typically come with a slighter higher price tag attached to them, but the investment is worth it for those that care about the look of their PC build.

Buy the MSI RTX 4070 SUPER Gaming X Slim White on:

$853.34 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-06-13 05:45:51 ET

Case: MSI MAG PANO M100R PZ

MSI PANO M100R PZ

Another key component to our PROJECT ZERO build is the MSI MAG PANO M100R PZ, as this is one of the few PC cases on the market to support back-connect motherboards. More specifically, this chassis is tailor made for MSI’s PROJECT ZERO motherboards, including the B650M PROJECT ZERO we’ve picked up for this build.

Working in tandem with the motherboard, this seamless glass PC case provides a truly unrestricted view of your components in all their glory. To achieve this, the MAG PANO M100R PZ adopts the vastly popular ‘fish-tank’ design that has taken over the PC building landscape in the past few years. This layout has both practical and aesthetic benefits, as the side mounted fans open up the inside chamber, allowing for plenty of clearance for components such as the GPU and PSU.

Key SpecsMSI PANO M100R PZ
Form FactorMicro-ATX
Motherboard SupportMini-ITX
Micro-ATX
GPU Clearance390mm
Radiator SupportTop: 360mm
Rear: 240mm
Fan SupportTop: 3 x 120mm
Rear: 1 x 140mm
Side: 3x 120mm
Bottom: 1 x 120mm
PSU Shroud: 2 x 120mm
Pre-Installed Fans4 x 120mm
CPU Cooler Clearance175mm
Front IO1 x USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1
1 x Audio Jack

It is worth noting that this case is restricted to supporting mini-ITX and micro-ATX motherboards, which significantly reduces connectivity options. However, as this design is intended to work alongside PROJECT ZERO, gamers that aren’t interested in PROJECT ZERO would be better off looking at other designs anyway.

Buy the MSI PANO M100R PZ on:

$109.99 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-06-13 05:45:51 ET

PSU: MSI A850GL PCIE5

MPI_MSI A850GL PCIE5

To keep our system powered up, we’ve picked out MSI’s A850GL PCIE5 as our PSU for this build. Not only does this 850W power supply provide enough firepower to allow all of our parts to run as intended, whilst also leaving room for upgrades, the A850GL PCIE5 is also one of the best value for money PSUs on the market.

This is one of the most affordable ATX 3.0 power supplies available, which in itself is a tantalising prospect for any build featuring an RTX 4000 series graphics card. But when you also throw in a fully modular design that has been awarded an 80 Plus Gold efficiency rating, the A850GL PCIE5 quickly becomes a must-have for any mid-range gaming PC.

Key SpecsMSI A850GL PCIE5
SizeATX
Wattage850W
Efficiency Rating80 Plus Gold
ModularityFully Modular
ATX 3.0Yes
Fan Size120mm
Zero-Fan ModeNo

For this build, the ATX 3.0 form factor and fully modular design will come in very handy, as it will help to minimalise the cables used to connect our components, reducing the effort needed for cable management. This is especially important for the graphics card, as being able to use a single power connector for the RTX 4070 SUPER allows our system to remain neat and tidy.

Buy the MSI A850GL PCIE5 on:

Performance

1440p, High Settings
Avg: 88FPS

Graphics Preset: Custom
V-Sync: Off
Dynamic Resolution: Off
Shadow Quality: High
Reflections: High
Crowd Density: High
Motion Blur: OFF
Upscaling: Off


1080p, Comp. Settings
Avg: 303FPS

Preset: Low
V-Sync: Off
Render Distance: Far
TSR: Off
Global Illumination: Off
Ray Tracing: Off
Effects: Low
Post Processing: Low

1440p, High Settings
Avg: 235FPS

Preset: High
FOV: 110
Anti-Aliasing: TSAA
Texture Filtering: 8x
Model Detail: High
VSync: Disabled
Ambient Occlusion: High

    1440p, High Settings
Avg: 104FPS

Preset: Recommended
V-Sync: Off
Anti-Aliasing: TAA High
Effects Quality: High
Texture Quality: High
Shadow Quality: High
Motion Blur: Off

As the results from our benchmarking suggests, this build is a great configuration for 1440p gaming. Offering impressive frame rates in both competitive and narrative-based titles, the combination of the RTX 4070 SUPER and Ryzen 7 7700X provides consistently strong results in all the latest titles.

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editor
Aled Wheeler is part of our technical writing and reviews team, focussing on PC components, console gaming and peripherals such as keyboards and monitors! With a degree in journalism and experience working for publications in the sports and gaming sectors. Aled is our in-house news and gaming writer, with his finger on the pulse of game devs around the world. Aled is currently rocking a solid mid-range gaming PC build, with a Ryzen 5000 processor and RTX 30 series graphics card.