ATX12VO PSUs promise much higher efficiency at low loads

Posted on Wednesday, Mar 11 2020 @ 11:28 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
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As you may know, Intel is pushing to introduce a new power supply standard called ATX12VO. As we reported earlier this year, ATX12VO gets rid of the 24-pin connector, and moves the 5V, 5VSB, and 3.3V power conversion to the motherboard. Besides allowing for smaller form factors and more efficient cable management, the new standard will also increase energy efficiency.

PC World has some more details about the benefits of ATX12VO. Current multi-rail (5V, 3.3V, 12V, -12V, 5VSB) power supplies aren't very efficient at low loads because the PSU sends very low current to all voltage rails. This results in an energy efficiency of just 50 to 60 percent in idle mode. By switching to a single rail design, ATX12VO can achieve 75 percent efficiency at the same DC load levels.

And while efficiency will go up, the cost of a power supply will go down, while the cost of a motherboard will go slightly up.

The downside of ATX12VO is that it's not compatible with current PSUs and motherboards. Motherboard makers seem largely optimistic about the move:
Motherboard vendors whom PCWorld tapped for comment seemed largely optimistic about ATX12VO. One told PCWorld the move would let a motherboard better manage the power sequence during boot-ups, which can get sticky when a non-standard PSU is used. With the motherboard in control of all three rails, it can better monitor and calculate power consumption, and it can reduce the risk from abnormal PSU power spikes.
ATXV12VO will first be used for OEM systems. It's unknown when or if we can expect the first DIY products.


About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.



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