Intel Releases ATX 3.0 Power Specifications

Intel Releases ATX 3.0 Power Specifications

Intel Releases ATX 3.0 Power Specifications

Intel has released the final ATX 3.0 power specs, the biggest PSU spec change in nearly 20 years. Since then, PC hardware has changed a lot, especially the power requirements of GPUs. ATX 3.0 PSUs will be available throughout 2022.

The new standard officially introduces PCIe 5.0 graphics card support, with a new 12-pin 12VHPWR connector delivering up to 600W of power. We’ve seen Nvidia release Founders Edition cards with 12-pin connectors, but they’re not the same as the official PCIe 5.0 connectors, which include four additional sideband signals. The new connector will debut with Nvidia RTX-40 and AMD RDNA 3 cards.

The fact that the card can receive up to 600W from a single connector doesn’t bode well for future GPU power requirements. It adds weight to some of the rather silly power consumption rumours circulating on the internet. Some cards may require two connectors!

If nothing else, it will appeal to fans of clean builds. Get rid of a few 8-pin power connectors in favor of one 12-pin connector, which will definitely make cable management easier for you.

These extra signal pins mean it’s unclear if the next-gen GPUs can receive the full 600W from the current power supply via an 8-pin to 12-pin adapter. Three 8-pin connectors will provide 450W plus another 75W from the socket for a total of 525W. With that in mind, it’s advisable not to buy a high-end PSU just yet. What are the options? Four 8-pin to 12-pin adapters? This is a bit over the top.

We’ve previously written about Gigabyte’s UD1000GM power supply. It includes a 12-pin connector and four additional signal pins, but we noticed that it only supports ATX 2.31. As the introduction of PCIe 5.0 cards gets closer, we can expect clarification on 8-pin to 12-pin support.

(Image credit: Gigabyte)

In addition to PCIe 5.0 support, there is the new ATX12VO 2.0 specification, which introduces some additional features designed to provide better reliability. It brings some welcome changes to low-load efficiency, which is the weak point of today’s most efficient PSUs. Low-load efficiency improvements are designed to help the PC industry meet stricter government energy regulations. 10W or 2% of maximum capacity requires 60%+ efficiency, 70%+ recommended.

The ATX 3.0 PSU will introduce Cybernetics’ second certification standard along with the existing 80 Plus rating. Cybernetic authentication is not just for efficiency. There are also noise level certifications and associated enclosure sound insulation certifications, which are sure to help users who want a quiet build.

MSI has launched the Creator P100A and MPG Trident AS ATX12VO systems. Both feature ATX12VO 2.0 compliant PSUs.

Given these new changes, there’s no point buying a high-end power supply now unless you’re not planning to upgrade in the future. If you’re looking to upgrade to a Zen 4 or 13th Gen system with an RTX-40 or RDNA 3 GPU, a holdover would be a good option.

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Bart Thompson
Bart is's List Writer . He is from Houston, Texas, and is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in creative writing, majoring in non-fiction writing. He likes to play The Elder Scrolls Online and learn everything about The Elder Scrolls series.