ATX12VO Takes Center Stage: Intel & MSI Prepping Power Revamp

At the onset of 2020, Intel formally unveiled the ATX12VO power supply specification, signaling a departure from the traditional support of the 3.3V and 5V outputs, to concentrate exclusively on the 12V output. Intel aspires for the ATX12VO power standard to assist desktop computers in meeting the increasingly stringent government mandates for energy consumption and environmental regulations, while simultaneously enhancing the power efficiency of the computer’s main unit.

According to a report by HardwareLuxx, Intel is planning to release new ATX12VO power supplies and motherboards, anticipated to arrive next year. Notably, the PRO B650 12VO WIFI motherboard, which is likely to be the first AMD AM5 platform product to support the ATX12VO power specification, stands out.

Moreover, MSI is also gearing up to introduce new ATX12VO power supplies and perhaps new Intel ATX12VO motherboards. The last Intel motherboard supporting ATX12VO was last year’s PRO H610M 12VO, a Micro-ATX model and an entry-level product. It was MSI’s second motherboard to support ATX12VO, following the 2021 Z590 Pro 12VO.

In the ATX12VO power specification, Intel has forsaken the traditional 24-pin connector on the motherboard, innovating a new 10-pin connector exclusively for 12V input. The existing 3.3V and 5V outputs are now handled by the motherboard, which performs the voltage conversion before outputting. This change significantly simplifies cabling for the average user. However, over time, motherboard and power supply manufacturers have generally been reluctant to adopt the ATX12VO power specification, hesitant to participate due to the need for redesigning their products, hence the slow pace of its adoption.

Currently, ATX12VO products are primarily used in OEM/ODM pre-built systems, with their presence in the DIY market being virtually negligible.