Intel wants to standardize more energy-efficient ATX12VO power connector for Alder Lake-S motherboards

Almost all motherboards use the classic 24-pin configuration, but Intel is keen to make a change to the 12th gen Alder Lake platform. Intel wants to make the ATX12VO power connector the standard on Alder Lake-S motherboards. In an anonymous tip to Videocardz, a slip describing the adoption of the ATX12VO power connector for the motherboard and power supplies was sent to them.

Intel wants to adopt ATX12VO power connector even though motherboard and power supply manufacturers oppose it

The ATX12VO is officially known as the “Single Rail Power Supply Desktop Platform Form Factor ATX12VO” power standard. The advantage of using this power supply is that it is more efficient than the conventional 24 pin connector. Tests have shown that this new connector can cut power in half when idle, but the energy efficiency gains are not as great as the load increases to a full load. The requirement for this is a motherboard with the correct 10-pin power connector and a compatible power supply. What this means for the motherboard design is that the 10 pin power connector will only have a 12V power rail. This means that any voltage above or below this level of 12V will have to be transformed by the motherboard. Overall, adopting ATX12VO power connector will result in more complex motherboard design for higher power efficiency. For more information on the ATX12VO power connector, read this Luxx Hardware article.

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Videocardz has worked to confirm this with its own sources and has seen that Intel is actively pursuing the adoption of the ATX12VO power connector on Alder Lake-S motherboards. However, Intel is facing strong resistance from motherboard and power supply manufacturers. The widespread implementation of the ATX12VO connector makes the design of the motherboard more complicated and adds more steps to the manufacturing of the power supplies. The note shows that 4 to 5 months would be the time it took before the necessary motherboards and power supplies were ready for sale. That lines up for September of this year.

The ATX12VO power connector is unlikely to be seen among most high-end motherboards, but may start to find its way into budget and entry-level motherboards used in prebuilt systems for the best power efficiency. The ATX12VO power connector has great advantages, but it will definitely take some time to gain wide acceptance.

Alan A. Seibert