We don’t often talk about power supplies, but Intel’s new ATX12VO spec—that’s an ‘O’ for ‘Oscar,’ not a zero—will start appearing soon in pre-built PCs from OEMs and system integrators, and it represents a major change in PSU design.
The ATX12VO spec removes voltage rails from the power supply, all in a bid to improve efficiency standards on the PC and meet stringent government regulations. But while the spec essentially removes +3.3-volt, +5-volt and -12-volt and +5-volt standby power from the PSU, they aren’t going away—they’re just moving to the motherboard. That’s the other big change, so keep reading to find out more.
Power supplies are definitely one of the more cumbersome parts of a modern PC build, so any changes there can potentially have a big impact. The new Mac Pro has really shown how a modern PC can be designed to not use ugly and annoying cabling, opting instead for various pogo pins and properly aligned connectors.
Sure, that would be much harder to accomplish in the open ecosystem of PCs, but for an easier building experience and thus potential access to a larger segment of the market, players in the PC industry would do well to come together and take a long, hard look at the Mac Pro and how to replicate some of its innovations into the wider PC industry.