Intel Introduced The New ATX 3.0 Power Supply


ATX 2.X version of the power supply have worked well since its introduction in 2003. Until March of this year, Intel introduced the ATX 3.0 power supply specification. The new 12VHPWR 16-pin interface for PCIe 5.0 graphics cards, expansion cards to provide up to 600W of power supply capacity.

The changes are so significant that future ATX 3.0 power supplies and even motherboards, CPUs, and graphics card designs are inevitably affected. NVIDIA's RTX 3090 Ti power supply is the first graphics card to support the new specification, but there are no actual ATX 3.0 power supplies listed yet, so the card comes with three 8-pin adapters.

The new specification is a collaboration between Intel and the PCI-SIG organization, so why are the two parties reinforcing the graphics card power supply so much? PCWorld spoke with Intel's Stephen Eastman, who wrote a power supply design guide about the improvements to ATX 3.0's power supply design.

--The ATX 3.0 power supply prepares for PCIe 5.0 graphics cards, ostensibly by increasing the power supply to 600W, but actually by going higher and being able to handle 3x the power consumption, or 1800W of power supply, albeit only momentarily.

The power consumption of a graphics card is not as simple as the TDP or TBP power consumption given by the manufacturer. Currently, PCIe 5.0 graphics cards are nominally powered by up to 600W, but the actual power excursion has to be taken into account, which can be interpreted as peak power consumption.

In ATX 3.0 power supplies, Intel and PCI-SIG have different power excursion requirements for different power supplies, including those over 450W, which require 3x power supply for at least 100 microseconds.

For 600W graphics cards, the ATX 3.0 power supply is to achieve 1800W instant power output, which is not possible with the current ATX power supply. It is also one of the core reasons for the ATX 3.0 power supply to power supply standards and wire overhaul.

From AMD and NVIDIA's RX 7000 and RTX 40 series graphics cards, greatly improving the power consumption of graphics card is the direction of improving performance in the future. 

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