Some Alder Lake-S motherboards with ATX12VO standard?
Intel expects broader support of a new power-efficient ATX12VO standard with Alder Lake-S, but neither motherboard nor power supply manufacturers are eager to participate.
The “Single Rail Power Supply Desktop Platform Form Factor ATX12VO” power standard is meant to increase the power efficiency of regular desktop power supplies. Some independent tests have shown that it can be so power-efficient that it reduces the power by half, but only when the system is idle. The ATX12VO standard does not quite offer the same power efficiency gains with the system under heavy load.
The new standard requires a motherboard with a new 10-pin power connector as well as a compatible power supply. The latter is not to feature any other power rails than 12V, which means voltages lower or higher than 12V would have to be directly converted by the motherboard itself, rather than the power supply. This increases the complexity of the motherboard.
We received an anonymous tip with a short overview of the status of the ATX12VO standard on Alder Lake-S motherboards. It outlines the process of ATX12VO adoption by motherboard and power supply makers. It confirms that if any entity is to offer ATX12VO compatible devices in time Alder Lake-S arrives, they would have to be working OEM and ODMs by the end of this month. This implies that September might indeed be the very last moment that such devices should be fully ready for the market.
We have reached out to our sources at motherboard vendors who have confirmed that Intel is indeed interested in ATX12VO becoming a more popular standard, but right now there is strong opposition from motherboard makers as well as power supply manufacturers. Most high-end gaming boards for Alder Lake are unlikely to feature ATX12VO standards. We might however see a lot more entry-level motherboards for system integrators and pre-built system suppliers who are interested in offering the best power efficiency to meet strict government power regulations.