The venerable ATX standard was developed in 1995 by Intel. It uses a power supply with many output voltages to motherboard. Ever since the original ATX PSU standard, the improvements have been gradual and never disruptive.
Intel has been feeling some years that it is time to update the way PC motherboards. Starting in 2019, Intel has been promoting the ATX12VO (12 V only) standard for new systems, but what is this new standard about, and will switching everything to 12 V really be worth any power savings?
Read more about INTEL’S ATX12VO STANDARD: A STUDY IN INCREASING COMPUTER POWER SUPPLY EFFICIENCY at
In the ATX12VO standard, the -12 V, 5 V, 5 VSB (standby) and 3.3 V rails are deleted. The 24-pin connector is replaced with a 10-pin one that carries three 12 V lines in addition to the new 12 VSB standby voltage rail. Essentially the mainboard would take over some of the PSU’s functions for powering those PA parts that need 5 V and 3.3 V rails. ATX12VO is a suggested standard that manufacturers and OEMs are free to adopt or ignore at their leisure.
Using 12V voltage only is not a new idea. It has been used on some industrial motherboards for a quite long time. Also Google started using 12V-only power supplies on their data centers some years ago. Lately to meet ever more stringent efficiency requirements, OEMs have been creating their own proprietary 12 V-only solutions.