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ATX 3.0 PSU – What are they and do you need one?

With all this power and new connectors there is a lot of new things to think about

Updated: Nov 29, 2022 9:39 am
ATX 3.0 PSU What are they and do you need one

With the upcoming new generation of graphics cards, you may have heard of a new PSU spec. We’ve seen the use of the new 16-pin 12VHPWR that will come standard in the ATX 3.0 PSU spec.

We first saw it introduced with the RTX 3090 Ti, but now we know that all the newest RTX 4000 series cards will also feature this new connector.

So we take a closer look at what this new spec entails and if, in fact, it is a necessity in your next build.

What is ATX 3.0?

The ATX specification is in fact the Advance Technology eXtended motherboard and power supply configuration developed by Intel.

Starting in 1995 it aimed to standardize parts across a PC build so it was much easier to put together all the parts. And this meant the power across the board was the same and compatibility was much better and safer.

Now ATX 3.0 was announced in February 2022. And the main change is the addition of the 16-pin 12VHPWR connector.

This new connector allows for up to 600W power delivery to a graphics card through just one connector. As opposed to the current spec that can only manage 150W per cable.

One of the ways this is achieved, is with 4 data lines. This allows the PSU and GPU to communicate and know how much power needs to be delivered with much better efficiency. Without those lines, it can only provide 450W.

GIGABYTE PCIE Gen 5 16 pin connector

Do you need an ATX 3.0 PSU?

Now if you’re planning on getting a new gen Nvidia you may consider one. We don’t know as of yet if AMD RDNA 3 will feature it but it seems like it won’t

If you are considering one of them you may be wondering if you need an ATX 3.0 PSU and strictly speaking you won’t.

It has been announced that the new cards will come with adapters. These will chain up to four 8-pin connectors into one singular cable.

However, these won’t have the benefit of communication and efficiency and working well together as the other option. As well as the recent news that some adapters have melted. It may be down to the quality but even Zotac has announced a life span of 30 uses for its adapter.

So although it may not be a necessity it might be advised. Or at least it may be worth waiting to see if any further news comes out detailing the faults. However, they also come with their own higher price tag for the new tech that may dissuade you from them as well.

ATX 3.0 FAQs

When are ATX 3.0 PSUs coming out?

Although many companies have announced their new ATX 3.0 PSUs they haven’t yet come out. It is likely they will come out before or at the same time as the new 40 series cards. This means we can expect them on or before October 12th.

How expensive are ATX 3.0 PSUs?

From the different announcements, there are some prices to go alongside it. Seasonic’s Vertex ATX 3.0 ranges from $149.99/€179 to $259.99/€309. These range from the Gold efficiency slightly cheaper to Platnum for a bit more. So this gives us the best idea of the expected pricing.

What does ATX mean in PSU?

ATX is the Advanced Technology Extended standard. Developed by Intel in 1995 it provides compatibility guidelines for your computer components. Allowing them to work together easily with power and form factor.

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