GN: Intel to push ATX12VO hard for Alder Lake

GiGaBiTe

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Hardware manufacturers (dell, hp, etc) already do strange proprietary methods of 12VO.

Yeah, and they all suck. They lock you into having to throw away the entire machine and buy a new one when the power supply does fail, and it will. I've already started seeing cries for help about it, and the only options are to buy another used one and hope it works, or do component level repair on the existing unit, assuming it's not a charcoal briquette. The latter is usually far out of the realm of experience of the average computer user, and it's definitely not something I'd recommend to the novice, dealing with high voltage switching and all. Even back before 12VO was a thing, OEM machines with proprietary PSU form factors were a big problem.

They also lock you into a path of no upgrades. Dell, HP, etc. usually spec a power supply that's on the knife edge of working and not, meaning even adding a PCIe video card that doesn't need external PCIe power connectors may cause the system to become unstable and fail. This is a VERY common issue on SFF machines. But on mid towers it's even worse. The OEM will spec multiple proprietary power supplies depending on the system configuration. So if you want to add a higher powered video card or additional drives, you often have to find the part number for the higher wattage PSU, source it and install it. Then possibly replace the logic board with a different model that has the required PCIe power connector if it's a pass-through and not coming off the PSU. Same for more hard drives or fans.

The other option if you can fit a normal ATX PSU is to rewire the harness, but this is a monumental pain in the ass to do, and voids any warranty on the ATX PSU.

I think it would be nice if they standardized. ATX12V 24pin can continue for all i care, although I cringe every time I see those 24pins and know inside that I use about half of them to their actual capabilities (and 1 of them NOT AT ALL!).

It is true that -12v is rarely used anymore. The last slot is was present on was PCI and is mostly just used for biasing. Some of the ATX power supplies used by OEMs shortly before switching over to proprietary 12VO omitted -12v entirely.

But the -12v rail only takes a couple of components inside the PSU. It's usually an LM7912 (a negative linear regulator) and one or two capacitors. I dread the day when this rail goes away because it means powering older machines will be much more difficult. Creating a negative power rail from a positive rail is a lot more difficult than just having a center tapped transformer and a negative linear regulator inside the power supply. There are buck regulators and negative charge pumps that can do this, but the output isn't as clean than a simple linear regulator.

DanNeely didn't mention anything low power in the post you quoted, so this was confusing to me.

It was obvious to me what he was talking about with the multiple secondary power rails. Most of them are low current, low voltage rails, like I was talking about with audio and the Ethernet PHY. Not everyone does board level repair though so I shouldn't have assumed everyone knew the difference.

The buck converter we use on our 12 drive SAS/SATA backplane is 12A (20A MAX). It comes in under $2 at high enough quantities. Add in all the inductors and capacitors around that, it's probably going to be under $10. Many motherboards don't need 12 drives. So I think your $20-$30 estimate is too high.
Regardless this cost would presumably (although maybe slowly?) be subtracted from the PSU which no longer needs to do this job.

I'm going on the assumption of 100% replicating the missing 5v and 3.3v rails from the power supply to the motherboard, not just the bare minimum. I don't need manufacturers deciding what I do and don't need to be doing with my system. If I lose the 20A 5v and 20A 3.3v rails from my power supply, I expect them to be provided on the motherboard with no reductions.

Motherboards already do run +12V to fans, so I think there is no difference here.

Oh there is quite a difference. In the past with cooling only fans, it wasn't an issue. But with the rise of RGB fans, some of them can pull over an amp a piece and cause damage. This is one reason fan controllers have become a thing. I in no way would want a Corsair 1000D case full of fans being routed through the motherboard. You're talking about current levels equivalent to having a second high powered video card in the system.

If you can't trust a motherboard maker to make CPU regulators then I think you are simply buying the wrong motherboards. Cheap motherboards will have cheap parts no matter what you do. It's the same with cheap PSUs.

Yeah, no.

https://www.gamersnexus.net/guides/...-guidelines-how-to-kill-cpu-with-safe-voltage

When reputable manufacturers can't even get CPU vcore right, for damn sure I'm not going to trust them to do other high power rails correctly. And this is not a recent phenomenon, I had Asus, Gigabyte and MSI boards back in the Socket A era that couldn't get it right either. I remember having to physically modify CPU power VRM circuitry on even supposedly "good" or "high end boards" because they were running vcore so out of spec. Many times this is on purpose to go along with them running the CPU out of spec to try and push their motherboard higher up the benchmark charts by squeezing just a bit more out of the CPU by running it faster. This leads to hotter running parts that wear out faster. This is still a thing today. Just look at all of the boards that ignore turbo boost guidelines that cause problems, and Intels B560 that came out that attempted to put a lid on it, only for people to complain about mysterious performance loss, when in fact it was the motherboard manufacturers being caught in their own lies.

I had one Asus board that was pushing 2.0v to an Athlon that was only supposed to be getting 1.65v, it was no wonder why the CPU had temperatures in the stratosphere. I think thermal junction of an Athlon back then was 62-65C and I couldn't get it under 75-80C at idle, which initially lead to the investigation.

Assuming that a name brand board is getting VRMs right is disingenuous and naive.
 

DanNeely

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It is true that -12v is rarely used anymore. The last slot is was present on was PCI and is mostly just used for biasing. Some of the ATX power supplies used by OEMs shortly before switching over to proprietary 12VO omitted -12v entirely.

But the -12v rail only takes a couple of components inside the PSU. It's usually an LM7912 (a negative linear regulator) and one or two capacitors. I dread the day when this rail goes away because it means powering older machines will be much more difficult. Creating a negative power rail from a positive rail is a lot more difficult than just having a center tapped transformer and a negative linear regulator inside the power supply. There are buck regulators and negative charge pumps that can do this, but the output isn't as clean than a simple linear regulator.

At this point I think the only thing still using -12V is RS-232. And while making it without access to the transformer might be somewhat harder the cost of doing so for the 1 in a thousand or so systems that actually use it would almost certainly be cheaper than the cost of the unused hardware on the other 999. Not to mention transfering the cost to the handful of customers who still need it while reducing ewaste.

It was obvious to me what he was talking about with the multiple secondary power rails. Most of them are low current, low voltage rails, like I was talking about with audio and the Ethernet PHY. Not everyone does board level repair though so I shouldn't have assumed everyone knew the difference.

I brought it up because you were acting like adding two more sets of voltage regulators to the board was going to blow up quality, but it's not going from 2 to 4, but more like 20 to 22 or 26. The higher number because, once past a transition period where they're making 99% identical boards with both 10 and 24 pin PSU power connectors I suspect that instead of routing 3.3/5v all over the board they'll make it in multiple localized spots where it's actually being consumed.

5v on the top-back for USB, 3.3v on the bottom rear close to where the PCIe slots take it in (assuming that the legacy power rail there doesn't get deprecated entirely) and M.2 slots (possible reversed so the connector side is near the back to reduce the distance the power needs to be routed.)

And then somewhere on the front edge to support SATA power; at least for the few years between now and when they drop onboard SATA support entirely. (At which point if drives haven't gone 12V only your sata card will also need to provide power.)

I'm going on the assumption of 100% replicating the missing 5v and 3.3v rails from the power supply to the motherboard, not just the bare minimum. I don't need manufacturers deciding what I do and don't need to be doing with my system. If I lose the 20A 5v and 20A 3.3v rails from my power supply, I expect them to be provided on the motherboard with no reductions.

I'm expecting it to continue going down. They've been reducing the amount of 3.3/5V provided for the past 20+ years. it used to be ~50% of the PSUs headline capacity (and I wouldn't be surprised if a higher percentage for 90s era ATX), but since the CPUs VRMs went to 12V for input power with the P4 it's been gradually going down. 100W is the current baseline on almost everything but the biggest PSUs. As usage goes down I expect the amount supplied to continue going down too. If not immediately, then when they start cutting the number of SATA ports offered/removing them entirely

Oh there is quite a difference. In the past with cooling only fans, it wasn't an issue. But with the rise of RGB fans, some of them can pull over an amp a piece and cause damage. This is one reason fan controllers have become a thing. I in no way would want a Corsair 1000D case full of fans being routed through the motherboard. You're talking about current levels equivalent to having a second high powered video card in the system.

Everything old is new again. When I started building systems you couldn't power the high speed 60/80x25 fan on your cooler off the mobo fan header (ditto if you had something exotic like a 120x25mm case fan modded in) because the mobo ports only supplied enough power for low speed case fans. 12V is the mode ubiquitusly available power on the board, they'll just have to enlarge the size of the traces/vias directly connecting to the fan headers. They've done it before, and will do it again. And if you don;t trust them, or think you can do better cable management not using the mobo headers, you'll still have 4 pin (2 wire) molex power coming off the PSU to connect fans to it directly if you want.
 

1_rick

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They lock you into having to throw away the entire machine and buy a new one when the power supply does fail, and it will.
My work PC is a Dell with their 6- or 10-pin proprietary supply, with the SATA power connectors coming off the motherboard. And it uses one of those oddly-sized PSUs featured in Gamers Nexus' recent G5 review; they've been using them for at least 3 years now, because that's how old my machine is. There were already 24-to-10-pin cable adapters when I went looking a few years ago, and they're not expensive. A bigger problem is that you can't fit a standard PSU in a Dell case now, as the standard mounting holes aren't there.
 

serpretetsky

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Yeah, and they all suck...
Dell, HP, etc. usually spec a power supply that's on the knife edge of working and not, meaning even adding a PCIe video card that doesn't need external PCIe power connectors may cause the system to become unstable and fail. ..
Sorry for cutting out a lot of your quote, i just want to keep it short. I agree with everything you said. So I think at the very least it would be nice if they standardized on the connector so you don't have to go hunting for weird adapters if you DO want to try to replace the PSU (obviously, like you point out, there are other problems, this wont fix those)


It is true that -12v is rarely used anymore. ...
I dread the day when this rail goes away because it means powering older machines will be much more difficult.
Curious, do you use this for anything other than powering old machines?

I'm going on the assumption of 100% replicating the missing 5v and 3.3v rails from the power supply to the motherboard, not just the bare minimum. I don't need manufacturers deciding what I do and don't need to be doing with my system. If I lose the 20A 5v and 20A 3.3v rails from my power supply, I expect them to be provided on the motherboard with no reductions.
It sounds like what you need is 24pin atx power connector! You should probably use that :D !


Oh there is quite a difference. In the past with cooling only fans, it wasn't an issue. But with the rise of RGB fans, some of them can pull over an amp a piece and cause damage.

Agreed with DanNeely. Just bypass the motherboard and go to the PSU if this is a problem (the same you would with ATX12V24 pin PSUs). Whats the difference?

I've been out of the overclocking loop for a long time. The failures are at stock with no overclock? If so that is definitely an issue that should be fixed. They should fix it while they add in the 5V and 3.3V regulators :p
 

defaultluser

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My work PC is a Dell with their 6- or 10-pin proprietary supply, with the SATA power connectors coming off the motherboard. And it uses one of those oddly-sized PSUs featured in Gamers Nexus' recent G5 review; they've been using them for at least 3 years now, because that's how old my machine is. There were already 24-to-10-pin cable adapters when I went looking a few years ago, and they're not expensive. A bigger problem is that you can't fit a standard PSU in a Dell case now, as the standard mounting holes aren't there.

Yeah. unfortunately, there's really no benefit to either Dell or HP to stop this proprietary bullshit , as the custom pin-outs add pennies (more than saved by the dirt-cheap mpbo))

This standard should have been rel;leased 5 years ago; today, it'sDOA
 

Lakados

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Yeah. unfortunately, there's really no benefit to either Dell or HP to stop this proprietary bullshit , as the custom pin-outs add pennies (more than saved by the dirt-cheap mpbo))

This standard should have been rel;leased 5 years ago; today, it'sDOA
Dell and HP, arent exactly using proprietary PSU's here they are following ATX12v 2.5x, so depending on the year releases .51, .52, or .53 as it was updated to meet changes in sleep mode, and energy star compliances. The 12V spec was launched in 2000 so it is by no means new, the 12VO is just a much cleaner version that removes legacy and includes the new requirements for the California Energy Commission. So this isn't DOA, HP, Dell, Lenovo, and basically any OEM who wants to sell a PC in California, or any of the EU members have their usage of the specification is cooked into their Intel agreements, otherwise, they are not producing compliant devices, and they lose the Intel support options that come along with it which isn't something they want.

And as far as replacement PSU's go I have had to replace 1, since I got these ones in 2019, which is mostly my fault I didn't have it on a battery backup and we have crap power. But it was a $70 CDN part and it arrived to the middle of nowhere BC in under a week.
 
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GiGaBiTe

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Curious, do you use this for anything other than powering old machines?

Anything with a PCI slot. Some sound cards use -12v for biasing and won't work without it. It's only been within the past few generations that PCI was completely phased out, but there are still a handful of boards that offer it for legacy compatibility.

For even older machines, I have to go hunting for older ATX power supplies made prior to 2004/2005 which still have the -5v rail. I just finished a project for a customer that involved replacing the ATX harness on an Antec SL-350 (and recapping it) with an AT P8/P9 harness and a 3 pin proprietary header used for soft start on an FMVTowns machine. The original PSU it came with was failing and grossly overloaded with the amount of things stuffed into the machine.


It sounds like what you need is 24pin atx power connector! You should probably use that :D !

Agreed with DanNeely. Just bypass the motherboard and go to the PSU if this is a problem (the same you would with ATX12V24 pin PSUs). Whats the difference?

Won't exist when 12VO takes over, if it does.

I've been out of the overclocking loop for a long time. The failures are at stock with no overclock? If so that is definitely an issue that should be fixed. They should fix it while they add in the 5V and 3.3V regulators :p

This isn't overclocking, this is stock. Motherboards at stock settings are running parts out of spec, both voltage and clock wise, and have been doing so for decades. As I already said, the incentive for doing so is to make their boards edge up higher in benchmark results. The higher they are in benchmarks, the more popular they get, and the more they sell. They have every incentive to cheat to win.
 

serpretetsky

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Won't exist when 12VO takes over, if it does.
Just plug your fan into the PSU:
https://www.overclock3d.net/reviews/power_supply/atx12vo_tested_-_the_future_of_power_supplies/2
If your PSU doesn't have extra power connectors, get a different one.

This isn't overclocking, this is stock. Motherboards at stock settings are running parts out of spec, both voltage and clock wise, and have been doing so for decades. As I already said, the incentive for doing so is to make their boards edge up higher in benchmark results. The higher they are in benchmarks, the more popular they get, and the more they sell. They have every incentive to cheat to win.
Yeah that's not good. I dont see any incentive to overvoltage +5V and +3.3V. Keeping ATX12VO from becoming a standard also doesn't fix this issue.
 

GiGaBiTe

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Just plug your fan into the PSU:
https://www.overclock3d.net/reviews/power_supply/atx12vo_tested_-_the_future_of_power_supplies/2
If your PSU doesn't have extra power connectors, get a different one.

Can only hope that PSUs will still have AMP and PCIe connectors, and don't go through the motherboard. I have a feeling that AMP connectors will be either severely limited or cut and moved to the motherboard to avoid customer confusion, since they'll no longer have the ability to put out 5v that devices powered by them require.

Yeah that's not good. I dont see any incentive to overvoltage +5V and +3.3V. Keeping ATX12VO from becoming a standard also doesn't fix this issue.

They have the cost incentive to let regulation of 5v and 3.3v be subpar. It costs a lot of money to R&D a power regulation system that can keep the voltage and ripple in spec in a system that will see an infinite variety of configurations. Plus there's extra copper in the PCB that's required, and additional EMI and crosstalk problems. Back when motherboards first started to integrate audio onto themselves, it took board manufacturers years to solve crosstalk and bus noise issues. Eventually they just started segregating all of the audio to its own part of the board with isolation, which is why you see a physical separation on the PCB between the audio section and the rest of the board. I have a feeling putting the power rails on the board will bring back such issues, because buck converters are RF blasters and require lots of filtering to clean up the output.

I'd be very concerned about ripple and voltage droop, the latter of which CPU power regulation has had problems with as long as the other issues I've pointed out. Ripple is arguably more important than the voltage being slightly out of spec, if you have AC wave forms in your DC, it's going to be very hard on the components being powered by that rail and potentially damage them or lead to a much reduced lifespan.
 

defaultluser

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Dell and HP, arent exactly using proprietary PSU's here they are following ATX12v 2.5x, so depending on the year releases .51, .52, or .53 as it was updated to meet changes in sleep mode, and energy star compliances. The 12V spec was launched in 2000 so it is by no means new, the 12VO is just a much cleaner version that removes legacy and includes the new requirements for the California Energy Commission. So this isn't DOA, HP, Dell, Lenovo, and basically any OEM who wants to sell a PC in California, or any of the EU members have their usage of the specification is cooked into their Intel agreements, otherwise, they are not producing compliant devices, and they lose the Intel support options that come along with it which isn't something they want.

And as far as replacement PSU's go I have had to replace 1, since I got these ones in 2019, which is mostly my fault I didn't have it on a battery backup and we have crap power. But it was a $70 CDN part and it arrived to the middle of nowhere BC in under a week.

I'm taking about the proprietary 6pin psu connector. more complex pin combos than standard mean your PSU might not work using a simple mechanical adapter!

the rest of the dell psu voltage spec is bog-standard
 
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[Spectre]

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Can only hope that PSUs will still have AMP and PCIe connectors, and don't go through the motherboard. I have a feeling that AMP connectors will be either severely limited or cut and moved to the motherboard to avoid customer confusion, since they'll no longer have the ability to put out 5v that devices powered by them require.



They have the cost incentive to let regulation of 5v and 3.3v be subpar. It costs a lot of money to R&D a power regulation system that can keep the voltage and ripple in spec in a system that will see an infinite variety of configurations. Plus there's extra copper in the PCB that's required, and additional EMI and crosstalk problems. Back when motherboards first started to integrate audio onto themselves, it took board manufacturers years to solve crosstalk and bus noise issues. Eventually they just started segregating all of the audio to its own part of the board with isolation, which is why you see a physical separation on the PCB between the audio section and the rest of the board. I have a feeling putting the power rails on the board will bring back such issues, because buck converters are RF blasters and require lots of filtering to clean up the output.

I'd be very concerned about ripple and voltage droop, the latter of which CPU power regulation has had problems with as long as the other issues I've pointed out. Ripple is arguably more important than the voltage being slightly out of spec, if you have AC wave forms in your DC, it's going to be very hard on the components being powered by that rail and potentially damage them or lead to a much reduced lifespan.

You are going to see a lot of crappy motherboards that cost a lot is what is going to happen for a good while. For those of us who do tech reviews that is a good thing because we get way more relevance again. For customers, well, it is a bad thing.
 

GiGaBiTe

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You are going to see a lot of crappy motherboards that cost a lot is what is going to happen for a good while. For those of us who do tech reviews that is a good thing because we get way more relevance again. For customers, well, it is a bad thing.

Yep. It's the same with any big technological transition, the new stuff is always garbage for a number of years before they at least get it mostly right.
 

Lakados

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I'm taking about the proprietary 6pin psu connector. more complex pin combos than standard mean your PSU might not work using a simple mechanical adapter!

the rest of the dell psu voltage spec is bog-standard
not proprietary, look at the 12VO mini specification
1622255252623.png
 

DoubleTap

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I don't know if you guys know this, but "Advancing Sustainability" is at the heart of everything they do!

Including making PCs the way they make them.

Can any of you say that?

1622265196152.png
 

Dk975

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Maybe Dell should approach "Advanced Sustainability" by having PCs be fixable and with components that can be swapped out when bad, instead of chucking out the whole PC. I'm not saying that just Dell does it, Apple, Samsung, HP and others. This all has to do with Right 2 Repair. Maybe the Right 2 Repair movement should bring to the table the point about the environment and how R2R would be good, so a whole PC would not become ewaste.
 

GiGaBiTe

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Maybe Dell should approach "Advanced Sustainability" by having PCs be fixable and with components that can be swapped out when bad, instead of chucking out the whole PC. I'm not saying that just Dell does it, Apple, Samsung, HP and others. This all has to do with Right 2 Repair. Maybe the Right 2 Repair movement should bring to the table the point about the environment and how R2R would be good, so a whole PC would not become ewaste.

Dell historically has actually been very sustainable in terms of keeping stuff out of landfills. They have a massive ecosystem of recyclers that refurbish their off-lease business equipment to be resold to the public, and those machines go on for sometimes decades of being used and resold many times. Getting parts for the majority of their machines is actually pretty easy and usually affordable. There are edge cases though, like their AIO machines and some laptops are sometimes hard to get parts for because they were never sold in numbers.

So even though many of their parts are proprietary, there were so many of them made that getting replacements isn't that big of a deal.

Though that is slowly changing as time goes on due to the dwindling PC market as more and more people use smart phones and tablets instead of the traditional desktop computer, and even laptops. Parts for their newer machines are a bit harder to find since the market has shrunk so much, and their newest machines are very difficult to get parts for.

This is in stark contrast to Apple who has done everything in their power to prevent any of their machines from being repaired and resold on the second hand market. From litigation to using ICE as their enforcers to label used parts as counterfeits and have them destroyed, and even suing third party repair companies and individuals to shut them down. Apple is one of the most anti-consumer companies in the world.

And even other companies in the PC space like HP, Lenovo and Acer have come nowhere close to the level of Dell in recycling old products to keep out of the landfill and eWaste streams.
 
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