Do you need to Upgrade to ATX 3.0?

If you’re looking to upgrade your PC with all the new release hardware  you no doubt have realized it will cost a pretty penny. Upgrading not only your CPU, motherboard, RAM AND Graphics Card, will send you back a bit. But, should that list also include your power supply? There’s a lot of mixed information going around right now regarding ATX 3.0. So, do you need to Upgrade to ATX 3.0?

What does a Power Supply actually do?

A Power supply or PSU,  functions to supply your PC with power. It converts power from your wall to power that can run all your components. PSUs have stayed the same for a very long time, featuring an 8 + 6 pin PCIe connector which is used to help power your GPU. This type of cable is really outdated, and actually – fun fact – wasn’t even properly designed for working with demanding GPU’s anyway! This is where the new ATX 3.0 Power supply begins to differ from the older models.

ATX 3.0

ATX 3.0 was designed by Intel with this new series of hardware in mind. With both CPUs and GPUs demanding more power, ATX 3.0 allows for more direct power straight to your GPU. This is done with the introduction of this fancy 16 pin PCIe connector called 12VHPWR. This stands for twelve volts, high power. Just from an aesthetics perspective, this is a game changer. Some of the beefier 30 series cards for example, required upwards of 3 8pin connectors to supply the card with enough power. But, with the new connector, its just one cable, and that cable is actually on the slimmer side too which is great for cable management.

It has the POWER!

While older cables could supply upwards for 150Ws of power each, the new 16 pin one can provide up to 600W. This means a your GPU can get a total of 670W of power f you count the power from PCIe slot too. Another super cool feature of the cable is the pins down the bottom. These allow for direct communication between your Power supply and your GPU, effectively like a little private chat between them. This can help your PSU know exactly how much power it needs to supply.

Lastly, ATX 3.0 features a new power excursion limiter. This is a fancy term for “it aims to prevent power spikes.”  Power spikes are essentially a momentary giant spike of power, and was a known issue with the 30 series graphics cards. The goal with ATX 3.0 is to entirely remedy that, acquiring better electronics, able to produce 2x the max rated wattage for 10 microseconds, for up to 10% of its running time. Basically, in English, these power supplies have a lot more standards to meet, to ensure constant, stable power. This is definitely a good thing, and shows Intel is actually paying attention to consumer concerns. But the down side might mean that these PSU will be more expensive, as they require more specific construction.

There are also a bunch of other features worth exploring too, such as their increased efficiency, the new certification system and faster power cycling. But that’s not what you’re here for, you’re here to know whether you need one yourself!

So, do you need to Upgrade to ATX 3.0?

Well, if you’re already busting your bank getting a full upgrade, honestly, you may as well. The increased power consumption of both the newer CPUs from AMD and graphics cards from NVIDIA really showcase how power-hungry newer components are going to be, especially on the higher end. We can only infer that going forward, this will just continue to increase so, it’s honestly a case of why not future proof? Additionally, one cable vs 3 is just an easy W for the ATX 3.0  Lastly, the quality of these ATX 3.0 PSUs are probably going to be better than their processors, meaning better power regulation and no doubt, longer lifespans. However, if upgrading isn’t on your mind, and you aren’t that fussed about future proofing your PC, it is really not a necessity right now.

That was our answer to whether you need to Upgrade to ATX 3.0!

If you have any questions, drop them in the comments below. You can also watch this article in full over on our YouTube channel if you want to hear it all too, or you could go and check out our other awesome tech content!


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