Intel’s 12th Gen Alder Lake-S processors are slated to launch in the last quarter of this year with a slew of new technologies, including a smaller process node (10nm ESF), faster core architectures (Golden Cove and Grace Mont), PCIe 5.0, DDR5, etc. However, users looking to try out the new chips will have to sink a considerable amount of their hard-earned money into upgrades: A 600 series motherboard, a CPU cooler for the newer LGA1700 socket, a DDR5 memory kit (some boards will support DDR4 too) and a new power supply with support for the newer ATX12VO rail.
The ATX12VO power connector is the most unexpected requirement. Officially known as the “Single Rail Power Supply Desktop Platform Form Factor ATX12VO” power standard, it can significantly improve the power efficiency when the system is idle. However, under full load, its benefits are much less pronounced. This means that the upcoming 600 series boards and Alder Lake compatible power supplies will need to have a 10-pin power connector instead of the traditional 24-pin connector with a 12V power rail.
This will make things unpleasant for both users and vendors as the vast majority of power supplies use the 24-pin power connector. Furthermore, if AMD doesn’t decide to adopt it in the future, it’ll mean separate power supplies for the two chipmakers (in addition to the motherboard).
However, considering this very fact, it’s very likely that the 12v rail won’t be adopted at the very beginning, and will likely take time to become widespread, much like the newer DDR5 memory. Since the power consumption under load isn’t that different with the new 10-pin connector, we should see the lower-end H610 and B660 boards take the leap first.