Recently, PCWorld interviewed Intel platform power specialist Stephen Eastman to talk about the all-new ATX 3.0 Power Supply standard. The new ATX 3.0 standard brings as much to the table as the latest PCIe Gen 5 12VHPWR connectors that will power the next generation of graphics cards and other PCIe devices.
Upcoming PCIe Gen 5.0 graphics cards can reach “power trips” of up to 1,800W but ATX 3.0 power supplies are here to keep your gaming PC running smoothly
One of the main things that ATX 3.0 power supplies will be dealing with is “Power Excrusions,” or Power Spikes as they are simply put. According to PCI-SIG, the graphics card has the ability to exceed the maximum sustainable power by 3 times. This is especially true for all-new standards and for cards like the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti that have a TGP rating of 450 watts, meaning that the card can have spikes of up to 1,350 watts. There are reports that the next generation of GPUs will require up to 600 watts of power and this indicates a high of up to 1,800 watts.
These power surges generally last only 100 microseconds at most but can lead to computer crashes and crashes. To avoid this from happening, power supplies must be manufactured with enough additional capacitors to prevent the system from power sag.
With the new PCIe 5.0 connector and ATX 3.0, Intel and PCI SIG are tackling what they both call “power trips.” You may recognize it by the less sugar-covered term “power spike.” PCI SIG essentially limited the GPU’s ability to exceed the maximum sustainable power of the card by 3x. This means that 600 watts of power on a PCIe 5.0 12VHPWR connector is allowed to rise to 1800 watts for 100 minutes.
To help cool those extremely short power trips, a power supply should be designed with enough extra capacitors to prevent the system from sagging power and possibly crashing the computer. According to Intel estimates, a 300W GPU can be supported on a properly designed ATX 3.0 with a 750W power supply with 300W for the CPU and another 150W for the rest of the hardware in the box.
If you’re trying to adapt an existing ATX 2.X power supply to run the same 300W GPU, you’ll likely need a 1,100W power supply to support the GPU and CPU and account for power trips, Intel believes. This will likely depend on the older PSU’s design as well as how often the GPU will be making these high-powered expeditions.
In an interesting comparison, a 750W power supply based on the ATX 3.0 standard is said to provide the same output as the older ATX 2. X standard. This is only for 300W GPU, as you go you will definitely need a bigger PSU but still, even for a 600W GPU you will probably need a 600W ATX 3.0 PSU but if you want to adapt the same For standard ATX 2. X, you will need a higher wattage power supply of at least 1,600 watts or higher to keep away from power trips.
Many will refuse to turn off their power supply and wonder why expeditions are so important. Aren’t “power trips” just GPU makers breaking the rules and over-powering, after all? We agree with that view, but to limit those very short trips could also mean limiting GPU performance. It’s also clear that we’ve been right on the max power supply capabilities for quite some time.
Some anecdotal reports of GeForce RTX 3080 and 3080 Ti systems crashing due to transient voltage spikes have surfaced for some time. While the vast majority of players were fine, it seems like some power supply or system configurations can’t handle the same power trips. Even worse, the makers of the add-on panels knew they ran over power for microscopic periods of time, but they really had no idea what the different designs of the power supplies could handle.
Now these pins in power can be thought of as GPU makers breaking the power limits of their own cards, but transient voltage spikes have been considered a problem on high-end cards for some time now, PCWorld reports. The ATX 3.0 standard will provide an incentive for AIB graphics cards to formalize their journeys so that they can once again set boundaries to follow when working on their latest graphics card design.
The goldilocks area appears to be the 1000-1200W range for next-generation high-end graphics cards, so if you’re planning to build a new gaming PC with either an RTX 4090 or RX 7900 XT, you’d better make sure you get a PSU within the respective wattage range under the ATX 3.0 standard . Currently, many PSU makers such as MSI, ASUS, Gigabyte, FSP Group & Cooler Master have announced PCIe Gen 5 & ATX 3.0 compatible designs.