MSI has announced that it is readying its second motherboard complying with Intel's ATX12VO (12 volts only) power connector specification. The entry-level H610-based motherboard will support Intel's 12th Generation Core 'Alder Lake' processors and will be aimed primarily at system integrators.
MSI's Pro H610M 12VO motherboard will be one of the basic Intel H610-powered platforms in the company's range, according to an MSI Insider broadcast from yesterday. The company hasn't disclosed much information about the mainboard, but as the name suggests, we are dealing with a Micro-ATX unit. This will be MSI's second ATX12VO motherboard after the Z590 Pro 12VO formally introduced last year, but this one will be aimed at entry-level PCs running Alder Lake CPUs. Ut is primarily designed for system integrators, so it may never show up in retail, at least not widely.
We have no idea how much MSI plans to charge for its Pro H610M 12VO motherboard, but we would expect it to be slightly more expensive than other Intel H610-based offerings ($99 – $115) since it has some additional DC-to-DC converters onboard.
There are several reasons why the single-rail ATX12VO power delivery standard was developed. Firstly, the new ATX12VO connector is smaller. Second, the most power-hungry parts these days only use 12V rails, whereas many of those that need 5V and 3.3V either have their own power circuitry (for example, M.2 SSDs) or use DC-to-DC converters that are located inside PSUs, but which could be relocated to the motherboard and therefore simplify PSUs. Finally, conversion of 12V to 5V and 3.3V on motherboards is believed to be more power-efficient, so ATX12VO is expected to reduce desktop PCs' power consumption.
Speaking of power consumption, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont and Washington have rather tight power consumption regulations, which even prohibit shipping certain systems to the said states. Specifically for system integrators in these states, MSI is prepping its Pro B660M-A CEC WiFi motherboard with DDR4 or DDR5 memory that will address those regulations. Since the rules were originally introduced by the California Energy Commission (CEC), the motherboard got the appropriate abbreviation in its name.