MSI looks set to roll out its first H610 chipset motherboard with support for the ATX12VO power connector standard. The MSI Pro H610M 12VO (opens in new tab) featured briefly in an MSI Insider broadcast in mid-January when mainstream Alder Lake processors were fresh, but only now is it being readied for retail, with its product page providing a features overview, gallery, and full specs. In January, we thought this might become a system integrators only product, but its appearance on the consumer site confounded this notion.
H610 motherboards aren't usually considered with much interest by PC enthusiasts due to their minimal specs, but this one deserves merit for keeping Intel's single-rail ATX12VO power delivery standard alive.
MSI highlights the benefits of ATX12VO on the new motherboard's product pages. It says the relatively new power solution's appeal is that it "minimizes power supply production costs and cable chaos for users." That kind of product pruning usually appeals to systems makers, buying hundreds or thousands of identical components. However, while potentially making your PSU cheaper, the ATX12VO standard will probably be slightly more expensive than other H610 boards due to the need for additional DC-to-DC converters onboard.
The component costs balancing act might make ATX12VO sound pointless, but its adoption has some other benefits. For starters, the ATX12VO connector is more compact than the ATX power in that it replaces for improved board space use. ATX12VO is also supposed to be more power efficient by converting 2V to 5V and 3.3V on the motherboard and is claimed to be particularly good at reducing idle power (opens in new tab). Lastly, necessary PSUs shouldn't just be cheaper; they should be simpler too.
Turning to the rest of the MSI Pro H610M 12VO specs, they are minimal. Users can access two DIMM slots for up to 64GB of DDR5-4800 memory. For expansion, there is one PCI-E x16 and one PCI-E x1 slot. You can plug in up to four SATA III drives, but only one PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slot is available for storage. Check out the data sheet image below for a complete overview of expansion options, connectors, and features.
At the time of writing, we still don't have any specific availability date or pricing indicators for the MSI Pro H610M 12VO. Of course, your PSU choice will be slim too, but if you have a modular PSU, it is possible to buy an adapter (opens in new tab).
In related news, Intel advanced the ATX12VO specification to v2 in March this year. The main change was adding a new 12+4-pin 12VHPWR connector (part of the ATX 3.0 standard) which can power add-in-cards of up to 150W, 300W, 450W, or 600W. So it could be convenient for your next-generation GPU.