ATX Power Supplies

ATX Power Supplies

ATX stands for Advanced Technology eXtended and is a motherboard developed by Intel in 1995 that improved greatly on previous models.  It was the first big change in many years and improved both standardisation and interchangeability of parts. 

What are ATX Power Supplies?

The ATX specification requires that the power supply produces three outputs as well as five standby supplies. One of the main new developments through the ATX power supply is that a computer can now be switched off by software, rather than a switch (although a switch usually does also exist). The improvements ATX offered over the original AT power supplies meant that ATX took over completely. Some of its main advantages are:

  • Lower costs
  • Better form factors
  • Smaller boards

Another major improvement was that ATX Power Supplies allows additional interfaces to be added to the back of the system in a rectangular area, rather than through flying leads as was necessary with the AT system. The case will come with a panel that can be removed (although it is possible to use the ATX power supply without the case, this is often illegal due to the emission of radio frequency interference), making it far easier to connect onboard interfaces. Some standard patterns are provided with an ATX Power Supply and these vary according to the model.

Where to Purchase ATX Power Supplies

ATX Power Supplies can be purchased from a variety of stores, both online and in physical stores. Some examples are:

  • Play.com an online merchant
  • BT Shop or BT Business Direct
  • Maplin, an electrical goods specialist
  • Scan Computers
  • We Are Electricals
  • Trust Hardware
  • The PC Lounge
  • Component Warehouse
  • Cost Plus IT
  • PC World

Almost any store that specialises in electrical equipment, in particular those that sell parts for building your own computers, will sell a variety of ATX Power Supplies and will also be able to provide you with some good advice on which one best suits your needs and how to use it.

Estimated Cost of ATX Power Supplies

The price of an ATX Power Supply depends on the model and the series. For example, you could expect to pay:

  • The Power Supply ATX 750W TX V2 Series will cost you around £80
  • The Power Supply ATX 600W TX V2 Series usually costs around £100
  • An iCute Modular ATX Dual VGA Power Supply costs around £30

The price of an ATX Power Supply usually goes up in correlation to their wattage.
An ATX Power Supply is the power supply of choice for those who build their own computers. Different variants are available depending on the level of standards you need compared to the size of the board. The two most popular ATX Power Supplies are the Standard and the Micro ATX sizes. Although different systems have now been made available claiming to be even better, such as Intel’s BTX Standard, it still remains the most popular power supply. It should be noted, though, that BTX is becoming more popular in pre-built systems.