AT vs. ATX Power Supply: What’s the Difference between AT and ATX Power Supply

If you have ever built or upgraded a computer, you have likely come across terms like AT and ATX when shopping for power supplies. Both of these power supplies provide power to a computer’s internal components, but they differ in several ways. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between AT and ATX power supplies and how they affect computer performance.

Introduction – AT vs. ATX Power Supply

When building or upgrading a computer, one of the most important components to consider is the power supply unit (PSU). A power supply unit is responsible for providing power to all the internal components of a computer, including the motherboard, CPU, graphics card, and storage drives. The two most common types of power supplies are the AT and ATX power supply units.

What is the Difference Between AT and ATX Power Supplies?

AT and ATX power supplies differ in several ways, including their size, shape, and features. The most significant difference between these two types of power supplies is their age, with AT being an older standard that has largely been replaced by the more modern ATX standard.

AT Power Supply

The AT power supply was introduced in the 1980s and was the standard for many years. These power supplies are characterized by their large size, heavy weight, and limited power output. AT power supplies have a physical on/off switch and are turned on by pressing the power button on the computer case.

ATX Power Supply

The ATX power supply was introduced in 1995 and quickly became the new standard. These power supplies are characterized by their smaller size, lighter weight, and higher power output. ATX power supplies have a soft on/off switch and are turned on by pressing the power button on the computer case or through software commands.

What Does AT Mean in the ATX Power Supply?

The term AT in ATX stands for “Advanced Technology,” and it was a successor to the older AT standard. ATX stands for ‘Advanced Technology eXtended‘. The ATX power supply was designed to be more energy-efficient and easier to use than its predecessor. ATX power supplies feature a 20 or 24-pin motherboard connector, whereas AT power supplies have a 12-pin connector.

What is the Difference Between ATX and AT Motherboards?

The main difference between ATX and AT motherboards is their size and layout. ATX motherboards are larger and have more expansion slots than AT motherboards. ATX motherboards also have a different power connector, which is why they require an ATX power supply. AT motherboards are smaller and have fewer expansion slots, but they are still used in some older systems.

ATX to AT Power Supply Adapter

If you have an older computer that uses an AT motherboard but you want to use an ATX power supply, you can use an ATX to AT power supply adapter. This adapter converts the ATX power supply’s 20 or 24-pin connector into a 6 to 12-pin connector that can be used with an AT motherboard.

AT vs. ATX Power Supply: Difference between AT and ATX Power Supply. What Does AT Mean in the ATX Power Supply? What is the Difference Between ATX and AT Motherboards? ATX to AT Power Supply Adapter. AT and ATX Power Supply Voltages.

AT Power Supply Voltages

AT power supplies typically provide +5V, -5V, +12V, and -12V voltage rails. These voltage rails power the motherboard, CPU, and other components. However, the limited power output of AT power supplies means that they are not suitable for modern computers, which require much higher power output.

ATX Power Supply Voltages

ATX power supplies, on the other hand, provide +3.3V, +5V, +12V, and -12V voltage rails. The +3.3V and +5V voltage rails are used to power the motherboard and peripherals, while the +12V voltage rail is used to power the CPU and graphics card. ATX power supplies also feature a single 12V rail or multiple 12V rails, which allow for higher power output and better efficiency.

FAQ

1. Can I use an AT power supply with an ATX motherboard?

No, you cannot use an AT power supply with an ATX motherboard. ATX motherboards require an ATX power supply, which provides the appropriate voltage rails and power output.

2. Can I use an ATX power supply with an AT motherboard?

Yes, you can use an ATX power supply with an AT motherboard, but you will need an ATX to AT power supply adapter to convert the 20 or 24-pin connector to the 12-pin connector used by AT motherboards.

3. Which power supply is better, AT or ATX?

ATX power supplies are generally better than AT power supplies due to their higher power output, better efficiency, and more modern features. AT power supplies are only suitable for older systems and cannot provide enough power for modern computers.

Also Read: How to Repair a Computer?

Difference between AT and ATX Power Supply | Conclusion

When it comes to building or upgrading a computer, choosing the right power supply is crucial for ensuring optimal performance and reliability. AT and ATX power supplies differ in several ways, including their size, shape, and features. While AT power supplies were the standard for many years, they have largely been replaced by the more modern ATX standard. If you have an older system that uses an AT motherboard, you can still use an ATX power supply with the help of an adapter. However, for modern computers, an ATX power supply is the way to go.

READ: What Does RAM Do For Gaming? – Explained.

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