Power Consumption

One of the key topics in power consumption recently has been whether Intel’s approach to power, or to how it represents its Thermal Design Power (TDP) values, is valid or not. Intel’s take on TDP is that it should represent the sustained power of the processor, which unfortunately does not take into account any of the turbo modes available to the users (or disclose how long those turbo modes should be available for). Part of this is not only confusing, but motherboard manufacturers rarely use Intel specifications for these limits anyway, as you can read in our article covering the practice here.

With the Core i9-9980XE, the typical representation of power is used: stick to the turbo tables unless the system is thermally compromised. In this case the 165W TDP value is a guide, not a limit or a suggestion – it relies on the quality of the silicon and the ability of the motherboard manufacturer to be stable, performance focused, and competitive.

Comparing the Core i9-9980XE to the Core i9-7980XE, the new processor has a higher base frequency by 400 MHz, a higher single core turbo frequency by 100 MHz, and a higher all-core turbo, but uses a newer 14++ manufacturing process and soldered thermal interface material. The peak power consumption numbers are as follows:

Power (Package), Full Load

Looking at the full chip values, the peak power consumption we observed for the Core i9-9980XE is 192W.  This is 9-10W higher than our Core i9-7980XE sample.

If we remove the ‘idle’ power numbers away to see the core-only power, then the Core i9-9980XE uses around 152W just for the cores, which should be around 8.5W per core. The 32-core Threadripper 2990WX by contrast uses around 6W per core.

If we look at the efficiency of each processor, with our power numbers taken during a POV-Ray run:

The Core i9-7980XE gets a performance per watt of 43.3 POV-Ray points per watt - the new Core i9-9980XE scores a little less at 42.7, as for the extra 5% of power, we get a 3.6% increase in performance. For competition, the only HEDT processors coming close are the other Intel HEDT parts, or the 2990WX at the top right of the diagram. Obviously, this is benchmark specific, but an interesting comparison nonetheless.

Gaming: F1 2018 Core i9-9980XE Conclusion: A Generational Upgrade


View All Comments

  • Arbie - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    Typo - you wrote "Intel will need to up its game here to remain competitive". Should have been "Intel will need to up its marketing here to remain competitive". Reply
  • eva02langley - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    Unfortunately, they are selling everything. I would be happy if they were not selling anything. Reply
  • nexuspie - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    Marketing doesn't work in tech. Tech buyers aren't dumb. People want performance, and today that's Intel by far. On a per-core basis it creams the competitor. Reply
  • Arbie - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    Ironically stated in pure marketing-speak.

    Tech buyers know that shouting "performance" is meaningless out of context - and that includes a lot more than clock speed. For example price, power, cooling, cores, threading, features, platform, socket life... the list goes on. All conveniently ignored in a slogan like yours, which could have come from an Intel ad.
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    He's dropping classic lines from the "I am an empowered, smart individual and marketing doesn't work on me" playbook. I find it's usually a line trotted out by people on whom marketing works absolute miracles. Reply
  • Kilnk - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    I've been reading your comments and I love your style. Reply
  • Arbie - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    "there’s no point advertising a magical 28-core 5 GHz CPU ... if only one in a million hits that value."

    Sure there is: to confuse the market and draw attention away from the competition. As at Computex in June.
  • twtech - Thursday, November 15, 2018 - link

    How about 4.5 GHz? Reply
  • eva02langley - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    So many refreshes, and so little supply on the shelves. Reply
  • jospoortvliet - Friday, November 16, 2018 - link

    Takes only 9 weeks to be delivered I suppose? And that is just the promise - delays likely. Reply

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