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

  • zeromus - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    @linuxgeek, logged in for the first time in 10 years or more just to laugh with you for having cracked the case with your explanation there at the end! Reply
  • HStewart - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    I have IBM Thinkpad 530 with NVidia Quadro - in software development unless into graphics you don't even need more than integrated - even more for average business person - unless you are serious into gaming or high end graphics you don't need highend GPU. Even gaming as long as you are not into latest games - lower end graphics will do. Reply
  • pandemonium - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    "Even gaming as long as you are not into latest games - lower end graphics will do."

    This HEAVILY depends on your output resolution, as every single review for the last decade has clearly made evident.
  • Samus - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    Don't call it an IBM Thinkpad. It's disgraceful to associate IBM with the bastardization Lenovo has done to their nameplate. Reply
  • imaheadcase - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    Uhh yah but no one WILL do it on mobility. Makes no sense. Reply
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    You see .. there you are TOTALLY WRONG. Supporting the iPad is a MAJOR REQUIREMENT as specified by our customers.

    Augmented reality has HUGE IMPLICATIONS for our industry. Try as you may ... you can't hold up that 18 core desktop behemoth (RGB lighting does not defy gravity) to see how that new Pottery Barn sofa will look in your family room. I think what you are suffering from is a historical perspective on computing which the ACTUAL WORLD has moved away from.
  • scienceomatica - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    @TEAMSWITCHER - I think your comments are an unbalanced result between fantasy and ideals. I think you're pretty superficially, even childishly looking at the use of technology and communicating with the objective world. Of course, a certain aspect of things can be done on a mobile device, but by its very essence it is just a mobile device, therefore, as a casual, temporary solution. It will never be able to match the raw power of "static" desktop computers.working in a laboratory for physical analysis, numerous simulations of supersymmetric breakdowns of material identities, or transposition of spatial-temporal continuum, it would be ridiculous to imagine doing on a mobile device.There are many things I would not even mention. Reply
  • HStewart - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    For videos - as long as you AVX 2 (256bit) you are ok. Reply
  • SanX - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    AMD needs to beat Intel with AVX to be considered seriously for scientific apps (3D particle movement test) Reply
  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    All seven of our local development teams have long since switched from desktops to laptops. That conversion was a done deal back in the days of Windows Vista and Dell Latitude D630s and 830s. Now we live in a BYOD (bring your own device) world where the company will pay up to a certain amount (varies between $1,100 and $1,400 depending on funding from upper echelons of the corporation) and employees are free to purchase the computer hardware they want for their work. There are no desktop PCs currently and in the past four years, only one person purchased a desktop in the form of a NUC. The reality is that desktop computers are for the most part a thing of the past with a few instances remaining on the desks of home users that play video games on custom-built boxes as the primary remaining market segment. Why else would Intel swing overclocking as a feature of a HEDT chip if there was a valid business market for these things? Reply

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