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


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  • imaheadcase - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    Yah because you don't do anything intensive with the jobs you have, of course you would use laptops or whatever mobile. But the reality is most people would use desktops because simply faster to get stuff done, and more powerful.

    BYOD fyi is not like that for most companies..
  • imaheadcase - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    ..and if you are doing anything intensive with laptops..that just means company you work for is behind the curve and just being cheap and not fork out money for the right hardware. Reply
  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    There are over 250K people on the payroll. There ARE desktop PCs around, but they are few and far between. I'm not going to get into an extended debate about this because it won't change anyone's perspective, but I do believe you've got a slight misconception about the usefulness and flexibility of portable computer hardware. A simple look at the availability of desktops versus laptops should be enough to make it obvious, for most people, computer == laptop these days. Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    You're eliding the difference between "convenient and sufficient" and "as powerful as anyone needs".

    I'll absolutely grant that if you're only going to have one system for doing your work and you move around a fair bit, then it absolutely makes sense to have that system be mobile, even if you lose a bit of edge-case performance.

    For people doing /serious/ GPU grunt work something like an XPS 15 is going to provide between 1/2 and 1/3 of the power they could get with a similarly priced desktop. That compromise doesn't make any sense for someone whose job does not require mobility.

    So sure, notebooks are better than ever for a large number of people. Doesn't make desktops and HEDT chips functionally irrelevant for businesses, though. If you can really use 18 cores for the work you're doing then being provided with an XPS 15 will be, at best, a sad joke.
  • Ratman6161 - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    Any laptop is essentially on a different planet than any of the processors covered in this review (doesn't matter if we are talking Intel or AMD).
    1. If it is possible to do your work on a laptop (which I am myself at this very moment) then you (and me) are not the target audience for these CPU's. In fact, I'm not entirely sure why you even bother to read or comment on the story?
    2. If you have to ask if you need it, you don't need it.
    3. If you have to think more than about 1 second to make a decision between one of these and a laptop, then you don't need it.
    4. If you do need one, then you already know that.

    Most people don't need one, including me. I read these things because the technology is interesting and because I find it interesting what others might be doing. I don't really feel any need to insist that others need what I need and could not possibly need anything else.
  • PeachNCream - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    So a differing opinion than yours should mean that someone not read an article or comment on it. That appears to be nothing more than a self-protective mechanism intended to erect a bubble in which exists nothing more than an echo chamber filled with your own beliefs. That's hardly a way to integrate new thinking, but I do understand that a lot of people fear change in the same way you do. Reply
  • Kilnk - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    "But the reality is most people would use desktops because simply faster to get stuff done, and more powerful."

    See, that's the problem with your reasoning. You assume that most people need power when they do not. The reality is that the majority of people who need to use computers for work do not need to do rendering or any kind of intensive task. So no, most people don't use desktops nor would they want to use desktops given the opportunity. They use laptops.
  • FunBunny2 - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    "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 Man's advantage to the Worker Bees using laptops: their always 'on the job'. no time off. as close to slavery as it's legal to be. some smart folks are truly stupid.
  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    "The Man's advantage to the Worker Bees.." (just quoting because of the lack of continuing indents in Anandtech's 1990's-era comment system)

    I think that's a bit of a stretch in our case. My division doesn't do on-call and we strictly prohibit our lower tier managers from tapping employees outside of their normal work hours. Even checking company e-mail outside of work hours is against posted (and enforced) policy. If we must, due to emergencies, they absolutely have to be compensated for the time regardless of whether or not they are hourly or salaried workers. I haven't seen an "emergency" that couldn't wait until the next day so that policy has not been put into use in at least the last five years. Computational mobility is no excuse to allow invasions into off-the-clock time and I for one won't allow it.
  • jjjag - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    I hate to admit it but PNC is right. Super-high-powered desktops are an anachronism. If you need REAL horsepower, you build a server/compute farm and connect to it with thin-client laptops. If you are just doing software development, the laptop cpu is usually good enough.

    This is especially true of single socket monsters like these HEDT chips. The only reason they exist is because gamers will pay too much for everything. It's nothing more than an expensive hobby, and like all hobbies at the top end is all "want" and very little "need". The "need" stops somewhere around 6 or 8 cores.

    It's exactly the same as owning a Ferrari and never taking it to the track. You will never use more than 20% of the full capabilities of it. All you really need is a Vette.

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