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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  • MisterAnon - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    PNC is not right at all, he's completely wrong. Unless your job requires you to walk around and type at the same time using a laptop is a net loss of producitivity for zero gain. At a professional workplace anyone who thinks that way would definitely be fired. If you're going to be in the same room for 8 hours a day doing real work, it makes sense to have a desktop with dual monitors. You will be faster, more efficient, more productive, and more comfortable. Powerful desktops are more useful today than ever before due to the complexity of modern demands. Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    What is your source for gamers being the primary consumers of HDET? Reply
  • imaheadcase - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    Well of course for programming its ok. That is like saying you moved from a desktop to a phone for typing. It requires nothing to type hardly for power. lol That pretty much as always been the case. Reply
  • bji - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    I think you are implying programming is not a CPU intensive task? Certainly it can be low intensity for small projects, but trust me it can also use as much CPU as you can possibly throw at it. When you have a project that requires compiling thousands or tens of thousands of files to build it ... the workload scales fairly linearly with the number of cores, up to some fuzzy limit mostly set by memory bandwidth. Reply
  • npz - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    You're not working in a studio environment I see, such as an animation studio. A web app doesn't require big power. I work in software dev too, but we require big iron test machines and big iron development machines. It takes a couple of hours to compile C and bits of other languages (scripting and assembly) over 28 cores HT and large raid. Of course we can do most things remotely so what we individually use doesn't matter. Reply
  • twtech - Thursday, November 15, 2018 - link

    I also work in software development (games), and my experience has been completely the opposite. I've actually only known one programmer who preferred to work on a laptop - he bought a really high-end Clevo DTR and brought it in to work.

    I do have a laptop at my desk - I brought in a Surface Book 2 - but I mostly just use it for taking notes. I don't code on it.

    Unless you're going to be moving around all the time, I don't know why you'd prefer to look at one small screen and type on a sub-par laptop keyboard if there's the choice of something better readily available. And two 27" screens is pretty much the minimum baseline - I have 3x 30" here at home.

    :And then of course there's the CPU - if you're working on a really small codebase, it might not matter. But if it's a big codebase, with C++, you want to have a lot of cores to be able to distribute the compiling load. That's why I'm really interested in the forthcoming W3175x - high clocks plus 28 cores on a monolithic chip sounds like a winning combination for code compiling. High end for a laptop is what, 6 cores now?
  • Laibalion - Saturday, November 17, 2018 - link

    What utter nonsense. I'be been working on large and complex c++ codebases (2M+ LOC for a single product) for over a decade, and compute power is an absolute necessity to work efficiently. Compile times such beast scales linearly (if done properly), so no one wants a shit mobile cpu for their workstation. Reply
  • HStewart - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    Mobile has been this way for decade - I got a new job working at home and everyone is on laptops - todays laptop are as powerful as most desks - work has quad core notebook and this is my 2nd notebook and first one was from nine years ago. Desktops were not used in my previous job. Notebook mean you can be mobile - for me that is when I go to home office which is not often - but also bring notebook to meeting and such.

    I am development C++ and .net primary.

    Desktop are literary dinosaurs now becoming part of history.
  • bji - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    You are not working on big enough projects. For your projects, a laptop may be sufficient; but for larger projects, there is certainly a wide chasm of difference between the capabilities of a laptop and those of a workstation class developer system. Reply
  • MisterAnon - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    Today's laptops are not as powerful as desktops. They use slow mobile processors, and overheat easily due to thermals. If you're working from home you're still sitting in a chair all day, meaning you don't need a laptop. If your company fired you and hired someone who uses a desktop with dual monitors, they would get significantly more work done for them per dollar. Reply

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