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

  • Spunjji - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    He's using a different definition of "great CPU" from you. His includes price/performance ratio, yours doesn't. Insisting that your comparison is more valid than his doesn't make any more sense than him doing the same, so if you're going to mock someone's post, maybe avoid the same errors. Reply
  • Arbie - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    How do AMD's GPUs relate to the HEDT CPU market being discussed here? And seriously, can't see any point to your remarks. Reply
  • nexuspie - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    You're so ghetto you're using a 2500k from 2011? Stop posting and get a job so you can afford an upgrade. I guess it proves that Intel makes good chips though if you can wait this long to upgrade. Reply
  • LordanSS - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    Still rocking a 3770k. Not going to pay "Intel price" for 4-cores and just 20% more IPC than I have.

    Zen2, that'll be my swap.
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    I seriously don't understand people who are so insecure about their choices that they need to mock random people on the internet for not overspending on their computer equipment. If your use case enables you to spend on the absolute best way past the point of diminishing returns, that's great for you! Be happy and maybe lay off the comment sections..? Reply
  • Kilnk - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    No... all it really means is that for the first time in the history of computing, software demands have allowed computing power to reach the level of "good enough" for a lot of users. Also things are a lot more GPU dependant than they used to be. CPUs are less relevant. Reply
  • duploxxx - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    It is quite obvious. From a general performance/price/power perspective the TR2 2950x is the one to get. Forget all the uber expensive Intel junk. Reply
  • qap - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    I guess it depends on i9-9820X. And I have a feeling it would be similar story to 2990WX vs i9-9980XE - AMD scoring in some benchmarks while intel keeping victory in other.
    Those who matter (actual buyers) will look at bench that matters to them while fans would be squealing that this or that benchmark is more important and therefore their favorite CPU is the best.
  • eva02langley - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    I would honestly get an EPYC platform over the TR 32 cores. However, at this point, you have a really particular workload that requires such capabilities.

    It all depends on your needs, but true, Intel is not competitive at their price tags.
  • nexuspie - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    These benchmarks show that the 9980's 18 cores often BEAT the 2990wx's 32 cores. AMD cores are garbage. Reply

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