Image: Intel

We already know that Intel’s 10th Gen processors are power-hungry beasts, but being that TDP values only tell part of the story, how much energy do they crave, really? Well, we’ve got the answer(s) to that now thanks to ComputerBase, which has published a list of official PL1 (TDP), PL2, and Tau values for Comet Lake-S. The potential power demands of both the Core and Xeon W family are as follows.

TDP, PL1, PL2 and Tau from Intel Comet Lake-S “Core” in the desktop

CPUPL1PL2dew
Overclockable K CPUs
Core i9-10900K125 watts250 watts56 seconds
Core i7-10700K125 watts229 watts56 seconds
Core i5-10600K125 watts182 watts56 seconds
Standard models
10-core with / without graphics, Core i9-10000 (F)65 watts224 watts28 seconds
8-core with / without graphics, Core i7-10000 (F)65 watts224 watts28 seconds
6-core with / without graphics, Core i5-10000 (F)65 watts134 watts28 seconds
4-core with graphics, Core i3-1000065 watts90 watts28 seconds
2-core with graphics, Pentium and Celeron58 watts58 watts28 seconds
Energy-saving T models
10-core with graphics, Core i9-10000T35 watts123 watts28 seconds
8-core with graphics, Core i7-10000T35 watts123 watts28 seconds
6-core with graphics, Core i5-10000T35 watts92 watts28 seconds
4-core with graphics, Core i3-10000T35 watts55 watts28 seconds
2-core with graphics, Pentium and Celeron T35 watts42 watts28 seconds

TDP, PL1, PL2 and Tau from Intel Comet Lake-S “Xeon W” in the desktop

CPUPL1PL2dew
125 watt models
10-core with graphics125 watts250 watts56 seconds
8-core with graphics125 watts229 watts56 seconds
6-core with graphics125 watts182 watts56 seconds
Standard variants
10-core with graphics80 watts224 watts28 seconds
8-core with graphics80 watts224 watts28 seconds
6-core with graphics80 watts134 watts28 seconds
Energy saving models
10-core with graphics35 watts123 watts28 seconds

So, it appears that the Comet Lake-S family has peak, short-term power draws of up to 250 watts, which is quite an increase from the oft-marketed TDP values. In fact, certain 10th Gen SKUs can hit 3.5 times their rated thermal design power.

“So a CPU can no longer only put the factor 1.25 above the TDP for a short time, in the best case scenario this is the factor 3.5, as the example of the Intel Core i9-10900T shows, with 35 watts TDP has a PL2 value of 123 watts,” wrote ComputerBase. “Together with a suitable mainboard, which possible tau limits can be undermined by Intel’s tolerance, a completely different CPU is created.”

“But the regular 65-watt models are also allowed to consume a lot of energy, especially if they have eight or ten cores. 224 watts over the officially planned 28 seconds also correspond to a factor of 3.45. Ultimately, the Core i7-10700K is not as extravagant as originally thought, because it may only use five watts more, but over a longer period. However, as already mentioned, this is already levered out on many boards.”

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4 Comments

  1. Ok I’ve been in the IT industry and an enthusiest for literally decades. But I’m going to need that in captain dummy talk.

    Is that per core or per ccx equivilent chip? The write up said it could hit 250 watt or 4 times that… What? 1000 watts? Really? I think I must be misreading that or I’m just out of the loop on real power draw numbers.

  2. No, by "that amount," I meant TDP, not the PL2 value. I’ve edited the text so it’s less confusing.
  3. One suggestion is this is your first real in depth look at CPU power draw perhaps cover in a key what the PL numbers and the end number means in your chart. You do a good job of giving some idea but it would be nice to have that spelled out in the article or some sort of key.
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