More:Why Intel Processors Draw More Power Than Expected: TDP and Turbo Explained
One of the recent topics permeating through the custom PC space recently has been about power draw. Intel’s latest eight-core processors are still rated at a TDP of 95W, and yet users are seeing power consumption north of 150-180W, which doesn’t make much sense. In this guide, we want to give you a proper understanding why this is the case, and why it gives us reviewers such a headache.
What is TDP (Thermal Design Power)?
With every processor, Intel guarantees a specific frequency at a specific power, often with a particular grade of cooler in mind. Most people equate a chip's TDP rating directly to its maximum power draw, given that the heat energy that needs to be dissipated from the processor is equal to the power consumed in doing calculations. Normally, the TDP rating is that specific power.
But TDP, in its strictest sense, relates to the ability of the cooler to dissipate heat. TDP is the minimum capacity of the CPU cooler required to get that guaranteed level of performance. Some energy dissipation also occurs through the socket and motherboard, which means that technically the cooler rating can be lower than the TDP, but in most circles TDP and power consumption are used to mean the same thing: how much power a CPU draws under load.
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