Over the years, the Intel series of processors (CPUs) has introduced the "K" series of overclocking models and more recently the "F" series that does not have built-in graphics. However, most of the series remain publications without the suffix, the "nones", like the 10th generation Intel Core i7-10700 processor. Those processors have TDP 65W, while the models overclockable 91-125W, but also built-in graphics, in contrast to the "F" family. In this article, we will look at the importance of TDP (thermal design power) of a processor, while also comparing processors Core i7-10700 and Core i7-10700K.
Intel Core i7-10700 has TDP 65W: But is it really 65W?
Understanding the way Intel reports TDP pricing has gone through a mini-revolution in recent years. We had almost a decade of quadruple CPUs core at 90W and 65W, and most of them would never reach these numbers even in "turbo" mode. However, Intel had to start growing the kernel. As we slowly rise to the number of cores, from 4 to 6, 8 and now 10, these numbers seem "arbitrary" for a while.
The reason is related to what TDP really is. In the past, it was assumed that a processor's TDP rating was its maximum power consumption. In reality, however, the thermal design power of a processor was almost non-existent if the absolute power consumption was not taken into account. Intel sets its TDP within a "core" frequency. TDP is the maximum power under continuous workload, for which the basic frequency is the minimum frequency guarantee. Intel sets a continuous workload at which the "turbo budget" has expired and the processor achieves its best frequency above the base frequency (but not in turbo modes).
Intel TDP ratings only apply to base frequency and not to turbo frequency. If a computer is built with maximum power consumption in mind, allowing a processor to exceed that power can have devastating consequences for thermal performance of the system. Intel never mentions turbo power levels (also known as Power Level 2 or PL2) along with other specifications, although these are technically included in the documents specifications in circulation.
Motherboard manufacturers also have a say in the performance of a processor. Because turbo power is an optional Intel proposal, technically Intel will accept any value for the turbo power cap and will accept turbo under any circumstances, if the motherboard manufacturer so wishes. Motherboard manufacturers over-specify their motherboards to support longer turbo (or overclocking) times, and so often ignore Intel's proposed prices for PL2.
At this point, it's worth becoming one comparison between the new processor Core i7-10700 and the corresponding overclocking processor Core i7-10700K. In addition to the difference in suffix, the variation K has almost twice the TDP, and this manifests itself almost entirely in the base frequency difference.
Although the TDP is 125W vs. 65W, the maximum turbo frequency difference is only +300 MHz and the all-core turbo difference is only +100 MHz. In contrast, the difference in base frequency is +900 MHz, and that is ultimately what the consumer pays for.
Intel wants to emphasize that base frequency is the guarantee, however if a processor can achieve higher frequency while power is limited, it will run at the highest frequency. This is how all processors work AMD Ryzen, however, Intel only applies this when the turbo is no longer available - it depends on the processor.
For the turbo, as mentioned, Intel has recommendations for power levels and turbo time in its documentation, however OEM and motherboard manufacturers systematically ignore them.
The Core i7-10700 and Core i7-10700K are both members of the 10th generation family of Core i7 processors Comet Lake. This means that they are based on the latest 14nm version of Intel, but are essentially optimized versions of the Intel 6th Generation Skylake Core, with the difference that we have eight cores instead of four.
Both CPUs run dual channel μνήμη at DDR4-2933 speeds and have 16 PCI Express 3.0 strips with support for Intel 400-series chipsets. They are LGA1200 host processors and are not compatible with other LGA115x motherboards.
Finally, in addition to the differences in power and frequency, another difference between the two CPUs is the price: The Core i7-10700 processor is priced at $ 335 (€ 275), while the Core i7-10700K is priced at $ 387 (€ 318).