official CPU TDP data just kidding? Teach you the real power consumption of the CPU

Many friends buy a computer, will pay attention to the power consumption of the CPU. For example, buy a desktop computer, according to power consumption to supply power, and buy notebook CPU power consumption is related to performance and heat. What do you think about power consumption? Many people will refer to the official TDP data, such as the desktop i7-9900K TDP is 95W, notebook i7-10710U TDP is 15W and so on. However, this data does not actually reflect all the problems and does not in any way represent the true power consumption of the CPU.

Today’s CPU has more frequency auto-adjusting, which means that its power consumption fluctuates within a certain range. In the case of TurboBoost, for example, the hardware is much more powerful than TDP.


Intel CPUs have four power gears, and TDP tends to represent only THE PL1 gear

Intel’s CPU is a typical example. Intel defines the SoC with a limit of 4 power gears, as shown in PL1, PL2, PL3, and PL4. Among them, the PL1 is the average power, its power is closest to the TDP indication, the CPU allows to remain at this power level. Pl2 is higher than PL1, the CPU can maintain at the power of THE PL2 for 100 seconds, the turbo is generally in the PL2 state. The PL3 is one step higher, and the CPU can hold for 10 milliseconds in this power level. The PL4 is a power ceiling that is not allowed to pass over.

It can be seen that TDP can only represent the POWER gear of the PL1 level, and the CPU is much more powerful in actual use than this. If you calculate power consumption based on TDP, you may be able to dissipate heat and power at high loads that deviate much from your expectations. Why does the computer suddenly restart the black screen when it renders? Why is a notebook hotter and noisier than you think? It’s often the actual POWER consumption of the CPU that’s higher than you expected, so it makes sense to know the real power consumption of the CPU. So the question is, what should I do?

The average user does not have a professional power meter, but through some software, we can also get a rough idea of the real power consumption level of the CPU. This HWINFO, for example, is such a piece of software.

HWINFO: Dot this entry to the official website

HWINFO is actually quite famous in the player’s circle, this is a professional hardware monitoring software from abroad, it is free, has a green version, but also very clean. Unfortunately, the software does not currently support Chinese, but for CPU power monitoring, there are not many obstacles.


HWINFO open interface, can monitor the hardware information is very rich

Turn on HWINFO, the software will automatically pop up about the CPU information and monitoring interface, the main interface can also view a very variety of hardware information, but these are not the focus of this article, interested friends can slowly experience the study.

Click the “Sensors” button in the main interface to see the computer’s various sensor information, which also includes the CPU power consumption. Finding the “CPU Package Power” column is the CPU’s power consumption level.


Click on the “Sensors” button


The readings of various hardware sensors of the computer can be seen one by one

In this column, you can see the CPU’s current real-time power consumption, as well as the maximum and minimum values that have been reached. And if you’re using an Intel CPU, you can also see the settings for PL1 and PL2.


You can see CPU power (CPU Package Power) and the setting of PL1 and PL2 gears

In this way, it is very simple to test the maximum power consumption that the CPU can achieve. You can turn on some high-load tasks and observe the maximum power consumption of the CPU, which generally does not exceed the upper power consumption limit of PL2. And we know that the CPU in addition to the power wall and temperature wall, cooling but off, CPU power consumption can not even reach the level of PL1, so can be combined with the machine software, the CPU can actually release how much energy, at a glance.

Overall, HWINFO is a very powerful piece of software. But it also has a small regret that support for some CPUs may not be very good – some APUs on AMD mobile platforms, for example, cannot accurately display power consumption values, after all, it is not an official software, and does not guarantee that all hardware readings will be accurate. In addition, there is more than one piece of software that can see CPU power consumption, but HWINFO has relatively comprehensive support for all types of sensors. If you also want to learn more about hardware, try it.

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