Intel has released a new revision of the datasheet for its 10th-gen Comet Lake-S (opens in new tab) processors. The June 2020 edition (opens in new tab) (PDF) details the PL1 (Power Level 1), PL2 (Power Level 2) and Tau values for the new 14nm chips, information which was not available in the previous revision.
Enthusiasts have often called out Intel for not publicly advertising the peak power consumption for its processors. The chipmaker only discloses the PL1 value, which is the processor's power draw at base clock speeds. The PL2 parameter, on the other hand, is significantly higher since it's the maximum power consumption that you can expect when the processor is pushed to the max with turbo engaged.
In all likelihood, Intel doesn't reveal the PL2 number with the objective of not confusing less experienced buyers. Labeling a processor with 250W would be bad for business, especially when the majority of consumers won't be seeing this level of power draw very frequently during normal usage. Nevertheless, it's a crucial aspect of the processor that should be exposed to the general public so the consumer can plan accordingly when putting a system together.
While we applaud Intel's transparency, it would garner more points with enthusiasts if the chipmaker listed the PL2 value on the ARK product database instead of inside some obscure document that the majority of consumers probably won't find or know of its existence.
Intel 10th Generation Comet Lake-S PL1, PL2, Tau
|Processor||PL1 (W)||PL2 (W)||Tau (Seconds)|
|Core i5-10600, Core i5-10500, Core i5-10400||65||134||28|
|Core i3-10320, Core i3-10300, Core i3-10100||65||90||28|
|Pentium Gold 6500, Pentium Gold 6400, Celeron G5920, Celeron G5900||58||58||28|
|Pentium Gold G6500T, Pentium Gold G6400T, Celeron 5900T||35||42||28|
Prior to Comet Lake-S, it was possible to determine the PL2 simply by applying a formula that multiplies the PL1 by a value of 1.25. The formula is still relevant, but the multiplier is useless now as Comet Lake-S parts don't abide by that 1.25x rule anymore. The only reliable way to find out a Comet Lake-S processor's PL2 limit is by browsing through Intel's document.
The Core i9-10900K (opens in new tab), which is the 10-core flagship chip, has a PL2 value that's two times higher than the advertised PL1 value of 125W. The Core i7-10700K and Core i5-10600K (opens in new tab) show 1.83x and 1.46x increases in their PL2 values, respectively.
When it comes to the 65W counterparts, the multipliers vary from 1.38x to 3.45x, depending on the model of the processor. As for the T-series versions, you can see PL2 rises bewteen 1.57x to 3.51x.
Intel Xeon W-1200 Series PL1, PL2, Tau
|Processor||PL1 (W)||PL2 (W)||Tau (SEconds)|
The Xeon 1200-series (opens in new tab), which are workstation iterations of the Comet Lake-S processors, shows a similar pattern. The Xeon W-1290P, which is the workstation flagship, has a PL2 that's twice that of the PL1. The Xeon 1270P and Xeon 1250P's PL2 show the same level of increase as the the Core i7-10700K and Core i5-10600K.
The 80W Xeon Comet Lake chips generally rock a PL2 that's 1.68x to 2.8x times higher while the Xeon W-1290T, the only 35W chip, shows an uplift of 3.51x, the most substantial of all the Comet Lake family.
Right now, if I had to buy Intel, I'd stick with Coffee Lake-R.