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Intel 10-Core Comet Lake-S CPU Could Suck Up To 300W

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Intel hosted its CES 2020 press conference three days ago, but there wasn't a peep about Comet Lake-S during the entire event. According to a ComputerBase report, Comet Lake-S's delay could be attributed to the chipmaker's inability to keep the 10-core chip's power consumption within reasonable limits.

Intel has been squeezing every bit of juice out of the 14nm manufacturing process. More often than not, adding more cores on the same node means new processors will inevitably come with steeper power and cooling requirements. It turns out that Intel might have finally hit a wall with Comet Lake-S.

As we've witnessed, the Core i9-9900K can draw over 200W of power when pushed to the edge. The Core i9-9900K only sports eight cores and a 4.7 GHz all-core boost though. The Core i9-10900K, which is the rumored flagship model in Intel's 10th-generation Comet Lake-S family, comes with two additional cores. The chip seemingly features a 4.9 GHz all-core boost. ComputerBase's sources claim that the forthcoming 10-core Comet Lake-S part can pull over 300W at maximum load. This information is plausible taking into consideration that the processor has a PL2 (Power Level 2) of 250W.

In actuality, the excessive power consumption could explain why Intel might not launch any 10-core mobile Comet Lake parts. In a previous announcement, the chip maker revealed that the upcoming Comet Lake-H processors only span up to eight cores. It seems strange that Intel would not bring 10 cores to the mobile segment.

Obviously, motherboard vendors are very upset with Intel at the moment. Apparently, the new Intel 400-series motherboards are ready to go, but Intel hasn't been able to optimize the 10-core processor's power draw for smooth operation. Initial speculation put Comet Lake-S's release date somewhere in February. As how things stand right now though, the launch might be pushed to April or May.

  • joeblowsmynose
    "It seems strange that Intel would not bring 10 cores to the mobile segment. "
    Considering the article is based around a source claiming over 300w needed for the desktop version ... then no, this isn't strange at all ... unless pyromania is your thing. :)
    Reply
  • King_V
    Intel 10-Core Comet Lake-S CPU Could Suck Up To 300W
    (edit: used meme rather than quote, because it's so fitting)


    joeblowsmynose said:
    unless pyromania is your thing. :)

    Endorsed by Def Leppard.

    Reply
  • dimar
    What a weird time to upgrade, when stuff like DDR5, PCI Express 5, 40Gb USB, multi gigabit ethernet is right on the horizon...
    Reply
  • quilciri
    Hmm...more cores with little performace increase and a high power requirement? Where have I seen this before? Oh well, no matter. So Intel's codenames for the new chips are Tractor, Suplex, and Backhoe... cough
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    joeblowsmynose said:
    "It seems strange that Intel would not bring 10 cores to the mobile segment. "
    Considering the article is based around a source claiming over 300w needed for the desktop version ... then no, this isn't strange at all ... unless pyromania is your thing. :)
    At 20 threads at 4.9Ghz (if they are talking about default)running probably something like heavy AVX workloads.
    More cores is always going to be a trade off for clocks in laptops,they can release one and just have it run at lowish clocks,as long as it's not too low clocks and the additional cores can still produce higher numbers it's gonna be fine.
    Reply
  • joeblowsmynose
    TerryLaze said:
    At 20 threads at 4.9Ghz (if they are talking about default)running probably something like heavy AVX workloads.
    More cores is always going to be a trade off for clocks in laptops,they can release one and just have it run at lowish clocks,as long as it's not too low clocks and the additional cores can still produce higher numbers it's gonna be fine.

    Yeah that's the point ... a 10 core at 2ghz will be slow at almost everything. An 8 core at 3.0 would be better for a laptop, or even 6 cores at 3.5. Intel is clearly finding the limits of 14nm.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    dimar said:
    What a weird time to upgrade, when stuff like DDR5, PCI Express 5, 40Gb USB, multi gigabit ethernet is right on the horizon...
    I wouldn't worry about DDR5. Maybe memory starts to be a bottleneck above 8 cores, but I think DDR4 is basically fast enough.

    Er... PCIe 5 won't be coming to desktops anytime soon (i.e. next 5 years). Mark my words. You'll have to "settle" for PCIe 4.

    I'm not sure how practical 40 Gbps USB 4 will be, given that it's basically Thunderbolt 3, which requires an active cable for full speed over distances > 0.5 meters. But, if you can get a board that has it, why not?

    And multigigabit Ethernet is already here, for quite a while. In Dec. 2018, I bought a pair of Aquantia 10 GigE cards for $75 each. Cheap switches is what we're still waiting for. And yeah, I also want to see 2.5 Gbps as a standard feature of upper-end mainstream motherboards, but you can already find it (and faster), in some.
    Reply
  • cryoburner
    A lot of that stuff, like faster USB and networking hardware, can be added in with PCIe add-in cards too.

    I suppose I can see the DDR5 argument though. It's unlikely to make much of a performance difference in the near-term, but if you decide to upgrade your CPU a few years down the line to one from a newer generation, you'll not only need a new motherboard to make it happen, but also new RAM, which could increase the cost of the upgrade. Of course, unless CPUs suddenly become dramatically faster, I suspect the current generation of processors should hold their own for a while.

    Another thing to mention would be raytracing hardware for graphics cards. Currently only Nvidia's 20-series cards have dedicated RT acceleration, but even in those, the performance is rather lackluster, and may only get worse in the future if games target cards with faster RT performance a couple years down the line. I guess a lot of that may depend on how well the upcoming consoles will handle those effects though. Still, I could certainly see a scenario where games start focusing on raytraced lighting effects, and while they will undoubtedly continue to support traditional effects to fall back on, developers may not put as much effort into making those look good.
    Reply
  • NightHawkRMX
    I'm not surprised by this at all.

    Intels I9 9900ks is really pushing what is feasable with their current 14nm node.

    The I9 9900ks draws around 250w in some cases with all 8 cores running at 5ghz turbo. It boarderline requires coolers costing over $100 in order to see acceptable temps and maximum performance.

    If Intel were to add 2 more cores and have all 20 threads running at a similar around 5ghz all core boost, it doesn't take a genius to see the problem.

    Until Intel gets out a new node, Intel will struggle to gain any more performance.

    Meanwhile AMD is on 7nm Zen 2 and has 16 cores at low to mid 4ghz drawling a good bit less power than intels 8 core 9900ks. Plus AMD is going to have 7nm+ Zen 3 out by the end of the year according to Lisa Sue.
    Reply
  • SkineWasTaken
    bit_user said:
    I wouldn't worry about DDR5. Maybe memory starts to be a bottleneck above 8 cores, but I think DDR4 is basically fast enough.

    Er... PCIe 5 won't be coming to desktops anytime soon (i.e. next 5 years). Mark my words. You'll have to "settle" for PCIe 4.

    I'm not sure how practical 40 Gbps USB 4 will be, given that it's basically Thunderbolt 3, which requires an active cable for full speed over distances > 0.5 meters. But, if you can get a board that has it, why not?

    And multigigabit Ethernet is already here, for quite a while. In Dec. 2018, I bought a pair of Aquantia 10 GigE cards for $75 each. Cheap switches is what we're still waiting for. And yeah, I also want to see 2.5 Gbps as a standard feature of upper-end mainstream motherboards, but you can already find it (and faster), in some.
    PCIE5 will more then likely come with am5 in 2022 since its already finished.
    Reply