MSI's Comet Lake Supported Motherboards Change CPU Power Limit Based on CPU Cooler Type

(Image credit: MSI)

MSI is introducing a new automated method of changing the PL1 and PL2 turbo values on Intel Comet Lake CPUs. This new method, first detailed by ComputerBase, features a cooling option in the BIOS which sets new PL1 and PL2 values based on the cooling solution in your computer.

MSI's approach to this situation makes the PL1 and PL2 values clear to the end-user. In the UEFI/BIOS you select what cooling solution you are using; each cooling option has specific parameters set for the PL1 and PL2 values. For the default mode called "boxed cooling," the PL1 and PL2 values are set to their default values. With the "Tower Air Cooler" and "Water Cooler" options, PL1 and PL2 are increased to a set value of 255W. Meaning, the CPU can consume up to 255W before being power limited. These options also make the PL1 and PL2 durations infinite allowing the cores to boost for as long as required. If you need to, you can adjust these values manually as well.

Intel's Comet Lake-S CPUs use what's known as PL1 and PL2 values for its Turbo Boost clocks. Each value has an increased power limit over the default TDP, allowing the cores to boost higher for each PL level. Each limit set for a limited time duration, once that duration is up the CPU jumps down to a lower frequency to increase power efficiency.

However, these values can be manipulated manually or via firmware. Motherboard manufacturers almost always change the power limit values based on what they think is best (even if your BIOS is set to run everything at its default specifications). 

This new system should be available for all Intel 400 series boards from MSI.

Aaron Klotz
Freelance News Writer

Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.