Intel’s Core i9-10980HK Flagship CPU Is Fastest Notebook CPU But Can’t Compete With AMD’s Ryzen 9 3950X On Thermal Efficiency And Battery Endurance

Intel has once again proven that it’s mobility processors, especially the high-end ones, are by far the best when it comes to raw processing power. However, mobility processors have to balance processing power with thermal efficiency as well as battery endurance, and this is where the just-released AMD Renoir Ryzen 4000 Series Mobility CPUs could beat Intel. The new 7nm AMD Ryzen 9 CPU within premium laptops have managed to prove they can confidently compete with several Intel processors.

The latest Intel flagship, the Intel Core i9-10980HK, might have a base frequency of 2.4 GHz, but its single-core Boost Clock Speed is 5.3 GHz, which is one of the highest ever for a laptop processor. The Core i9-10980HK is based on the archaic 14nm Comet Lake-H architecture but has the new Willow Cove Architecture. While the latest Intel flagship Mobility CPU is exceptionally powerful, it does appear to be rather poor in thermal efficiency and consequentially, battery endurance will undoubtedly suffer.

Intel Core i9-10980HK Flagship CPU With 8 Cores and 16 Threads Has A Very Hight Thermal Rating Of 135W:

The Intel Core i9-10980HK is an insane Mobility CPU in all aspects of performance. It is currently reserved for the premium, top-end laptops that enthusiasts, gamers and professional multimedia editors prefer. The Core i9-10980HK CPU features 8 Cores and 16 Threads which are clocked at a base frequency of 2.4 GHz and a maximum boost frequency of 5.3 GHz.

[Image Credit: WCCFTech]
According to Intel’s design, the exceptionally high boost frequency is determined by the TVB or Thermal Velocity Boost algorithm. Needless to add the Intel flagship CPU will not work at the Boost Clocks consistently. The algorithm permits the high frequency only for a limited time, and it is determined by taking into consideration the power and thermal headroom available to the chip. Incidentally, the heat dissipation technology and the power draw of laptops determine how high the chip can perform.

Intel did notify the specifications of its CPU. However, the company has remained vague on the power draw or the thermal limits for TVB. Hardwareluxx’s editor, Andreas Schilling, has revealed the TVB of Intel Core i9-10980HK, and the figures are truly concerning for laptop buyers. This is because of the insanely high thermal rating of the Intel CPU that could strain the laptop hardware, including battery. This will invariably limit the portability and mobile performance of the laptop with the latest Intel flagship CPU.

The normal, publicized thermal rating of the Intel Core i9-10980HK, is 45W. However, the same is tagged for the Base Frequency (PL1), which is just 2.4 GHz. Needless to add, there’s a huge difference between 2.4 GH Base Frequency, and 5.0+ GHz Boost Clock or Frequency. The Base of the Boost Clock Frequency (PL2) is estimated to be more than 100W. However, the PL2 Max should be more than 135W. The 9th Gen Intel flagship CPU, the Core i9-9980HK, had a PL2 Max of about 125W.

The insanely high PL2 Max or even PL2 Boost Clock Frequency will mandate the presence of a very powerful and robust cooling solution. In fact, companies like ASUS are using specifically designed thermal dissipation solutions, including multiple heat pipes and special thermal compounds to pull heat from the CPU, GPU and other components.

AMD 7nm Renoir Ryzen 4000 Series Mobility Chips Based On ZEN 2 Architecture Better Than Intel For Laptops?

In the case of high-end gaming laptops and professional multimedia editors, the 10th Gen Intel Comet Lake-H CPUs make sense. These laptops don’t stay disconnected from AC power for a long time. These portable computing devices are usually plugged into a power outlet before being used. However, users who need to work on their portable computing devices while traveling will certainly prefer the new 7nm AMD Ryzen Series laptops with onboard Radeon Vega or discrete graphics solutions.

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The AMD Ryzen 9 3950X, for example, has 16 Cores. However, it has a maximum power consumption of 60-65W with all cores running at 3.5-3.7 GHz. Under no circumstance, does the latest AMD flagship Mobility processor cross 80W. Intel’s flagship laptop CPU is almost twice as much power-hungry than the AMD chip. It is important to note that the AMD Mobility CPU has twice as many cores being pushed to 3.7 GHz.

Alap Naik Desai


A B.Tech Plastics (UDCT) and a Windows enthusiast. Optimizing the OS, exploring software, searching and deploying solutions to strange and weird issues is Alap's main interest.