- Jan 24, 2014
I know why we care in the larger sense, I was one of the few people who consistently criticized Intel for what they've done starting with 8th gen platform on 14nm. My question was narrowed to the current situation Intel faces with: on the desktop they're focused on maintaining performance lead on some workload types, while also trading power for MT performance to limit loss margin in other workloads. This is a bad strategy in mobile but can work in high performance desktops as long as performance is there. Hence, I really doubt Intel will limit Alder Lake S to 125W TDP on stock settings when they'll need every 5% of extra performance to claim a tie in performance or (maybe) even leadership in some workloads.Regarding TDP, we care because Intel is running in place while AMD is moving forward.
On desktops you fix performance first, power second - especially if thermals can be kept under control. (and they showed they can with the 10th gen)
Look at it the other way around - if the Golden Cove cores don't deliver an excellent power/performance curve, there's little Gracemont cores can do to save Alder Lake, especially if little cores can't clock high. Hence, what some people here are suggesting is Intel would have a better shot at the performance crown with 12 big cores while continuing to ignore OEMs messing up stock power settings.
The only reason I can think of the 8+8 arrangement making sense is 12 cores may not work on a ringbus, meaning they would need a 6+6 config (or mesh, or other interconnect), meaning they would need to catch up to what AMD has been doing since 2017 and will likely tune with Zen 3 & 4 to a point where latency sensitive workloads will not be a second citizen on their platform anymore. It seems to me this is more a problem of planning and design than a problem of node performance, power and hybrid efficiency in the desktop consumer space.