Glossary

Thermal Design Power (TDP)

Thermal Design Power (TDP)© 2020 Bk87 / shutterstock.com

What is CPU TDP?

TDP stands for thermal design power or sometimes thermal design point, and CPU TDP is the maximum amount of heat that a CPU (or even GPUs) can use.

You often look at CPU TDP to gauge power consumption. This is because a higher TDP, expressed in watts, means that the CPU will support higher temperatures and, therefore, use more power.

Here, it’s essential to take a look at the CPU cooler, as the cooling system in a computer is only designed to handle so much heat under a given workload. If you are interested in getting the best CPU for gaming, you’ll need to check out the best CPU cooler for that CPU’s TDP.

AMD and Intel processors are generally regarded as the best CPUs for gaming, with AMD CPUs such as the AMD Epyc 7702 having a TDP of 200W. The average TDP for a regular CPU is usually somewhere between 36 and 69W.

Thermal Design Power (TDP) by category:

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