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The Performance of Intel Processor Alder Lake-N100 Differs Greatly at Different TDPs

2024-03-01 14:41:18

  Intel released the Alder Lake-N series processor in the first quarter of 2023. These chips employ the all-new Intel 7 process and integrate the same AV1 decoder found in the Iris Xe Graphics into its UHD iGPU. As a result, the Alder Lake-N series chips are a huge step forward from conventional entry-level Pentium chips in both performance and power-efficiency. Because of its excellent performance and affordable price, the Intel Processor N100 was one of the most popular solutions for Mini PCs in the last year.

  While the Intel Processor N100 is powerful enough to handle office duties and media playback, its default TDP is only 6W. Is it possible to improve the performance of the Intel Processor N100 by increasing its TDP? What exactly is the correlation between Intel Processor N100's power and performance? In this article, we will test the performance of N100 by running benchmarks at different TDPs and show you the results.

 1. Test Design and Method

  Test Unit: To ensure the accuracy and reliability of the tests, we chose the Beelink Mini PC equipped with an Intel Processor N100. Specifically, we use the EQ12 model for our testing purposes (16GB DDR5-400MHz, 500GB PCIe Gen3*1 SSD). Both the EQ12 and MiniS 12 Pro models feature the Intel Processor N100 and have similar power and performance, making them ideal for our testing needs.

  Test Environment: The test unit uses the Windows 11 Pro OS. The tests are run in a controlled environment with an ambient temperature of 30 °C. 

2. TDP Settings

  We run the same benchmark tests on EQ12 at three different configured TDPs (10W, 15W, 20W) to see the impact of TDP on N100s performance.

1st Benchmark: AIDA64 Stability Test




  Remark: Parameters being displayed as straight lines indicates that the performance of the CPU is stable without throttling. Otherwise, the performance is unstable.

2nd Benchmark: Geekbench 6 CPU Test




  Remark: Geekbench 6 CPU test is a cross-platform benchmark that measures your processor's single-core and multi-core power for everyday computing tasks.

3rd Benchmark: CPU-Z




  Remark: CPU-Z is a benchmark for testing the single-core performance and multi-core performance of the CPU.

4th Benchmark: Cinebench R23




  Remark: Cinebench R23 is a Cinema 4D based CPU crunching test to measure the rendering computing power of the CPU.

3. Data Analysis

  As can be seen from the graphs of AIDA64, the frequency of the CPU increases as the TDP increases. Compared with the 10W TDP setting, the CPU frequency of 15W and 20W has been increased by 18.18% and 31.79%, respectively, indicating that the CPU performance improves with the increase of TDP. Understandably, the corresponding temperature also increases. Therefore, it is necessary to consider improving thermal management to maintain system stability. As can be seen from the above AIDA64 test diagrams, the Beelink EQ12 Mini PC can still maintain smooth operation even when the TDP is configured at the maximum of 20W.

  As can be seen in the Geekbench 6 scores above, the performance of the CPU benefits greatly from TDP increase. From 10W to 15W, the leaps in single-core score and multi-core score are 6.71% and 16.92% respectively. From 10W to 20W, we witness 9.24% improvement in single-core performance and an amazing 30.35% boost in multi-core performance.

  The CPU-Z test results show that both single-core and multi-core scores improve significantly when the TDP is raised from 10W to 15W. However, when the TDP is further raised to 20W, the improvement in single-core performance slows down, while the improvement in multi-core performance is still remarkable.

  Cinebench R23 test results show that the single-core score has been improved by 4.29% when we switch the configured TDP from 10W to 15W, and improvement of multi-core score is more significant, as you can see an 18.90% leap. At 20W TDP, the single-core score improves by 5.19%, and the multi-core score by a whopping 34.51%, indicating that the TDP increase has a much larger impact on the multi-core performance of the Intel Processor N100.


4. Conclusions

  Based on the above test results, we can see that the Intel Processor Alder Lake-N100 always gets performance boost when we increase its TDP, and the following conclusions can be drawn:

1) Power and performance are positively correlated. With the increase of power, CPU performance is also improved, especially in the case of multi-core performance. So, you can get better performance from your Intel Processor N100 powered Mini PCs by increasing its TDP.

2) In AIDA64 stability test, parameters being displayed as straight lines indicates that the performance of your Mini PC is stable. Any big curves in these lines may indicate that the Mini PC is struggling with offering users stable performance.


  If you are a Mini PC user who also cares about CPU performance, you can download the benchmark software listed below and run the tests yourself.

AIDA64: https://www.aida64.com/downloads

CPU-Z: https://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html

Geekbench 6: https://www.geekbench.com/download

Cinebench R23: https://cinebench.en.softonic.com/?ex=RAMP-1768.2