Leaked Gigabyte Roadmap Suggests 600W CPUs Are Coming Sooner Than You Think

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Yes, you read that headline correctly, and no, it's not an error. Six-hundred-watt CPUs are on the way, at least according to a leaked slide supposedly from Gigabyte. Put down the albuterol inhaler, though; we're not talking about a 600W CPU in your desktop PC—at least, not unless you regularly run top-end server hardware in your desktop. (And if you do, we're sorry about your hearing.)

This news comes to us in the form of a leaked slide shared by restricted data release recidivist HXL (@9550pro on Twitter). The slide supposedly originates with Gigabyte, and it seems it's intended to illustrate how processor power, both CPU and GPU, will climb to heretofore unseen levels over the next two years.

Apparently, by the end of 2025, Intel and AMD's top-end CPUs will be drawing 500 and 600 watts respectively, while PCIe GPUs scale up to 500W. Then there's NVIDIA's SXM5 standard, on which Hopper H100 is already drawing 700 watts, and finally the Grace Superchip, whenever that arrives, which is expected to pull as much as 1 KW.

As you might have guessed based on the parts we're talking about, this is all in the realm of server hardware. There's another clue down at the bottom of the chart: the Giga Computing logo. That's Gigabyte's server arm, meaning that this slide—if legitimate—probably originated with a presentation arranged by that group. As such, just in case you haven't caught on, this slide only really applies to "big iron" server hardware, not desktop PCs.

It's no surprise to anyone paying attention that the power requirements of processors are going to increase rapidly. That's partially because the historic gains in power efficiency from newer and smaller fabrication processes have largely dried up—or, in the words of Jensen Huang, "Moore's law is dead." The reality is that there are still significant gains to be had from the latest lithography techniques, but they're smaller and coming slower than before.

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NVIDIA's proud of its progress, and rightly so; still, plenty of tasks can't be GPU-accelerated.

But there's another reason that power budgets are skyrocketing, and that's simply because the demand for compute is accelerating faster than ever before. Everyone wants to make use of services that require massive computational capabilities, and that means that processors have to get faster through whatever means necessary.

While we're not likely to see 600-watt desktop CPUs anytime soon, it's not hard to break 250 watts of real power draw with a current Intel chip. We wouldn't be super surprised if Zen 5 and Arrow Lake scale on up past 150 watts officially, meaning they can draw twice that much or more with a pathological load. Better invest in some serious CPU cooling.