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I wonder if I'm misinterpreting TDP.

For the 105W TDP chip vs. say the 65 W one. If there is a lesser task not saturating the cores, the power/heat generation would be similar, and the bigger chip doesn't really ramp up the heat/wattage unless heavier loads are thrown at it?

For sibling chips like this, yes. Two cores being run at 90% utilization each will draw about the same amount of power regardless of whether you bought the 6-core version or the 8-core version.

Similarly, 4 cores running on the 12 or 16 core chips should eat about the same amount of power as each other.

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