A The maximum heat, measured in watts, that a cooling system is designed to dissipate.
The maximum amount of heat a cooling system will be required to dissipate during normal operation. This is often less than the maximum power drawn by a component. Typical desktop processors run at TDP's of between 50 and 100 watts. For laptops and other portable computers low TDP's are essential (often between 5 and 20 watts) as they prolong battery life. Aside from the power savings offered by CPUs with low TDP's there are other factors such as cooling requirement and noise that should also be taken into account. The lower the TDP the smaller the required fan which normally results in less noise. Another advantage of a low TDP is that there is less dependence on other components such as heavy and expensive power supplies and there is less likely to be damage to other components caused by over-heating.

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