Choosing the pipeline depth of a microprocessor is one of the most critical design decisions that an architect must make in the concept phase of a microprocessor design. To be successful in today's cost/performance marketplace, modern CPU designs must effectively balance both performance and power dissipation. The choice of pipeline depth and target clock frequency has a critical impact on both of these metrics. We describe an optimization methodology based on both analytical models and detailed simulations for power and performance as a function of pipeline depth. Our results for a set of SPEC2000 applications show that, when both power and performance are considered for optimization, the optimal clock period is around 18 FO4. We also provide a detailed sensitivity analysis of the optimal pipeline depth against key assumptions of our energy models. Finally, we discuss the potential risks in design quality for overly aggressive or conservative choices of pipeline depth.