N/APosted on - 03/06/2012
Benefits of an APU over the traditional CPU? Is it applicable for laptops? What about desktops? Or high-end laptops and desktops?
Are APUs the next best thing?
Ever since the x86 processors of Intel became popular throughout two decades ago, the Central Processing Unit or CPU has been the heart of the PC. However, one known weakness for the CPU is that it has a relatively linear data execution. For processors used as graphics, it contains many small cores that could simultaneously execute data which makes it easier to perform given tasks like 3D graphics and video decoding.
Both AMD and Intel have known this issue for some time already and in response they tried combining both the strengths of CPUs and GPUs which resulted into a new type of product we now call APU.
What is an APU?
APU is what we call Accelerated Processing Unit. As of this time, this terminology is only used by AMD in their products. Recently Intel released and update to its many processors and it also qualified as an Accelerated Processing Unit. However, Intel doesn’t seem to use the definition for the APU. It could be understood since Intel has been known as the World’s Leading CPU Maker for the past few years.
Benefits of APU?
Intel and AMD know that there are some benefits of integrating GPU into their CPU Architectures and that’s the reason why they go so much for that trouble. As we know, sometimes the company is more focused on selling the product rather than the customer benefit of the new technology. The benefits of the APU can be noticed by the end user and are dramatic in a way.
One advantage for APU is the obviously improve performance. Graphics on the APU are not created to be competitive with other high-end or even mid-range discrete graphic cards. However, they are known to be better than past integrated processors for graphics. The fastest graph is available on Intel which is known as the Intel HD Graphics 3000 is two or three times faster than the previous Intel HD Graphics solution. This was on the processor die but was not integrated into the architecture. Due to this one, the possibility of new features like Intel’s Quicksyn Video Transcoding Technology was included.
Improved power efficiency can also be noticed as another advantage is using APUs. It is now possible to share resources and the same results were achieved with less silicon when they integrated GPU into the architecture. Obviously, early benchmark of AMD Fusion and Sandy Bridge Laptops make this advantage. It is known that systems with these processors have a longer battery life than similar ones saddled with a CPU and a discrete or integrated graphics processor that is separated.
The first to introduce A series Notebook and Desktops was AMD. This is a complete APU-based series.