When it comes time to buy a new computer, recognizing the difference between CPU, GPU and APU is a huge advantage. You can end up saving some money especially if you plan to build your own computer.
The three technologies are usually grouped together but have different roles. It is very important to know the role of each of them.
But what are the differences between an APU, CPU and GPU?
Central Processing Unit (CPU)
Translated into Albanian, the central processing unit is the brain of the computer otherwise known as the processor. In early computers the processor was divided into several chips. But to increase efficiency and reduce production costs, the processor (CPU) is now on a single chip.
By reducing the space occupied by the processor, manufacturers have managed to build devices that are even smaller and more compact. Desktop computers can even be found today as all-in-one as laptops become more and more thinner every day.
While smartphones have become more powerful than computers even. CPU performs basic computer processing. Instructions stored in RAM are sent to the processor for execution. It is a three-part system which contains the creation phase. Process decoding and execution. Simply put, the processor receives the input information, understands what it is and creates the necessary output information.
Thus the processor assists everything that keeps the operating system running from opening programs to computing. Those who load the processor the most are video games. Processors are available in several variants with several cores.
Intel uses “Hyper Threading” technology where a 4-core processor behaves as if it were 8, extracting even more power from it.
Graphic Processing Unit (GPU)
Despite advances with CPUs, there is still room for improvement in terms of graphics. The processor manages processes and information in linear steps. But graphic processing requires large amounts of data to be processed simultaneously. This is where the GPU (Graphic Processing Unit) comes into play, reducing CPU load and improving video performance.
Most computers and laptops are equipped with a CPU and GPU but not always. Sometimes at lower levels laptops have integrated graphics and not dedicated.
Both CPU and GPU do similar work but the way they do it is different. The parallel GPU processing structure enables billions of calculations per second for video games or simply video content. The GPU has its own RAM and thanks to it can store images and content whose processing is performed and served when you need.
Since GPUs are replaceable, it is the biggest performance improvement you can make to your computer but they come at a cost.
Accelerated Processing Unit (APU)
To reduce physical size and production costs, some manufacturers have found a way to combine CPU and GPU into a single chip.
These technologies are known as System-on-a-Chip. In this design the processor and graphics are combined into a single board. Not only is cost reduced but efficiency is also improved.
Also by reducing the physical distance between the CPU and the GPU performance increases. So thanks to the APU today we have the revolution of smartphones that are as powerful as a computer.
Because the GPU is adapted for fast computing, the CPU can load some tasks. The efficiency achieved through task sharing and distance reduction makes high performance levels possible.
AMD developed an APU. Intel has begun to integrate CPU and GPU as well. The difference is that AMD offers a separate line while Intel has integrated them into existing processors.