What Is an APU? Introduction to Accelerated Processing Unit

Aaron Paul updated on Aug 24, 2022 to Knowledge Center

With the advancement in the gaming and graphic designing field, it has been compulsory to pick a desktop or laptop with high GPU properties. But it has become hard in this time for every gamer and designer to choose such a device. So, we have written this guide about "What is an APU?"

In this guide, you can read about APU and how it is better than GPU. We will also compare APU with CPU and GPU for better analysis. Let's get started and check what is an APU and why it is gaining popularity in the gaming community.

AMD FX APU (Image credit: AMD)

What Is an APU?

APU or Accelerated Processing Unit is the combination of both CPU and GPU. It is a general term for a series of processors your device uses for different operations. An APU uses a single chip that takes less space but keeps your device in a good performance.

Here we are going to show you "What is the APU on a computer and its functionality?" 

APU has multiple features that make it better than ordinary or traditional CPUs. First, this modified process will boost the processing speed of your device. It can enhance your device's speed a little bit.

Secondly, it performs the functions of CPU and GPU. Because it is a series of processors installed on a single chip with features of both. Therefore, there will be no need for a graphic card or GPU separately on your gaming device.

A few PlayStation by Sony and Xbox versions have been launched with the installation of APU instead of CPU and GPU separately. All in all, you can say that APU is better than both previous traditional processing units.

Development of APU

The project to design an APU was started in 2006 by AMD. It is one of the leading manufacturers in the world in this field. The company aimed to combine CPU and GPU on a single chip die.

It took a lot of time the manufacturing this Accelerated Processing Unit and launch it to the general public. The main reason behind this is technical complications faced by designers because they have to set up properties of both CPU and GPU on a single chip of a few nanometers.

The very first device with APU was launched in 2011 by AMD with the codename Llano. It was designed for high-performance devices that can work smoothly with heavy software or programs.

Meanwhile, the second device with APU was launched with the codename Brazos. That APU was designed for low-power devices to boost the speed and wrap two processing units in a single one.

To date, APU has continued to launch with advancements in different sections just according to the demand of the field. Now, most devices are launched with APU instead of CPU and GPU processors with different specifications.

APU vs. CPU vs. GPU

With the involvement of APU in the field, it has become common to discuss and compare all of these processing units. We have researched a lot and found some matches as well as differences in APU, CPU, and GPU specifications.

So, we are going to show you a comparison between APU VS CPU VS GPU. Let's have a look at these facts.

Before comparison, let us show you the basic properties of CPU and GPU. CPU is just like the brain of the computer. It controls all the operations of your device. CPU or Central Processing Unit directs the computer components to perform just according to the instructions that it will send for a specific operation.

Intel CPU

On the other hand, GPU or Graphics Processing Unit is the main factor that will decide the display of any image, video, or graphical data. The outlook of any visual context is the responsibility of the GPU and it is that part of the processor which makes sure that the look is what the CPU wants to display on the screen.

APU vs. CPU vs. GPU

Now, you have got an idea about what is CPU and what is GPU. We have already discussed APU in the above sections in detail. No doubt, GPU and CPU are integral components of any computer system.

Without them, a device may not work even for a second. But APU is an extended or advanced processing chip on which both of these have been implanted. You can say that APU will provide you operations for both these processing units instead of only.

So, you don't need to install an extra GPU or graphic card with your device if it has APU with enough capacity. If you want to be within budget for your computer, you should pick APU instead of GPU and CPU separately.

It will help you to experience better results even if you use heavy-duty software. You can simply turn on your device and work with any software that can be handled in those properties of APU.

Final Thoughts

APU is an advanced processing unit that many companies are using today. You should consider a device with APU instead of GPU because it offers you benefits in multiple dimensions. We have discussed briefly what is an APU so you can easily understand the term and utilize it in your system.

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