Understanding the differences between the CPU, GPU, and APU is a huge benefit when purchasing your new computer, and you might even save money. In particular, if you intend to build your PC, this is valid.
Although they play different roles, the three technologies are frequently combined. It is essential to understand how each one works and whether you might require it.
Center for Processing (CPU)
The main brain of the computer is called the Central Processing Unit, or CPU. The CPU in early computers was dispersed across several chips. However, the CPU is now housed on a single chip to increase efficiency and lower production costs. Microprocessors are another name for these tiny CPUs.
We can now develop and create smaller, more compact devices because of the CPU’s lower footprint. All-in-one desktop computers are available; laptops continue to get slimmer while gaining functionality, and some smartphones now outperform their more powerful desktop equivalents.
The CPU handles your computer’s primary computational tasks, and your device’s RAM sends instructions to the CPU for processing. This system has three stages: Fetch, Decode, and Execute. This generally entails obtaining inputs, comprehending them, and producing the intended result.
Your CPU uses this to help with various tasks, including loading your operating system, launching programs, and even doing spreadsheet computations. Video games and other resource-intensive applications put the most strain on your CPU. Because of this, benchmarking tests are frequently conducted using gaming standards.
CPUs come in various configurations, from high-performance octa-cores to energy-efficient single-core devices. Thanks to Intel’s Hyper-Threading technology, an octa-core CPU might appear to be a quad-core CPU. By doing this, you can get the most performance and power out of your CPU.
Check out our explanation of the CPU’s functions if this has aroused your curiosity and you want to learn more.
Processing Unit for Graphics (GPU)
Despite all the improvements in CPUs, one area, specifically graphics, still needs improvement. CPUs process data in linear steps, starting with input. However, processing numerous pieces of data at once is necessary for graphics processing. Your video performance is enhanced, and the workload on the CPU is lessened by the graphics processing unit (GPU).
A CPU and GPU are typically included in computers and laptops. However, this isn’t always the case. Your computer might occasionally ship without a dedicated GPU and instead have integrated graphics, especially if it is less expensive. Check out our integrated and dedicated graphics cards comparison if you’re unsure about your system’s configuration.
Although the GPU and CPU perform comparable tasks, they do so differently. The parallel architecture of the GPU has been tailored specifically for this use. This aids the device’s ability to perform the many calculations per second needed for gaming and movie playing. Frequently, the GPU is mounted on a separate graphics card with its RAM.
This makes it possible for the card to store the data it produces. The GPU can create a buffer, holding finished images until you need to display them due to this built-in RAM. For instance, when watching videos, this is quite helpful.
These cards are frequently regarded as one of the best enhancements you can make to your computer because they are simple to replace. Typically, high-performance graphics cards cost a lot of money, but there are also graphics cards for low-cost gaming, providing options for every spending level.
Processing Unit With Acceleration (APU)
Electronics components can now be combined onto a single chip by manufacturers to reduce physical size and manufacturing costs. System-on-a-Chip (SoC) devices are this technology’s most recent development.
Every major electronic component is incorporated into a single die in this design. This promoted the development of cellphones and low-cost computing equipment. In addition to these SoC designs, ARM Holdings created the mobile-only ARM CPUs.
However, the APU, or accelerated processing unit, was the SoC’s forerunner. These devices created a combined processing unit by placing the CPU and GPU on the same chip. This not only lowers costs but also boosts productivity, and reduced physical separation between the two allows for faster data flow and improved performance.
The CPU can delegate some work to the GPU because GPUs are designed for faster calculating speeds. The efficiency savings from this load sharing would be negated in a different configuration due to the physical separation and slower data transfer rates. These improvements are made feasible by the coupled APU, though.
However, an APU doesn’t perform as well as a specialized CPU and GPU. Instead, they should be thought of as an improvement over integrated graphics. Because of this, APUs are a cost-effective upgrade for PC users.
AMD, a processor maker, created the APU. They weren’t the first ones, though, to use many processors in this manner. The CPU and GPU have also started to be integrated by Intel. The primary distinction was that AMD released an exclusive line of APUs, whereas Intel and other businesses incorporated them into their product lines.
Look at our article on the APU and its functions for a more thorough explanation.
Now that You Know: APU vs. CPU vs. GPU!
You are aware that there are numerous options for your computer now that we have discussed the primary processing units. You’ll probably spend more money, but you’ll also likely see greater performance improvements if you choose a separate CPU and GPU.