APU vs CPU – What Are the Differences, Benefits, and Drawbacks?

PC devices and laptops form a crucial part of our lives. There is no denying in that, is it not? When you are designing your own PC or laptop, then the APU or the CPU form an important component.

Intel & AMD are two conglomerates that produce processors and APUs alike. They have been in the business for many years now. Their CPU or central processing unit comes with the GPU and the integrated graphics as well.

AMD too produces the CPU units that come with the APU or the accelerated processing unit. Today, we will be reading about APU vs CPU. We will also understand & learn which of them is better to use, under what kind of situation.

Mostly, professional gamers are into the line of APUs and CPUs. But when you are somebody who lives selling PCs and laptops, then you might find this post helpful too. As you may know, every system has 3 components in them.

They are the CPU, GPU, and the APU. The GPU is also known as the graphics processing unit. They form a vital part of any PC device. They are required in there because most of the functionalities are done in there.

The CPU is the main part or component of any PC device. Likewise, the GPU and the APU are part of the CPU. It is a cascade of the GPU and the CPU from AMD production. The APU is the CPU having the integrated GPU.

What are an APU and CPU?

The APU may not be the main component of the PC device. But it helps in the smooth running of the PC device. The CPU, on the other hand, is the PC device’s primary component. It performs all the required functions and the tasks needed in your PC.

The information is processed in the CPU and then made to go through the other components for request. Several factors are dependent on it, including the number of cores, the clock speed, the thread count, and the processing rate may differ significantly.

Earlier, the CPU was produced as a quad-core or dual-core. The modern CPU models come with tremendous power in them. They can produce 16 cores and a clock rate of more than 4 GHz. But then, 1 GHz has a process speed of 1 billion instructions in a second, and 4 GHz can process 4 billion instructions in a second.

What is a GPU?

The GPU is the graphics processing unit that is solely responsible for the graphics in the PC device. When you want to make sure that you run your games exceptionally on them, then you can do so.

You can find simple pictures of the interface offered by the system on them. Besides, some of you can find complex graphic files in there. It can do several operations in a high volume that can render the frames there.

It is known as the frame rate. The frame rate can be displayed on the monitor that is exceptionally opulent when your model frame rate is good enough. Besides, the GPU is kind of expensive when you are low on budget.

What are integrated graphics?

There are two kinds of GPUs that are usually found on most PC devices. They are integrated, and the other is known as discrete. You will want to know that the CPU has to process all the information that is in there.

The primary task of the GPU is to render the images depending on the kinds of signals they receive from the CPU. A CPU that has the integrated graphics card does perform these tasks opulently.

When the CPU model comes with a graphics card having the same die as the CPU, then it is known as the integrated graphics card. This is when you don’t require to have another GPU module in there for processing the images and videos.

But when the GPU has a separate IC, then it is known as the discrete graphics card. Consumers may want to know that having the GPU and the processor on the same motherboard comes with some flaws.

They will not work efficiently, reducing your work potential, whether it is gaming or working. However, it is much cheaper to design and build. You can now save on the cost of the PC device having the CPU with integrated graphics with the GPU.

What is an APU?

The APU is another component that is the same as the CPU but on a much lower level to it. Consumers will delight in the fact that they perform several tasks on your PC device. But please note that only a few AMD processors come with the integrated graphics card.

So, AMD wanted to make you know the difference between the processors that have the integrated graphics card in them and called them APU models. However, the processors that do not come with the graphics cards are known as the CPUs.

It can work as a GPU and a CPU. Isn’t that great? It almost serves as a solution for the primary processing graphics rendering option for budget models and not gaming devices. You can understand that the different APU models are produced according to different budgets.

As of now, the Ryzen models come with top-notch features & specifications in them. Moreover, they have more of their models sold in the market. There A series is one of the base models and relatively simple, with less budget.

But the Athlon series of APUs is kind of a mid-range model that comes with several features in them and are kind of priced higher. But the VEGA graphic cores APUs have the ability to perform the tasks that you require from them quickly.

CPU with the dedicated graphics card

When you want to use a dedicated graphics card, then you will want to know that they come with GPU and the CPU having different entities. Moreover, the power supply, the memories, and the cooling technology are different.

It can work well using the PCIe slot, which helps it work stunningly well. You can find the right kind of balance for having a smooth gaming show. Besides, the CPU that has a dedicated graphics card can provide you with an outstanding performance.

APU without a dedicated graphics card

But when you want to use the APU without the dedicated graphics card, it is also a good choice. That is because it can manage the graphics rendering and is relatively low in cost for you. There is a need to use a separate graphics card to design a PC device.

But the APU can compensate for the graphics rendering power of an integrated GPU because they come with less power than a dedicated GPU. It is heartening to note that AMD is taking the right steps with a quick and stupendous dual-channel memory.

Why do you want to consider the APU?

A professional gamer would delight in pairing the CPU with the GPU. It is done that the gaming experience is eloquent. However, when you want to produce something on a budget that does not require heavy spending, then an APU might come into play.

Few issues with the APU in gaming devices

Though AMD may not have produced the APU models that are compatible with most of the motherboard sockets, some APU units cannot be upgraded. Besides, the CPU comes having sockets and is compatible with most of the processors when upgrading.

Currently, the increase in technology has given rise to some of the best gameplay on most PCs. The top-end GPUs & the CPUs can operate and work well with a decent APU model. But at times, an increase in the pressure can cause more heat in them.

Why do you want to make use of the APU on your PC?

The modern-day PC devices are a product of the blending in of the components into a single chip. As a result, the gaming PC was formed. The technology was also called the SoC or the system on a chip.

The APU is designed pretty elegantly such that it can have the GPU as well as the CPU in there. Isn’t that amazing? There is a mild distance between them when it comes to the processing of the data & the graphics as well efficiently.

If both of them are not installed elsewhere, then you can notice a drop in the transfer of the data. Though the GPU can help the CPU here, the delays in the transfer of the data are possible on a different build of the APU.

In the end, the APU is not feasible compared to both the CPU & the GPU. You might as well focus on the CPU aspect of things. But if you are alright with the APU handling things on your PC device, then it is okay.

Why do the CPUs make sense to use for you?

The CPU is also known as the central processing unit of your PC device. They manage and handle everything, right from the small tasks to the significant work in there. Hence, they are considered quite important for any PC device for that matter.

The data that you feed the PC is processed in there. Unless your CPU is a top-notch model, things may not work as you wish to. Sometimes it can be extremely frustrating to have a PC device that is relatively slow and unstable.

But when you change the CPU, you can see incredible improvements in the performance of the PC device. Nothing can take place inside your PC without the functioning of the CPU. So, if required, you may consider having a new CPU for your existing PC.

APU vs CPU – Who wins at the end?

There is no winner at the end. Because the APU and the CPU are needed components for any PC device. When you want to design an ultra-gaming product, then you may want to use a decent CPU.

But the APU, combined with a terrific GPU, can take on any PC device with a top-end CPU. But the budget factor is also there. When you are willing to spend more on your PC device, then so be it.

When you have a cooling system for the GPU can make things pretty essential for your PC device also. But the technology embedded in your APU makes them a pretty potent element not to write off quickly.

What model is the most powerful APU in the market?

At the moment, the most powerful APU is from AMD. As you may know, AMD has been in the production of some dazzling products over the years under competent leadership. Their processors are in great demand, and several APUs are tremendous in performance as well.

Among them, the latest Ryzen 7 5700G is the most powerful APU unit. The unit comes infused with an 8-core/16 thread CPU and an 8-core GPU. You can also consider the Ryzen 5 5600G for cost constraints.

This APU might be helpful when you want to design a powerful gaming PC device without much of a budget problem.

Summing Up

What should you use, the APU or the CPU? The answer to that depends on your requirements at the moment. The majority of the users would benefit from a top-end APU than the CPU in terms of gaming.

However, the CPU is also an essential part of a PC device, and if your CPU component is pretty slow, then you may not benefit just from a new APU in there. Of course, you will also require a powerful GPU and APU as well.

But when you are looking for a budget PC device, then you can consider having the APU changed there. It makes quite a lot of sense because it works out cheaper and consumes low power.

But the APU unit might not be the best option for any professional gamer. That is because they are a budget choice only. When you can afford to use a phenomenal CPU that comes with a graphics card in them, then you might want to opt for it.

Final thoughts on APU vs CPU

This is it. We have ended our discussion on the APU vs CPU units. We hope that you enjoyed reading the above post and were able to clear your mind on the main differences. Moreover, this content helped you understand & learn more about them.

It is helpful for those of you who are planning to design a new gaming or traditional PC device. When you want to produce something that comes with a certain value, then it is imperative that you use the proper APU unit for yourself.

Summing up, the GPU model takes off the load from the CPU and does some of the heavy rendering work. The CPU is the main part of the PC device. You would want to know that the APU model is considered the component that can perform the work of the GPU and the CPU.

Selecting whether you want to use the CPU or the GPU is entirely up to you. It matters based on your preference, requirement, and, more importantly, your budget. When your budget is tight, then you will want to make use of a budget unit.

If you can get a high-end model, then you might want to make use of it as well. This can enable you to produce a stunning gaming PC device for yourself or for sale. This is highly beneficial for those in the production of gaming PCs for a living.

So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and get the unit that suits you today itself.

What is the main benefit of APU?

The main benefit of using the APU is that it can handle the load drivers along with the heating in it. Besides, your cooling requirements are also met. However, the electric version of the APUs comes somewhat quieter when compared to the other forms.

Is APU cheaper than CPU?

Yes, the APU is much cheaper than the CPU and the GPU. That makes it more affordable than these two units. The budget processing unit enables you to play the games that you prefer playing and has an exceptional graphics card driver.

Is APU better than integrated graphics?

The APU is much better than the integrated graphics. The integrated graphics might sometimes not come with the GPU, but it shares a similar cache to the system memory. But it is not more powerful than the CPU; you would want to remember that.

However, in the APU, you can make use of the graphic card that is infused with similar elements in them. This can make it somewhat competitive with the other units that are present in there among in the market.

Can the APU be used as a CPU?

Definitely, the APU can be used as a CPU. However, when you make use of the GTX 750ti, for example, then the iGPU becomes disabled for something. But the CPU of the component does not and can work as long as you want on the PC.

The unit can run somewhat better as the APU units can come with a Turbo that is kind of limited if the iGPU works pretty quickly.

Which is better, APU or CPU?

As the APU models take up less of the power than most of the CPU units and the GPU components, they are better. In this sense, they are suitable as they can save more on battery. When you are short on budget, and looking for something under $400, then APU units can come in handy.

James Smith has always been intrigued by electronic products since his childhood. After his post graduation in electronics from a popular university, he decided to pursue a career in the electronics sector. But his calling for writing about these marvellous pieces of work got the better of him. That is how UBG was started. With a writing career spanning more than 12 years, James has worked on several hundred product reviews. During his free time, he like to spend time with his pet dog and relax in the swimming pool.