APU vs. CPU vs. GPU – What’s The Difference?

Computers these days come with a variety of different processors, each one designed for a specific task. Some people may be confused about the distinctions between them, so in this article, we will explain the basics of three of the most common computer processors-the APU, CPU, and GPU. We will explain what each one does, how they differ, and what kinds of tasks each is best suited for. So if you are in the market for a new computer or are considering upgrading your old one, read on to learn more about the processors that power it!

What is a CPU?

The central processing unit (CPU) is the computer’s primary chip that executes all of the instructions sent to it by software. A typical CPU contains several cores (processing units) that execute instructions independently. Each core has a small amount of cache memory, where it stores often-used data. The CPU communicates with the main memory (RAM) and input/output (I/O) devices to perform its tasks.

The speed of a CPU is measured in gigahertz (Hz), which equals one cycle per second. A 3 GHz CPU can handle 3 billion cycles each second. The greater the number of cycles your CPU can handle, the faster it will be able to process information and the swifter your computer will operate.

The CPU is sometimes referred to as the “brain” of the computer because it performs all the calculations and makes all the decisions that make a computer work. A modern CPU can execute billions of instructions per second.

What is GPU?

GPU stands for Graphics Processing Unit. It is a dedicated graphics card that handles all the video processing for your computer. GPUs are used to create images and videos and play games. They are important for any device that needs to display visuals, such as laptops, desktops, smartphones, and tablets.

The first GPUs were created in the early 1990s. They were made for video games and were limited to 2D graphics. In the late 1990s, 3D graphics became popular, and GPUs were updated to support them. Today, GPUs can handle 3D graphics, 4K videos, and even VR content.

Both AMD and NVIDIA make GPUs. They are often bundled with a CPU from the same company but can also be bought separately.

Internal GPUs are the most common type. They are installed inside a PC or laptop and connected to the motherboard using a PCIe x16 slot. External GPUs are less common but are growing in popularity. They connect to a PC or laptop via a Thunderbolt 3 port.

GPUs are important for any device that needs to display visuals. They create images and videos, play games, and even power VR devices. GPUs are often used for scientific and engineering applications that require complex visualizations, such as weather forecasting, medical imaging, and oil exploration.

What is an APU?

An APU, or accelerated processing unit, is a single chip that combines a CPU and GPU. AMD was the first to market with an APU, releasing its first generation in 2011. This allows the APU to handle both general-purpose and graphics-specific tasks.

For example, an APU could be used to process images for a video game and then render them on the screen. APU chips are frequently utilized in laptops and other small gadgets with restricted volume. They can also be used on desktop computers but are not as common.

How do CPUs, GPUs, and APUs differ?

The three main types of processors vary in design. CPUs handle various tasks, from running business applications to playing games. GPUs are created to manage graphics-related processes efficiently. APUs combine the capabilities of a CPU and GPU on a single chip.

Another difference between these processors is their speed. CPUs are designed to handle various tasks, so they are not as fast as GPUs or APUs regarding specific tasks. For example, a CPU might be able to render a 3D image in real time, but a GPU will do it much faster.

GPUs typically consume more power than CPUs. This is because they contain more cores and require more electricity to run at full speed. APUs fall somewhere in between, using less power than a GPU but more than a CPU.

What are the benefits of using an APU?

The main benefit of using an APU is that it can provide better performance than a CPU or GPU alone. This is because the APU combines the capabilities of both types of processors on a single chip.

Another benefit of using an APU is that they are more power-efficient than CPUs or GPUs. This is because they use less electricity to run at full speed.

What are the drawbacks of using an APU?

One of the main drawbacks of using an APU is that it can be more expensive than a CPU or GPU alone. This is because they are a newer processor type and are not as widely available.

Another drawback of using an APU is that it can generate more heat than a CPU or GPU. This is because they contain more cores and require more electricity to run at full speed.

Conclusion

A CPU and GPU on a single chip is known as an APU. The main benefits of using an APU are that they can provide better performance than a CPU or GPU alone and are more power-efficient. The main drawbacks of using an APU are that they can be more expensive than a CPU or GPU alone and that they can generate more heat.

John
John is a tech writer who specializes in laptop and PC hardware. He has been writing about technology for over 3 years, and his work has been featured in major publications such as Thrive Global.