Some of you guys are familiar with this term for others I will make it simple.
APU = CPU + GPU.
APU’s are also called as iGPU or integrated GPU. This is a combined dye/chip having both CPU and GPU cores. If you look, it would be same as an appearance of a CPU.
So now question will be:
- What is so unique in this?
- Why I should I buy one?
- Does is helps in gaming…
Lets take all these questions collectively in this article. An APU works as integrated form for graphic processor embedded with CPU in a single chip. AMD has taken this concept to a whole different level. We know that we can play some simple games in or PC and we can also see some pretty decent HD images and movies without using any discrete graphics card. This is done through the integrated graphics in CPU. But have you ever thought of playing Battlefield 4, GTA V, Star wars battlefront etc without any beefy GPU? I am sure not even your wild dreams would have imagined this if you are unaware of APU performance. If you are a hardcore gamer and you would not compromise with your graphics and FPS then APU’s are not for meant for you mate. APU are optimum for those casual game loving people who are not that demanding but still wants their PC to run the latest ones in medium to low settings.
How does it work? The concept is same as we use in normal gaming setup. A CPU paired with an GPU. Here the GPU is scaled down to be embedded in single chip with a CPU. Lets take an APU to break it down to component level and key features.
This is the latest APU from AMD and their fastest yet. We have seen some of the best APU’s from AMD past year starting from its ‘Kaveri’ A10-7650K and refereshed in 2015 for A10-7870K which is still the most purchased APU. Then came ‘Godavari’ A10-7670, recently refreshed to A10-7870 and this new one A10-7890 is also considered as ‘Godavari refresh’ again. This APU has integrated R7 series graphics in GCN architecture which are pretty decent to play low end games. It supports AMD Mantle and freesync technology which makes the game play experience smoother. With 8 cores of GPU it is paired with relatively heavy CPU with 4 cores clocked at 4.1/4.3 GHz (base/turbo). AMD is also shipping this with their new wraith coolers that are considered to be best in stock cooling.
Can I add a dedicated graphics card with an APU? Yes and no… Actually you can, but you have to rely on adding same architecture graphics card, in this case R7 to work on dual graphics mode. This is the only option to utilize the dual graphics option in AMD platform. What if you add a GTX 980ti or fury X. This will not be considered and configured in dual graphics mode. You will be able to play games but you have to choose which graphics you want, either integrated graphics or discrete graphics card. This is why I told you in the beginning, if you want to play more graphic intensive games, APU’s are not for you. R7 graphic cards are ok to pair with but it will not increase the gaming performance drastically and will leave you to think why you invested money on this card.
The best utilization in my opinion will be if you want a decent powered gaming pc and you like small form factor APU is perfect you you. As no expansion is needed a motherboard and low profile APU cooler is perfect to be accommodate into this small chassis.
I would also recommend you to watch this video where Jay shows how capable and old A10-7850K can be in gaming performance. This is 2 year old video but will surely make you understand on the performance point of view, what to be expected from this new gen APU.
The new APU from AMD is released in the US and will soon be coming to India. A10-7890K is unlocked APU priced at around 160$. In India we can expect for this APU to be priced at around ₹13,000.