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What is an Accelerated Process Unit (APU), and how does it work?

An accelerated processor unit (APU), is a microprocessor that combines the central processing units (CPU), and the graphics processing units (GPU) onto a single chip. Because the processors are not set close together, they can communicate faster.An APU can be compared to a pencil that has an eraser on the other end. You don’t have to pick up a pencil and go looking for an eraser. Once you make a mistake, you can exchange the eraser. You can quickly and easily make corrections to any work you do with one tool. This is how the APU functions for today’s powerful gaming computer.

Learn More About “Accelerated Processing Unit (APU).

When software programmers and manufacturers realized that GPUs weren’t performing to their full potential, the APU was created. Parallel processing, which allows a GPU and a CPU to work together, was the solution. The Accelerated Processing Unit increases the data transfer speed between a CPU and a GPU. This allows a computer to perform tasks with less power than if they were working separately.

Which Sectors are Benefitted by APUs?

Several disciplines have used Accelerated Processing units, including:

Software Development

Software developers can make use of heterogeneous computing architectures which combine GPU and CPU technologies with APUs. This allows them to create applications that require high speed and large processing power. Today’s APUs can support Open Computing Language images (OpenCL). OpenCL is a standard interface that allows parallel computing with the task- and data-based parallelism. Many tasks require high computing power (from CPUs), and fast image processing speed (a GPU feature). However, GPUs and CPUs are not able to process the same data simultaneously. These features are combined with APUs which allow parallel processing to speed up the process.

APUs are also cheaper than a CPU and GPU combination, which makes them great for software developers who have less complex tasks.

Visual Content Creation

Today’s digital content relies heavily upon visuals. Digital content creators can create high-quality videos with an APU-powered computer that enhances user experience.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), the first to develop APUs, allows content creators to use built-in universal video decoders. (DVDs), to refine video content so that it will retain its quality when displayed on large screens.

APUs not only provide high-quality displays but also allow content creators the ability to clean up videos and photos, simplifying and streamlining content creation.

Gaming

Gamers who are looking to build their own computers can also benefit from APUs. They can benefit from faster and more powerful graphics processing without spending a lot of money.

Should You Purchase accelerated Processing UnitWhat is the best way to get started?

An APU is not necessary for everyone, but it can be a valuable addition to your computer if the person you are working as a digital designer, software developer, or professional gamer. An APU can be purchased and installed for less than a CPU or GPU upgrade. Below is a table that compares the costs of each type of processor.

Type of ProcessorModelPrice
CPUAMD Threadripper 3970X (according to Tom’s Hardware)US$1,973.76 to US$2,653.75
GPUAMD Radeon RX 5700 (based on Techradar)From US$399.99 to US$489.99
APUAMD A10-9700 (according to GamingScan)From US$90.99 to US$102.32

The price points above will show that an upgrade to your CPU or GPU can cost you an average of US$2,758.75. While a cheaper option is an APU which costs an average of US$96.66. Although this calculation is not accurate and does not take into consideration the specifications of processors, it will give you an idea to help with your purchase decision.

Trivia

An APU was originally known as “Fusion”. AMD was the original creator of the APU. It used the term “Fusion” to market its 64-bit microprocessors, which combined a CPU with a GPU in one unit.

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