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Difference Between APU, CPU and GPU

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When buying a desktop computer, there are a series of processors that are integrated to enhance the general performance of the computer. Some are functional for graphical representation and others process the overall performance of the computer.

Some of the core processors built into a computer include a GPU, CPU, and APU. The functions of these processing units are often misplaced for the other but they function collectively for a smooth computer performance 


Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)

The Graphics Processing Unit is a programmable electronic circuit card that is designed to perform high volume and repetitive computation that helps it to process images at a very fast rate.

It functions as an interface on the graphics card’s board that renders the graphic user interface on an operating system for graphical applications such as animation, video editing, image files, 3D modeling, and other professional software that requires detailed graphical illustration. 

It is designed for quick image processing, and functions by transferring files into frame rates. Its speed is usually measured in Megahertz and it is designed with its RAM to store temporary data which enables it to function with the aid of a well-optimized graphics card with the most popular brand being Nvidia and AMD.

It comes in different sizes and employs different cooling solutions that make it adaptable for laptops, casual computer users, and gamers. It can be integrated with either a CPU or a motherboard which makes it removable and upgradeable. It can also be in a dedicated format that helps it to function via a PCIe slot with the motherboard. 

Central Processing Unit (CPU)

Popularly known as the brain of a computer that gives a command to every component, the central processing unit can be regarded as one of the basic components of a computer that determines its overall performance. It is built with tons of transistors and multiple cores that implement basic logical operations such as opening programs, loading an operating system, and general multitasking.

Its speed is measured in gigahertz and by default, its speed determines the overall performance of the computer. It is built as a general-purpose interface whose speed and intelligence determine the overall performance of the computer. 

It is available in different variants, with the most popular being AMD, Intel, and Apple. However, most modern CPUs come with integrated GPUs but a GPU has more processing power than a CPU with an integrated graphics card.

Accelerated Processing Unit (APU)

The best way to describe an Accelerated Processing Unit otherwise known as APU is a jack of all trades. It is built with both CPU and GPU cores on a single die which makes it able to perform the tasks of a GPU and a CPU. It is a hybrid of a CPU and GPU processor that is built by AMD to function as a general-purpose processor with a faster transfer of data, increased performance, and a cost and a power-efficient alternative to a GPU. 


The GPU is ideal for generating smooth motion pictures with graphical contents for virtual reality and it is faster than the CPU for executing tasks that require multi-threading, however, the general performance of the computer is processed by the CPU. They function collectively for a smooth computer user experience. An APU gives you some of the best from both.

Favour Etim

Years of hard work, research, and internship in technologically and computer-related fields have helped Etim Favour to produce informative and engaging writings on computers and technology-related products. When Favour is not writing, you’ll find her answering questions to help gamers and office workers to build the best battlestation/workstation.

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