APU vs. Video card: which one is better to buy?

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An APU, sometimes called an iGPU, is a graphics solution integrated directly into the CPU that works similarly to a graphics card, but which of the two is better to buy? Since the popularization of NVIDIA GPUs in 1999, the graphics card has become the most important component of the hardware of gaming PCs, allowing for maximum performance. The graphics card is tasked with displaying all the visual effects presented by the PC, and the processor can only work on organizing the information. Due to their importance and rarity, graphics cards are expensive, energy-intensive and cumbersome, which leads to headaches along with related performance improvements.

The differences between them may be small technical, but as far as functionality is concerned, APU usually works as a much cheaper solution due to lower performance, while a dedicated graphics card has a much higher performance ceiling, but a much higher cost. and energy consumption, in addition to generating more heat and occupied space. For these reasons alone, it might be worth looking at a modern APU for light gaming and general PC use to save a ton of money. However, understanding which video cards can be compared to which APUs can be tedious and time-consuming.

For reference: the best APUs to date, such as the Ryzen 7 5700g, can provide gamers with 60 to 80 frames per second in conventional esports games at low and medium settings at an asking price of about $ 350, if they are not sold on the stock. Conversely, today’s best dedicated GPUs easily pull 300 frames per second in the same games if they are paired with a relatively powerful processor. However, such a video card can cost more than $ 1,000, and this price does not include the purchase of a processor.

Is an APU or video card the right tool for the job?

Those who want to purchase a video card are, as a rule, gamers who intend to play video games at medium and high settings and at the same time strive to get a stable frame rate of 100 + FPS. In addition, novice streamers or video editors will definitely need a high-quality graphics card to cope with the workload that these two processes may have on their PC. For a good budget option, NVIDIA’s GTX 1660 Super graphics card paired with AMD’s Ryzen 7 5700x processor is a high—quality combination that reduces costs with sufficiently high frames. For more power, the RTX 3080 or higher, together with the Intel 12900k, is an extremely powerful, albeit expensive combination that will only match the frames it gives out by the heat it emits. This combination will make video editing a quick and easy task, and 4K streaming will really become viable.

If video editing, hardcore games with high settings, and streaming aren’t tempting right now, APU will almost certainly be the right choice. The best choice at the moment, AMD Ryzen 7 5700g, is very effective in providing high-quality gameplay, releasing a small amount of heat, reducing costs and generally being a fairly convenient technology to work with. In addition, this APU has the advantage that it provides above-average performance in the CPU part, so if the user wants to upgrade later, all he will need to do is connect the graphics card of his choice along with the APU to start reaping the benefits. advantages, CPU upgrades are not required.

Graphics cards and APUs have their place in the world of technology, but their use cases are completely different. And while graphics cards are second to none in performance, many PC users will find that APUs provide enough or more power than necessary for a fraction of the price.

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