Last Updated on September 14, 2020 by Scott Krager
For those who have been active participants in the PC gaming market, it is safe to say that you are aware of the ever so changing landscape, and the introduction of new technological advancements.
For anyone who is running a business, the PC gaming market is the way to go right now thanks to all the amazing things we are getting to witness.
However, one thing that we must acknowledge is that while things are becoming easier for us, they are also becoming complicated, too. For starters, newcomers are now having a harder time choosing the right hardware as they did a few years ago, and there is just so much to choose from that you can easily end up messing things up.
The topic of discussion today is a comparison between APU and CPU.
Considering how AMD is trying to shake the market with its options, it seems like a viable decision to go for something like that. Still, with that said and done, we are going to be looking at both CPU and APU to see how they both fair in gaming.
Since we are well aware of what a CPU is, the focus is more on the APU, so, let’s have a look at what an APU is.
So far AMD is the only renowned company creating APUs. An APU stands for (Accelerated Processing Unit).
If you are wondering what that means, it is just a simple processor, however, the integrated graphics processing unit in an APU is more powerful than it is in a standard CPU (like in Ryzen 3 3200g and Ryzen 5 3400g).
Now the reason why it is such a benefit to AMD is that AMD is responsible for creating both their CPU and GPUs, so it is easier for them to make sure that the performance in their APUs is somewhat higher than average.
APU vs CPU: Which Processor Type is Better for Gaming?
Now comes the real debacle, for longest, the gamers have been buying external GPUs with their CPUs in order to get the desired frame-rates in the games that they wanted to play. However, things are changing now by a drastic measure as AMD is bringing out APUs that is supposedly going to change the game.
If you want to find out whether the APU is better than a CPU in gaming, then there are two ways to get accurate answers from this scenario. One of them involves pitting an APU and a CPU in an isolated environment by removing the biggest determinant that is the graphics cards.
In that situation, the APU is clearly going to outperform the CPU in gaming performance.
Now, the interesting part here is that the aforementioned scenario does not happen to be real. The reason being simple, people do not go with just the CPU when they are building a gaming computer.
They always have GPU to accompany their configuration because that is the smarter way to do that. So, in that case, if you pair an AMD APU with a GPU from either Nvidia, and AMD, and then pair the same GPU with an Intel CPU, the situation will change. How? Let’s find out.
This should not come as a surprise to anyone but Intel has always been ahead when it comes to gaming performance. In order to create a scenario, let’s combine an AMD APU with an AMD RX 580, and an Intel CPU that is comparable in price and performance to the AMD APU with the same GPU.
The rest results will definitely show a better performance on the Intel side of things. Why is that?
It is simple to understand; the moment you pair an APU or a CPU with a graphics card; the integrated graphics card takes a step back and the system stops utilizing it. So, from that standpoint, the graphical processing is only handled by the GPU itself. Therefore, in that scenario, the CPU definitely takes the lead.
I believe we have enough evidence to head well into the conclusion. If you are to compare both APU and CPU just for the sake of their gaming performance, then the answer is right in front of you. In an isolated and controlled situation, the APU will definitely outperform the CPU in terms of gaming performance.
However, as we have discussed, a gamer would always buy a CPU along with a GPU. Therefore, in a more realistic, real-world scenario, the CPU would definitely win in terms of sheer gaming performance.
Additionally, APUs of the past have given some issues as they had different sockets than the more mainstream motherboards as well. So, upgrading them was not an option. Things are a bit different now ever since AMD came up with Ryzen APUs.
So, what can we conclude from our original question? Well, the conclusion is rather easy to draw. If you are a gamer who has enough budget to go with both the CPU and a GPU. Then in that case, always go with a CPU and a GPU combo rather than spending extra money on an APU and then combining it with a GPU because that extra money will go to waste.
However, if you are just buying an APU because you do not have a lot to spend, and you still want to be able to play some games on decent settings, then you should go with an APU.
In conclusion, the comparison between both the CPU and APU comes at a halt and is entirely conditional. Both have benefits over each other in certain conditions. Ultimately, the CPU definitely does better in more realistic scenarios than an APU is able to do in a controlled situation.