AMD has just announced its A-Series of Accelerated Processing Units (APU), which is a quad-core* X86 processor (CPU) with a discrete-class graphics processor (GPU) in the same chip. The A-Series aims at competing with Intel in the entry-level market by providing additional horsepower, mainly thanks to its higher-performance graphics and quad-core processors. *Note: the A4 is dual-core, while the A6 and A8 are quad-core chips.
To make a long story short, the AMD solution is typically better than Intel’s as soon as complex graphics tasks are involved. For example, AMD can smooth YouTube videos, or run 3D polygonal graphics better than Intel can (games are pretty sweet!). A-Series users can also find computers that have both an internal GPU, and a discrete GPU and have them work together to accelerate select apps and games further.
Also, AMD’s graphics processor can also handle non-graphics tasks like physics or general purpose computing – if the application supports it. On the other hand, Intel has a very power-efficient video encore/decode engine, but it is not capable of handling physics.
More importantly, AMD says that computers using their A-Series chip should have a (noticeably) better battery life than competing solutions. AMD also has an integrated USB 3.0 controller, while Intel has an external chip for that.
All in all, the AMD A-Series is pretty exciting and the company is aiming at taking share from Intel’s Core i3, which is a dual-core CPU. Obviously, many factors go into the overall system performance, but if you want to play games or use above-average graphics, this is certainly an option to look at.
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