AMD APU vs CPU: which is better for gaming, which is more expensive, and more

APU vs CPU, here's what you need to know about processors in gaming PCs.

AMD has been manufacturing gaming-focused processors for quite a long time. A good processor is absolutely necessary for everyday tasks on your PC as well as for gaming. However, finding the perfect processor for your needs, which fits in your budget, can be quite tricky. Fortunately, AMD develops APUs and CPUs suitable for gaming and creative work that is available at varying prices. If you are planning to build a new PC, then here’s what you need to know about AMD’s APUs and CPUs.

What is a CPU?

The Central Processing Unit or CPU is used for processing all the data on a PC. Various components work together to send instructions to the CPU that need to be executed. Many Intel CPUs come with an integrated Graphics Processing Unit or GPU that can be used for playing games. However, the internal GPU isn’t powerful enough to play games with high fidelity graphics or at high frame rates. So, players generally go for a dedicated GPU from AMD or Nvidia.

What is an APU?

APU vs CPU

An Accelerated Processing Unit or APU is AMD’s brand name for a CPU that has decent graphics processing. Since AMD manufactures both CPU and GPU, it uses its GPU architecture to develop processors with integrated graphics that are much better than what you find in the market. AMD’s APUs work pretty much the same as Intel HD Graphics, which is Intel’s integrated graphics solution.

APU vs CPU: Which is better for gaming?

Since AMD’s APUs have a built-in graphics processor, it will perform better in gaming compared to its CPUs without integrated graphics. That being said, neither individual CPUs nor APUs are ideal for playing games with high fidelity graphics or high frame rates. However, if you want an inexpensive gaming setup that offers entry-level graphics for older games, then you can pick AMD APUs over its CPUs. AMD has recently launched its brand-new 5000-G series of APUs built on Zen 3 architecture. The processors come with AMD Radeon graphics that offer 1080p gaming out of the box, according to AMD.

APU vs CPU: Which one is more expensive?

Buying an AMD APU is much more cost-effective compared to buying a CPU and a dedicated GPU. For example, AMD Ryzen 7 5700G APU costs Rs 27,180 and AMD Ryzen 7 5800X CPU costs Rs 35,890, although they both have similar specs. Additionally, the Ryzen 7 5800X CPU does not have integrated graphics support, so you would need to buy a dedicated Nvidia or AMD GPU based on your budget and gaming preferences. That being said, gaming performance with a CPU and a dedicated GPU will be better than that of an APU.

AMD APU list

AMD has the following APUs available right now:

  • Ryzen 7 5700G
  • Ryzen 7 5700GE
  • Ryzen 5 5600G
  • Ryzen 5 5600GE
  • Ryzen 3 5300G
  • Ryzen 3 5300GE
  • Ryzen 7 4700G
  • Ryzen 5 4600G
  • Ryzen 3 4300G
  • Ryzen 7 4700GE
  • Ryzen 5 4600GE
  • Ryzen 3 4300GE

AMD CPU list

AMD is currently selling the following CPUs:

  • Ryzen 9 5950X
  • Ryzen 7 5800X3D
  • Ryzen 9 5900X
  • Ryzen 7 5800X
  • Ryzen 5 5600X
  • Ryzen 7 5700X
  • Ryzen 5 5600
  • Ryzen 5 5500
  • Ryzen 7 5700G
  • Ryzen 5 5600G

The verdict

While APUs cannot compete well against a CPU + GPU combo, they can be a great option if you want to build a budget PC. Besides everyday tasks on your PC, APUs can be used to play older games as well as games that don’t require a lot of resources. However, if you are looking for a dedicated gaming PC, then you need to get a CPU and a dedicated graphics card to ensure great performance in games.