Processors have allowed us to do without graphics cards in our computers for some time now. Does this mean the end for discrete graphics cards? We checked to see if it's possible to do our gaming with APUs.
To recap, an APU is the combination of a CPU and a graphics unit on the same chip. The APU manages the display and does away with the requirement to have a separate graphics card in your computer.
Intel was first to come out with such a chip with its Sandy Bridge range. AMD came later with the Llano APUs (Fusion range), but claims to be offering a particularly rapid solution for video games.
This obviously leads us to ask whether this means the end for discrete graphics cards and whether you can really do your gaming under good conditions with the available APU graphics solutions.
To give an answer to these questions, we selected four APUs, two from Intel and two from AMD, and ran them through their paces with 8 video games, at two resolutions and taking 140 readings in all.
We also carried out the same tests on an AMD Radeon HD 6790, on sale for around £100, with the object of measuring any difference between one of the cheaper discrete cards and the integrated graphics solutions.
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