Previously called Fusion, AMD APU (AMD Accelerated Processing Unit) refers to the marketing term for a set of 64-bit microprocessors from AMD. It acts as a graphic accelerator (GPU) and CPU in just one chip.
Benefits of Using APUs
There are many benefits to using an APU instead of a separate CPU and GPU, including the following:
1. Saves money
APUs are a bit more expensive than just the regular CPU but note that it’s more economical to go this route. The additional cost of purchasing an APU is still lower than getting a separate GPU with the same performance.
2. Uses much less power
APU uses much less power than separate GPUs and CPUs. If you are a stickler when reducing your carbon footprint, then this benefit of the best AMD APU will make you want to choose it.
3. Less real estate required on the motherboard
Another remarkable benefit of the best AMD APU is that it requires less real estate on the motherboard. If you use this on a regular desktop motherboard, you do not have to wrestle with strangled wires just to make room for a massive GPU. You will enough room inside the case for proper airflow while using a mini-motherboard to build a compact PC with the same amount of power as most desktop PCs.
4. Excellent performance
AMD APUs perform quite well. It lets you play video games on high settings and render 3D graphics and animations.
But before we go to the factors of consideration for the best choice, let’s first highlight the five best products on the market.
AMD A10-Series APU A10-7850K Socket FM2
The innovative processor for modern workloads and is a great foundation for a powerful gaming PC
AMD A8-7600 Quad-Core 3.1 GHz Socket FM2
Experience a new level of immersion with AMD TrueAudio technology
AMD A6-6400K Richland 3.9GHz Socket FM2
This product is the best choice for mid-level gaming and the usual home and office use.
AMD A10-5800K APU 3.8Ghz
This product is a good choice if what you’re looking for is an affordable processor for high quality
AMD Quad Core A10-Series APU for Desktops A10-6800K
This is a good choice for those searching for an affordable CPU with impressive graphics processor.
Choosing the Best AMD APU
When searching for the best AMD APU that is within your budget, it’s necessary to consider some factors, including the following:
1. Power consumption
All APUs from AMD throttle their power consumption when they get close to 125w, which means that even though they consume a lot of power, not all of the APUs’ cores are in use. If you are looking for the perfect balance between power and efficiency, choose the APU rated for 65w only.
Another factor that should affect your choice for the best AMD APU is the unit’s architecture. The newer the architecture of the APU, the better its performance. Let us take the Kaveri and Godavari architectures. The Kaveri is the older of the two, which means that the Godavari has improved performance. On the other hand, unless you’re a power user, you might not even notice the slight improvement of the newer architecture over the older one.
If you’re working with a tight budget and don’t mind having a slightly less powerful APU, you can go with one that uses the previous chip architecture. However, if you can afford it, choose the newer architecture as it will probably be more future-proof than the older model.
When shopping for the best AMD APU, you need to compare the price to performance ratio of your choices. Look for an APU, which somewhat pushes your budget limit instead of choosing the one with the lowest price. It should fulfill your needs without breaking your budget.
4. Series number of the processor
This should contribute a lot to your decision when choosing the best AMD APU. The higher the number appended to the processor, the better its performance. If you are looking into building a gaming PC then go for APUs from the A8 to A10 range. However, for normal use, the lower series APUs will do.
Top 5 Best AMD APU Reviews
AMD A10-Series APU A10-7850K Socket FM2+ & Transcend 256GB MLC SATA III 6Gb/s 2.5" Solid State Drive Bundle
The AMD A10 APU is the company’s top of the line offering. This unit has a total of 12 cores - 4 CPU cores and 8 cores that will handle the graphics processing. The A10 can run at a blistering speed of 3.7 GHz (up to 4GHz when overclocked) and has a huge 4MB cache for seamless multitasking. On the graphics side, the A10 comes with Radeon R7 Graphics that has enough power for most high-end games (720 MHz).
To sweeten the deal, this bundle comes with a 256GB Transcend SSD. With maximum read and write speeds of 570MB/s and 470MB/s respectively, you do not have to worry about your PC slowing down when you need it to perform at its peak.
- Promotes supreme performance and high efficiency
- Features a powerful GPU installed directly into the die
- Low power consumption
- Impressive graphics without the need for a dedicated GPU card
- Easy upgrades with socket compatibility.
- Ready for Windows 10
This package deal can serve as a great foundation for a powerful gaming PC. It has the power to level up all your gaming experiences. You already have a quite powerful APU that can handle any kind of computing processes and render graphics. It can also provide you with a lightning fast SSD where you can install your choice of operating system. This means that your PC will boot up within seconds of pushing the power switch.
AMD A8-7600 Quad-Core 3.1 GHz Socket FM2+ 65W Desktop Processor AMD Radeon R7 (AD7600YBJABOX)
The AMD A8, although it is a bit lower in the performance ladder of the best AMD APU, is quite an overachiever when it comes to computing power. It has a total of 10 cores - 4 for the CPU and 6 for the graphics. Although it is quite a step down from the A10, the A8 does boast that it only uses 65w of power, which is quite a feat considering it has a processing speed of 3.1GHz and has a Radeon R7 graphics built in the package.
It also works well for its price. Note that it is a Kaveri, so it makes use of the AMD Mantle while also supporting dual graphics/crossfire mode.
- Excellent processing speed
- No need to use a graphics card
- Supports dual graphics/crossfire mode
- Provides more than enough computing power
- Ideal choice if you want a more budget-friendly PC build
- May struggle when used on heavy CPU loads
- Need to double the memory if you intend to use it for the long-term
- Tends to heat up quickly, so you may want to invest in a good cooling system to prevent your APU from frying up your system.
However, under normal load, the heat produced by the A8 is still within the manageable side so you really do not have to worry about overheating if you don’t push it to its limits most of the time. On the other hand, you really do not need to use a super-complicated cooling system to keep this APU within its optimal operating temperature.
AMD A6-6400K Richland 3.9GHz Socket FM2 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor AMD Radeon HD AD640KOKHLBOX
This is the mid-range APU in the A-series from AMD, which makes it the best choice for mid-level gaming and the usual home and office use. This dual core APU runs at a staggering 3.9GHz and comes with a built-in Radeon graphics processor as well. Although not as powerful as the last two entries on this list, the A6 more than makes up for it with reliable performance, and a nifty little price tag (it retails at just under US$50).
If you are just building a computer for your home that will mostly be used for creating office documents, streaming videos, and maybe some mid-level graphics gaming, then the A6 is just right for you. Other benefits that other people who got this APU include low power consumption and relatively low heat it produces. There is also no need for you to invest in a cooling system or an aftermarket heatsink anymore. Note that the one, which came with the APU is more than enough to keep it running at optimal temperature.
- Low price tag
- Runs at 3.9GHz, which is already powerful enough
- Guaranteed to deliver a reliable performance each time
- Less heat, so investing in a cooling system is no longer necessary
- Ideal for mid-level gaming and if you intend to use it for home and office tasks
- When overclocking, though, there is a need to invest in a decent cooling system – Such is necessary as overclocking requires you to tweak the settings in such a way that it will push all the cores to their limits.
Still, with its low price tag, you have an assurance that it can give you almost everything you need from an AMD APU.
AMD A10-5800K APU 3.8Ghz Processor AD580KWOHJBOX
This is one of several iterations of the A10 APUs from AMD. What makes this different is that it has a slightly slower clock speed and only uses around 65w of power. Regarding the other aspects, like number of cores and overall performance, it is still similar to the A10-7850K. It has four cores for the CPU and 6 cores dedicated for the graphics processing.
Using this APU on its own will allow users to play graphics-heavy games, stream and play HD movies, and edit high-res videos with relative ease. It’s a good choice if what you’re looking for is an affordable processor, which can provide a decent amount of graphics capability. It is a speedy processor. It runs Server 2012 and Hyper-V/Virtualization efficiently.
- Offered at an affordable price
- Consumes less power than usual
- Compatible with SSD
- Impressive integrated graphics
- Has a decent OEM cooling feature, which means that there is no need for you to invest in another one
- Throttles the use of all its cores when it is under full load and uses too much power - The lag in performance seems significant, but for most gaming purposes, it is actually negligible.
- Heatsink that came with it is sorely lacking – This isn’t a huge issue though, as most buyers also buy aftermarket cooling systems.
Despite the few flaws, rest assured that you’ll still get real value for your money from this AMD APU. It has more than enough performance and is speedy enough to support your gaming needs.
AMD Quad Core A10-Series APU for Desktops A10-6800K with Radeon HD 8670D (AD680KWOHLBOX)
Another of the best AMD APU models is the A10-6800K, which is a must-buy. The thing that made this particular APU different from the other A10 models is that this comes with a slightly better GPU. The Radeon HD 8670D makes sure that the APU can handle any and all graphics-heavy video games with relative ease. Even playing at high settings, you will most likely not experience any lag or drop in framerate. The APU also has the highest clock speed of all the entries here. At 4.1GHz you will never be found wanting of power.
It’s also a great alternative to the CPUs offered by Intel. It is highly flexible in terms of processing apps and videos. This is a good choice for those searching for an affordable CPU with impressive graphics processor. You can expect it to have better graphics when compared to those using entry-level video cars.
- High clock speed
- Easy to use on heavy gaming
- Comes with a better and much improved GPU
- Capable of handling video games with heavy graphics
- Lower risk of lags or sudden drops on framerate even if you use it on the highest settings
- Tends to throttle once it comes close to the threshold of 125w – This means that gaming on ultra-high graphics settings for some time, or rendering an extremely detailed 3D model will throttle the amount of power going through each core, preventing potential damages.
- Need to invest in a good cooling system – It’s because the heatsink that comes packaged with the APU cannot really handle the amount of heat produced by the A10-6800K under heavy loads.
Since you will be using the APU to handle most of the work, it is necessary for you to invest in a good cooling system, preferably a liquid-cooled one. This way, you no longer have to risk frying the APU and the motherboard where you placed it while you are playing your favorite videogames on ultra-high graphics settings.
Searching for the best AMD APU is not that difficult at all since they have multiple offerings that cater to different kinds of users. As mentioned earlier, average computer users will find that the A4 to A6 models of APUs are more than enough for their computing needs.
On the other hand, experienced gamers, computer graphics professionals, and those who seek a whole lot of power in their computing devices will find the A8 to A10 APUs suitable for their needs.