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About Amd's new Kaveri apu's...??

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http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/174156-amd-finally-launches-the-kaveri-apu-its-most-important-chip-launch-in-years

I'm really confused over the whole apu concept. For example, I use my pc as a htpc. Will I still need a separate video card...??

The little graphs shown suggest they outperform the core i5 thing... but I was under the impression that these were to be low-end type chips....

I've always been pro Amd, support the little guy etc, but was considering dumping them for my next upgrade as they appeared to be abandoning their high end line to concentrate on low end chips.(at least, that was my understanding)

Any thought about the whole apu thing would be most appreciated.

Oh, and to the intel fanbois.... if ya could just give it a rest, that would be swell...
 
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An APU, at the moment atleast, is nothing more than a CPU and GPU put together on the same chip. In this sense, you wouldn't need an external graphics card anymore if all you need is basic display functionality, since on an APU its already baked into the main processor.

The main point however, is that this usually goes at the cost of CPU power. For intel, this isn't a big issue, as their architecture is efficient enough to still allow very decent CPU performance while retaining the integrated GPU. For AMD however, choosing an APU over a CPU results in having significantly less CPU power. A good example is the max "core" count of FX compared to their fastest APU. The FX CPU has 8 cores, while the APU has just 4, because it also has to fit in the GPU part.

Apart from that, there are some distinct advantages to be had from APU's, some already very usable, and some more speculative. For an instance, an Intel APU has something called QuickSync, which lets you encode video in a very efficient way. The newest AMD APU's (with Kaveri being the first) supports a much more generic form of hardware acceleration, but without a lot of support (yet).

So when it comes to performance, its all about where your priorities lie: If you want good CPU performance, and don't care a lot about the GPU part, you can go for about any current Intel CPU, and you'll be happy.
If you want both decent CPU and GPU performance, an AMD APU would probably be your best bet, since AMD generally makes APU's with more beefy graphics processing parts.

If you want more than decent graphics performance, you'll need a dedicated graphics card either way, so then it'll become the traditional story again.

So more to the point
As a HTPC, any APU would usually do, without needing a dedicated graphics card, unless you want to play games at high resolution and detail levels. An AMD APU will be a bit better on the graphics side, while an Intel GPU will be better at the CPU side(usually).

Edit regarding the thread title:
Kaveri is special in the sense that both the GPU and CPU are equal on a hierarchical level, where traditionally the GPU needs commands from the CPU, and has its own memory. In practice, this means that in kaveri, programs can directly talk to both the CPU and GPU, and they can both directly talk to eachother without any of the usual latency, and without needing to copy across data from one type of memory to another. For programming purposes, this is (once correctly put to use) incredibly helpfull, as programmers can now write programs that can use the computational capability of both the CPU and GPU without having to worry about the problems that traditionally prevented most programs from using the GPU. It also in a way Makes this new APU a 12 Core, because all 12 cores(4 CPU, 8 GPU) can be used individually, and can talk to each other. The difference between this and a traditional 12core CPU being that an APU has more than one kind of "core".
 
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