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Enthusiast APUs?

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November 2, 2012 4:37:48 AM

I'm only looking for speculation here. I'm into small form factor builds so I find the lack of need for a dedicated GPU to be very attractive. What year or CPU generation can we expect iGPU to be sufficient for high end gaming and other demanding 3D tasks?

Haswell and Kaveri seem lined up to *just about* deliver in that area but still fall short of any Nvidia or AMD dedicated GPU offerings.

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a b à CPUs
November 2, 2012 4:54:53 AM

At some point you end up with a solution that is more expensive and less flexible than seperate GPU and CPU. I think AMD knows this which is why they cap out the APU lineup just about where an enthusiast PC build would start.
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a c 109 à CPUs
November 2, 2012 5:18:39 AM

twelve25 said:
At some point you end up with a solution that is more expensive and less flexible than seperate GPU and CPU. I think AMD knows this which is why they cap out the APU lineup just about where an enthusiast PC build would start.

+1

I do think at some point in time, we will get an APU that has iGPU performance that can play enthusiast-level games on moderately high settings/resolution, however. Though, I think this is still very far ahead considering APU's at the moment seem to be held back by system memory more than anything.
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November 2, 2012 5:31:23 AM

I really don't think we are anywhere near that point yet. As others have said there are to many limitations and you start to pay more than you would for a seperate CPU and seperate video card.
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November 2, 2012 5:37:07 AM

When you look at small form factor systems, the goal isn't to save money. Any budget builder knows that ATX/mATX builds are generally cheaper. Compact systems, to me, are all about fitting as much power into a small space as practically possible. Even if it raises the costs.

The biggest limitation that I understand is in DDR3's transfer rates. Certainly, DDR4 can make APUs more competitive?
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November 2, 2012 5:51:14 AM

They build mobile chipsets for small, cool and powerful. That's why Mac mini is basically a square laptop without a screen and keyboard.

APUs don't really save space. You can run a graphics in the thickness required for a heatsink and fan. And a powerful CPU with a built in powerful GPU would need a fat heatsink to stay cool. You've seen the coolers on even $100 GPUs, now hide a FX-8320 under there too and see how cool it stays.
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November 2, 2012 9:28:35 PM

Maybe once they start stacking RAM onto the APU Itself
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November 11, 2012 11:58:19 PM

Best answer selected by anxiousinfusion.
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