When it comes to shopping for a PC, the first thing that people consider for a system’s performance is the computer’s CPU, and then usually the system’s memory is the next component that they take into consideration. Unfortunately, the GPU is often neglected and not enough consideration is taken into getting a dedicated graphics card. This is a shame since more so than ever, having a dedicated GPU inside of your PC can significantly improve your system’s performance. As a result, AMD is on a mission to spread the awareness of the value in getting a discrete GPU with your system and has given us crash course on the importance of the GPU. Really, there is no feasible reason for a GPU not to be taken in to consideration nowadays when even the lowest cost Radeon cards can provide so much extra power for a system. As a matter of fact, including a discrete GPU in your next computer purchase will likely only add a minimal cost to your system’s configuration, yet it can really extend the shelf life and overall value for your new computer.
AMD has shown us some interesting stats regarding how many people overseas purchase discrete GPUs, compared to the amount of consumers here who purchase discrete GPUs in the U.S. It turns out that in China about 80% make sure to purchase a new PC system with a dedicated GPU, because they believe that is the proper way to get the most value out of their PC purchase. In Europe the attach rate is similarly high at about 75%, and in the Middle East it’s about 65%. Yet, here in the U.S. the attach rate for purchasing a discrete GPU is just out 10% to 20%.
In particular, AMD’s latest series of Radeon graphics card provides DirectX 11 support which is now an integral component of Windows 7. At the moment, there aren’t all that many software applications that feature Direct X 11 support, but that is about to change rapidly. For example, Internet Explorer 9 which was just released, supports DirectX 11 powered apps. These apps require more GPU power to run properly.
But it’s not just DirectX 11 support that makes getting a dedicated GPU so worthwhile, AMD’s latest Radeon GPUs also provide other benefits like improved playback quality for everything from YouTube to H.264 videos. Even some of the most affordable GPUs from AMD’s latest RADEON series feature AMD Eyefinity multi-display technology that enables a system to support three displays at once. Of course having a multi-display setup can lead to more productivity, and even more fun. For instance, a multi-display set-up can allow your child to watch a movie on one display while you work on office documents or surf the web on the other two. Packing in an AMD GPU in a home theater setup can also make for a killer 3D Home Theater set-up with Blu-ray. Furthermore, a dedicated GPU can in some cases, increase the battery life in laptops. But it’s not just PCs that benefit from discrete GPUs either. Apple’s latest MacBook Pro is powered by the AMD Radeon HD 6750M series. This latest MacBook Pro model’s GPU is actually as much as 3X faster than the GPU in the previous MacBook Pro model.
One thing is for sure, dedicated GPUs aren’t just for gamers anymore. Sure, a discrete GPU will get you more frames per second while gaming, but an AMD GPU can also help make playing back HD video speedier and more vivid with improved image quality and color correction, it can offload tasks from CPU to GPU using AMD EyeSpeed technology, make editing video more responsive, and even increase the future-proof value of a system.