New AMD ‘APU’ chips get their game on, but will they replace GPU systems?

One chip instead of two? 

Until recently, video gaming has been a two-chip endeavor: You need a speedy CPU in your PC, and maybe an even speedier GPU, or graphics card, inside the case as well. Now AMD is out the change that. The latest CPU chips from AMD are now incorporating much of the same graphics performance that two-chip systems provide.

Of course, there’s now a new acronym for you to add to your geek vocabulary: “APU,” or, Advanced Processing Unit. DT’s head CPU (and APU) torturer, Jayce Wagner, recently dropped the latest AMD silicon into some slim-design gaming rigs and put in some marathon sessions, and all we can say is: How do we get THAT job? But seriously, the Ryzen 3 and 5 series chips delivered decent gaming performance… to a point. Both feature the new AMD VEGA graphics architecture built right in.

AMD says they’re really designed for “esports” type gaming with lower graphics demands, and for just $170 and $99  respectively, they do the trick. But if you want to load up Civilization or any other 4K title, you’ll still need a for-real graphics card at this point. But for how long? You know that as time goes on, these dual-type CPU/GPU processors will only get better. Check out our full review.

Apple guts

Apple HomePods are making their way into walled gardens around the world, and while reviews have ranged from glowing to guarded – except for the sound quality, which pretty much everyone raves about… – we’ve also wondered: What if it breaks? That’s why we love the crew over at iFixit, because they do the thing we all kind of fantasize about: They take brand new tech and just take it all apart. And what did they find inside Apple’s smart speaker?

Plenty, but in order to get to the techie bits inside, they literally had to saw into the speaker, break out the heat guns and attack it with X-Acto knives. Suffice to say: The HomePod is built tough, and built to last. On the negative side, if it does somehow break or stop working, don’t plan on fixing it yourself, and do plan on paying Apple close to the purchase price for them to do it. So, since you’re dropping $350 on it already, you might as well just get Apple Care Plus for $39 and be covered.

Apple guts, iOS Edition

Sticking with some Apple news now: iOS 11.3 is in beta right now and should drop for everyone later this year, at which point the deadline for iOS 12 should begin approaching. But according to BGR, Apple is rethinking their software release timetables after several recent critical failures during the 11.2 release.

Now, BGR says Apple will return to their policy of not dropping an iOS update until is better vetted and debugged, rather than trying hit certain time windows and drive their OS developers insane. As such, iOS 12 will come out when it ‘s good and ready as it were, but when it does, some cool stuff we all want should be included, like the ability to run iPhone apps on Macs, Animojis for iMessage on FaceID-equipped iPads (and maybe iMacs?), and much more AR goodness.

BGR says Apple is still planning to update iOS on an annual basis, but the schedule now will be more driven by quality assurance rather than keeping up with the Android Jonses of you will. Can’t say we disagree with that approach. We’ll keep you updated on when Apple is planning to update things.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.

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