In 2011 half of all notebook computers will likely ship with a graphics enabled processor. The two major notebook processor makers, Intel and AMD, are offering processors that have a graphics solution built into the processing chip. For Intel this is called Sandy Bridge and on the AMD’s side it is Fusion or as AMD also calls it an Accelerated Processing Unit or APU. The benefits to end users are cheaper notebooks with faster graphics that take up less power. Essentially you get more bang for the buck!
Half of all notebooks are shipping this year with one of these two solutions, according to iSuppli. 63 Million of the 115 Million new notebooks will run cooler, longer and faster than similar computers previously shipped.
Benefits to Users
So why should you care? Do you like to play video games? This means that even though you don’t have a high-powered $1500 notebook, you should be able to fire up a lot of the video games on the market. We’ve seen $500-$700 computes with decent gaming prowess. While there will still be a place for cutting edge video cards inside notebooks to play the most intense and graphically rich games, the majority of mainstream games will work on these systems.
For those who don’t play games, there is still a benefit. If you like to video chat on your computer, the video encoding required for HD video chat cameras will be handled more easily with these computers compared to previous low-cost notebooks with integrated Intel graphics. That means your ugly mug will not be as ugly to your friends or family members as they Skype with you.
Another task that will benefit from this shift is video encoding. If you like to shoot HD video with a high-powered camera or just a small one like the Flip Ultra HD, the process of actually exporting that video from the editing software should be cut down by enough to be noticeable.
Also, these task above won’t tax the battery as much as they once did. These processors, with the graphics built into them, are less power-hungry and run cooler. It only makes sense when you have one chip doing the work of what took two previously did that power consumption would be cut down significantly. This results in either longer battery life or no decrease despite more power.
In other words, if the computer would have been able to run for four hours with two separate chips – one for processing and one for graphics – it might run for 5-6 hours now. Or a computer that ran for 5 hours but didn’t have a graphics processor powerful enough for the above tasks, will now be able to do them. But the computer’s battery will still last the same length.
Explanation of AMD Fusion Chip
This much of an improvement likely comes at a steep increase in price right? Nope! In fact because fewer parts are needed to make the computer, it is actually either cheaper or the same price. There should not be a price increase for this extra power. Its like getting sports car at the price of a compact!
Keep checking back with Notebooks.com to learn about more about these Intel Sandy Bridge and AMD Fusion computers. We’ve covered quite a few of them from both AMD and Intel being released or announced already and we will continue to let you know when they are being released.