Mercury News has posted a very interesting article which outlines the upcoming consolidation of the CPU and GPU into one package. Here, the author gets feedback directly from key players within the industry as vendors such as AMD, Intel, ATI, and NVIDIA are all represented. In short, it sounds as though efforts will be made to bring low-end graphics onboard a multi-core processor with the ultimate goal being to have a full range of consolidated CPU/GPU hardware. One aspect of this approach which surprisingly seems to have not been covered is the topic of upgrading and the overall lifecycle of the hardware. With both CPU and GPU functionality tied to a single package, upgrading to new technology such as switching over to a motherboard based off a new chipset could become an issue. In addition, as graphics technology evolves and games become more demanding, how will users be able to "upgrade" or otherwise increase performance? Will they be forced to completely upgrade the CPU/GPU package? One thing is certain, that hardware sounds like it would be an expensive piece of silicon and I'm sure many would not be thrilled with the idea of replacing that component every year to retain the highest overall performance.
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