The New Family PC

The era of the single, shared PC in the family room is long gone. Modern families need more than one computer if a household has any hope of remaining peaceful.

Kids, for example, need social networking, both for play and joint homework assignments and school communication. Parents, on the other hand, need private PCs for sensitive financial information and medical records.

There are also commonalities: In the modern, media-centric world, everyone wants high definition capability and reasonably good PC gaming performance.

The good news is that hardware prices are dropping, even as features and performance increase. Affordable PCs built using AMD’s APU technology, which combines a GPU and CPU on a single chip, can mix and match traditional applications with modern gaming or high-definition video. APU-based systems can offer the right mix of performance at lower price points, making it easier to be a multi-PC family.

That doesn’t mean the APU is only available in desktop systems. APUs are also available in notebooks. Whatever the system may be, the multicore performance of an E-350 APU makes computers robust and responsive for traditional applications, while the integrated, DirectX 11-capable GPU built into the APU provides good gaming performance at good resolutions.

Two APU-based systems could cost less than $800, depending on feature sets. Parents might use a laptop, while the kids share a desktop PC that they're less likely to drop and break. And with the right home networking hardware and software, parents can monitor and manage children’s activities as they’re using their system.

AMD platform technology, including APUs and PC chipsets, give users high performance access to memory and storage. Large capacity hard drives using the latest USB 3.0 or SATA 6gbps technologies are for sale at record low prices. In fact, external storage using USB 3.0 is nearly as fast — and sometimes faster — than internal hard drives, particularly with laptop PCs.

Support for the new generation of memory, like high capacity SDHC and SDXC cards, means blazing fast photo and video downloads. Connecting to these high speed cards using USB 3.0 makes editing and transferring of precious digital memories incredibly fast as well.

With an AMD platform featuring APU technology, having more than one computer at home is possible — and that just might make your home a more harmonious place.

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