Audio Processing via nVidia GPU


I’m a research engineer in a hearing research lab. We are looking to buy a new computer that will be used for data processing and acquisition. Since we are a hearing research lab, some of our experiments involve presenting audio in a very precise manner. Historically, we have used an external audio card (RME Babyface) to process the audio before it is sent to the system that presents it to the listener. However, our new computer will have an NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000. I was wondering if this can be used as a soundcard in addition to a graphics card? Or is the audio data still processed by the integrated Realtek chip and then just piped through the graphics card? Any information, learning resources, or recommendations would be helpful.


Hello @brendanbalken and welcome to the NVIDIA developer forums.

NVIDIA GPUs do indeed contain also audio codec support. The fundamental difference to dedicated Audio hardware, be it the integrated chip or an external audio device, is that the GPU only supports digital processing, both input and output. That means there is no means to pass analog audio to the GPU without first capturing it with a separate audio interface. And you cannot output analog audio from the GPU.

The main purpose of the integrated HD Audio of a GPU is to be able to pass any digital audio content to a Display device like a monitor or TV.

That said, we do have an SDK to create immersive 3D Audio in VR called VRWorks Audio which might be useful for your research.

And in terms of audio processing and effects using the advanced Compute capabilites of the GPU we offer the Maxine SDK that already includes several examples of Deep Learning based audio effects.

I hope I could help.

Thank you that’s really helpful. From what you’re describing, I’m sure that the graphics card is more than capable of meeting our needs. Do you have any suggestions for where I could find detailed documentation on audio outputs from the gpu? Just for the sake of documentation. I was hoping to have a specific record of the dynamic range (in voltage and frequency) of the card output, as well as some metric of the resolution, bitrate, fidelity, etc.

Thank you,

Hi Brendan,

I am afraid that we do not have public documentation on exact audio features, since, as I said, the main purpose of the HD Audio capabilities is to pass digital input from the host operating system to the digital output device. In case of the Quadro RTX 4000 this will be a DisplayPort 1.4 compatible device. That means the possible audio output from the card is aligned to what DP 1.4 requires, meaning the best documentation in this case would be the DisplayPort standard.

I am sorry if this is not helping you very much. I can only stress the fact that the GPU Audio capabilities are not meant as a replacement of an audio interface or a dedicated sound card.