Learning about CUDA *possible dumb questions ahead* Trying to understand CUDA

Ok, basically I saw CUDA, didn’t know what it was, so I clicked on it & took a little look…now, I’m wondering the following…

I’ve got my 280GT in the machine and i’ve spotted my old 8800GT in it’s box doing nothing… Both are CUDA compatible and i’m thinking of trying it out.

My motherboard has two PCIe x16 slots, however 1 is only a x4 bandwidth :thumbsdown:

I know very little about CUDA (which may be a sign that I shouldn’t even try) - hence asking

I do have more questions before actually trying it - but I think it’s best to see what responce this gets before I ask them. If I get a few responces along the lines of don’t do it until you know more…then I’ll leave well alone

So, uh, what exactly do you want to know?

Are you a programmer who writes numerical or otherwise cpu-intense applications? If not, then don’t do it until you know more.

Well, I’ve heard / read that CUDA has quite a few steps to install it / make it work. But, I haven’t heard anything about uninstalling it - how difficult is it to put the system back to how it was if a problem develops or I just don’t get the benefits that I am after??

Basically, my PC is built for gameing. At the moment, I cannot afford to get what is needed for a SLI system -> the motherboard needs an upgrade, but if i’m doing that, i’ll upgrade to I7 and as such, need a new CPU, motherboard, DDR3 sticks and a second / second and third GPU. My current system is starting to show that the CPU is struggling, I could get a slightly better one… but really, the 775 is obsolete.

But, I have read somewhere that CUDA although mainly for mathmatical / numerical processing, can be used for gaming on suitable games. Instead of SLI with identical cards, CUDA can be used to match non-identical cards, effectivly turning the secondary one into a physx card & thus reducing the stress on my poor CPU.

Now, as I have found a CUDA compatible card… I thought that I’d give it a go.

But, as I mentioned before, I don’t really know much about CUDA - How to set it up (can look at internet based instructions) or, more importantly, was the article correct, can CUDA be used in this way??? (It did stipulate that it would only work on games which can use physx / physx cards)

Sorry for threadjacking, but I believe our questions lie in the same category.

I was wondering what the actual benefit of Cuda was in plain home use. The site states “personal supercomputer”, but does it mean “affordable supercomputer” or “super computer for personal use”? For instance, should I buy a Cuda system, would I be able to do my everyday tasks (Photoshop, Gaming, Msn…) or would those need adapted drivers.

Judging by the site content, I think the Cuda system is on its way to getting to support the above, but isn’t actually there. I just need confirmation for this analysis. (Or prove me wrong, of course.)

CUDA is basically very good at handling a small set of programming tasks, such as numerical computations (e.g. adding up a huge list of numbers very quickly). Any given program will need to be written to specifically take advantage of CUDA, there are no automagical speedups. However, I believe that the newest version of Adobe Photoshop (CS4) does take advantage of CUDA in many ways, so that is one instance that you could benefit from. Some other movie editing software has had CUDA support added to it for speeding up some of the video processing tasks.

So basically, you see no speedup unless you have programs written for CUDA, but those that are should see a significant speedup in computing speed. You don’t need any special drivers to run a CUDA-enabled application, as long as you have the latest video card drivers from nVidia installed.

There is nothing to install to make CUDA work, other than to keep your graphics drivers updated. CUDA can be used for gaming, but that game would need to have special code written into it that allows it to take advantage of CUDA (it doesn’t just magically speed things up). In fact, said game would also need to allow you to choose which card would run the CUDA applications (by default, they may just run on the same card that runs your graphics).

So as I thought, we need to wait for the development of adapted applications, or write them ourselves. ^^ Thank you.

Well, thank you for that.

I think I’ll give it a go - soon as my new PSU arrives