Run CUDA codes without Nvidia GPU?

Hi there,

Can I compile and run CUDA codes on a normal PC without Nvidia GPU cards installed? I heard even the emulator needs to have the GeForce card installed. Is it true?

I just started working CUDA programming, and am waiting for my GPU cards to be installed.

Thanks for your help!


Rumor has it that nVidia’s next release of CUDA will allow the compiler to convert CUDA code to standard multithreaded code so that it runs seamlessly on any computer with or without an nVidia GPU (though obviously, you’ll only get the real speedup if it does).

As of now, you can install the toolkit and SDK and start writing programs. I don’t have an nVidia GPU in my laptop, and I can run programs compiled in emulation mode just fine.

Side Note: Even when you get your nVidia card installed, it is relatively trivial to test for the presence of the GPU and run either the CPU or GPU-based version of your code based on that test. This is probably the best way to write your code if you don’t want to wait for the native multithreading compiler to come out.

As profquail said, you can use emulation mode to test your programs. Beware ,however, that sometimes I have been getting completey erroneous results with emulation mode, while the GPU code ran flawlessly. So I could’t tell how reliable emulation mode is, but definitely the way to start if you don’t have a compatible GPU yet.

There was an Nvidia slideshow containing slide that said CUDA 2.1 should be able to run on multi-core processors as well. I don’t have the link, but a rigurous search through the forums might reveal it. As of right now, CUDA 2.1 is already in beta, and no multi-core support, so I don’t know if it will happen soon.

Thank you both for the prompt replies. I did successfully install both the toolkit and sdk 2.1 in Vista on my laptop, and ran the sample code just fine.

I also have Ubuntu 8.10 installed on my laptop, which I use more often. But Nvidia only supports up to 8.04. Shall I go back to the older version to give it a try? any one has experiences in that? Thanks

I don’t have much experience with Linux, but I would say install the toolkit and SDK on your laptop. Even if Ubuntu 8.10 is not officially supported, CUDA might work just fine.
Give it a try.

Works perfectly with Ubuntu 8.10, I use it on my laptop with NVIDIA 8800GT without any problem and easier than Vista.

On ubuntu 8.10 you first will get some weird linker errors which can be worked out by removing -O3 in file. Everything else seems to be ok.

You can run CUDA codes even if you dont have dedicated Nvidia GPU card in your laptop or computer using Google Colab.

See the below tutorial for more details.