What is Cuda?

I have just purchased a GTX285, and I was wondering… what exactly is cuda and how will it affect me?

Ad far as I can tell from the internet is that its just the way the cards are made and work (like, processing information and transering between G-RAM etc) and its just a new standardised method of working or something.

Am I at all correct?

If you are not a programmer yourself, the benefit of CUDA will be the ability to use programs others write to use the graphics card to accelerate various calculations. There are several data-analysis programs now which use CUDA to speed things up, and there is also Badaboom, which uses CUDA to accelerate video compression. CUDA also powers PhysX, which accelerates physics simulations in games.

Ah, so the only real way I’m affected is a boost in the PsysX performance?

It goes like this:

CUDA is a way to make software that uses certain NVIDIA GPUs for computations. Some (definitely not all) types of computations can be done more than 50x faster on the GPU than if they were performed on the CPU. Technically, CUDA can mean both the hardware architecture of the cards (having unified, programmable shaders) and the software package that comes along and allows one to program them (libraries, compiler, etc.).

You, as a user, will benefit from CUDA if you use software written with it. PhysX was made in CUDA and thus games that use it may run faster and/or with more cool effects (you get hardware acceleration).

Programs that weren’t made with CUDA don’t get any benefit. They won’t run any faster with your new card unless they were made from ground-up with CUDA in mind (or were appropriately modified with a patch of some sort).

Right now there are few applications using CUDA - some video software, some professional, specialistic apps, a whole bunch of scientific stuff. There aren’t very many that an average-joe-user is likely to use (except PhysX and maybe Badaboom and vReveal) and the reason for this is that software manufacturers that target mass consumer market don’t want to limit their shares to only those users who happen to have NVIDIA GF 8xxx and newer. This will likely change in the near future when DirectX 11 and OpenCL come out and gain popularity (as they are both cross-platform).

This is a good point. All cards which can run CUDA now will also run OpenCL in the future when new drivers come out. Then we’ll see lots more investment in GPU acceleration in consumer software products.

ah, thankyou for clearing that up for me.