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GPU vs. CPU Computing

Sep 03, 2010, 17:36 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Peter Varhol)

"Graphics processing units (GPUs) have, for many years, powered the display of images and motion on computer displays. GPUs are now powerful enough to do more than just move images across the screen. They are capable of performing high-end computations that are the staple of many engineering activities.

"Benchmarks that focus on floating point arithmetic, those most often used in these engineering computations, show that GPUs can perform such computations much faster than the traditional central processing units (CPUs) used in today's workstations—sometimes as much as 20 times faster, depending on the computation.

"But the performance advantage in these benchmarks doesn't automatically make it a slam dunk for running engineering applications. Comparing CPUs with GPUs is like comparing apples with oranges."

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