Surrounding the hype of the RTX 3000 series being released, much was said regarding the improvements NVIDIA made to CUDA Cores. If you have ever wondered what CUDA Cores are and if they even make a difference to PC gaming, you’re in the right place.
In order to understand what exactly CUDA Cores do, we will need to get a little technical.
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What Are NVIDIA CUDA Cores?
As you might have already guessed, CUDA is an acronym and it stands for Compute Unified Device Architecture, which is a parallel computing platform but also an application programming interface (API). It was designed by NVIDIA specifically to allow software developers to have better control over the physical resources at their disposal.
A programmer who is coding in C or C++ can now have an enormous amount of control over the resource allocation. The CUDA platform has enabled frameworks such as OpenACC and OpenCL to have a bump in popularity and use.
It’s interesting to note that, due to the crazy flexibility of the CUDA API, multiple companies have used it for something other than PC gaming.
In fact, its possible uses are truly something else. Some of these include tasks such as computational chemistry, machine learning, data science, bioinformatics, computational fluid dynamics, and weather and climate applications.
CUDA cores are also parallel processors that allow data to be worked on simultaneously by different processors. This is similar to a dual-core or a quad-core CPU, except that there are thousands of CUDA cores.
Do NVIDIA CUDA Cores Help PC Gaming?
Of course! The fact that CUDA Cores have a wide array of uses doesn’t mean that they don’t make a difference to PC gaming. In fact, NVIDIA CUDA cores are a massive help to PC gaming graphics because they are so powerful.
We’re again going to be a bit technical but, hopefully, we will be able to explain how some game graphics work and how exactly CUDA cores help.
In the past, a GPU was used as a sort of extension of the CPU and was there to help render images more quickly. Fast forward 20 years and GPUs are now responsible for handling multiple effects to create a more immersive experience.
Unlike ray tracing cores (RT cores), which are dedicated to performing perfect lighting calculations to create lifelike shadows and other lighting effects, CUDA cores are mostly tasked with physics calculations.
NVIDIA can also boast about PhysX, a real-time physics engine middleware that was widely used by game developers so they wouldn’t have to code their own Newtonian physics. In the past, NVIDIA cards required a specific PhysX chip but, with CUDA Cores, there is no longer this requirement.
The incredible amount of power that CUDA Cores possess means game developers are free to place as much strain on the side of physics calculations as they want. In terms of coding, that isn’t hard, and the developers only need the gamers to possess the best GPUs.
The CUDA Cores are exceptional at handling tasks such as smoke animations, but also the animation of debris, fire, fluids, and much more. These are effectively all of the ingredients needed to make game graphics look as realistic as possible.
They are a massive boost to PC gaming and have cleared the path for the even more realistic graphics that we have seen in the past few years.