What Are NVIDIA CUDA Cores And How Do They Help PC Gaming?

What are NVIDIA CUDA cores and how do they help PC gaming? Does more NVIDIA CUDA cores equal better performance? You'll find out in this guide.

Surrounding the buzz of the RTX 3000 series being released, much was said regarding the enhancements NVIDIA made to CUDA Cores.

If you have ever questioned what CUDA Cores are and if they even make a distinction to PC gaming, you’re in the correct place.

In order to understand what exactly CUDA Cores do, we will need to get a little technical.

Related:NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3000 Series Release Date, Price, Specs

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What Are NVIDIA CUDA Cores?


As you might have already guessed, CUDA is an acronym that stands for Compute Unified Device Architecture, 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 computer programmer coding in C or C++ now has a great deal of control over resource allocation. The CUDA system has boosted the popularity and usage of frameworks like OpenACC and OpenCL.

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?

Gaming PC

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 earlier times, a GPU was utilized as an extension of the CPU to accelerate image processing. Zooming ahead 20 years, GPUs today handle various effects to provide a more engaging 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 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 remarkable 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 difficult, and the developers only need the gamers to possess the finest GPUs.

The CUDA Cores are exceptional at handling tasks such as smoke animations and the animation of debris, fire, fluids, and 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.

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Branko Gapo

Keeping up with the incredibly fast evolution of computer technology is impossible. That is why Branko will be using his knowledge on this matter to share news and information on all the latest essential technological innovations and advancements.