CUDA Cores
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Quick Answer

In a very easy way to understand, CUDA Cores are processors that are designed as parallel processors. They function to process all the data that are handled by the GPU. They handle large computations simultaneously.

There are a lot of things at the disposal of a gamer when it comes to CPUs, GPUs, RAMs, and all other computer components. The thing is that sometimes, we are never sure which is for gaming and which is not, and what something means when it comes to gaming. This is the dilemma of many gamers regarding the NVIDIA CUDA Cores GPUs.

According to Nvidia, the CUDA is a parallel computing platform which has been designed with processing ability. Standing for Compute Unified Device Architecture, the essence behind the creation of the CUDA is to ensure that you get efficient processing capability that can compute large data simultaneously.

Among the many questions that exist regarding what this really means is the question regarding what it really does in terms of gaming and the core count that a gamer really needs.

What Are CUDA Cores?

Introduced in 2006, this technology comes with a parallel architecture of GPUs that are designed with a large number of cores extending into the hundreds and thousand with a parallel programming model that is used to program the GPU.

Just as it is with your CPU, the GPUs also come with processors which for CUDA, the cores which are known as the CUDA cores function rather differently because of the parallelism function that has been stated.

The CUDA core is an architecture designed to enhance computation. The GPUs come with many cores that allow them to achieve fast calculations during works that are graphically intense. While you have CPUs having from 2 to up to 32 cores per CPU, although you will only need probably 16 cores for gaming, these GPUs move on to offer cores in hundreds and even thousands. Within a generation, it has been pointed out that the higher the CUDA cores, the higher the raw computing power of the GPU.

CUDA comes with a number of advantages for any graphics related work including gaming in many ways including:

  • It allows for the parallel processing of thousands of elements.
  • Thanks to this technology, tasks that relate to each other and are nearby, can collaborate and work more efficiently to handle any task.

As indicated, when it comes to processors, the cores that you get are low compared to what you get with the GPU CUDA cores. The green team provides for them in the range of as little as 8 cores to as high as  5,760 cores. An example of a GPU that makes use of 8 CUDA cores is the GeForce G100 while an example of the one that takes you to over 5000 is the GeForce GTX TITAN Z which although is a beast when in terms of gaming is very expensive for many gamers.

What do CUDA cores mean for gamers?

The idea behind the CUDA cores is not necessarily for gaming in particular because it is designed to serve for massive computation work such as engineering work and work that deals with a lot of data. But that will all depend on the GPU that you are going for since there are some that are lower.

Going for GPUs with less complex CUDA cores or even complex ones (if you can afford it), there is no reason why you should not have better gaming when it comes to things that deal with gaming-grade math. Hence, the Cuda Core count you have should be able to influence anti-aliasing and ambient occlusion. In addition to that, it should give you better lighting and shadows since these are some of the things that require calculation in gaming.

More so, they carry out the game graphics computation when you are playing a game and then resolve them as they are displayed on your screen. Some of the direct works of the CUDA Core as far as gaming is concerned are drawing character models, rendering the scenery of the game, as well as handling complex lighting and shading in the gaming environment.

See Also: Here Is An Updated GPU Tier List For Processors

At the end of the day, it is important to know that having a higher CUDA cores GPU means that you will get higher overall and faster performance. Still, the fact that it has very high cores does not necessarily mean that one should ignore other important things when looking for a GPU for gaming.

How many CUDA Cores do you need as a gamer?

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This is a question that is quite tricky because it has been said that greater CUDA Cores means greater performance. However, that should not always apply when you are looking to get a GPU for gaming. This is because while there is the performance based on the specifications on paper, there is also the real-world performance.

Beyond that, the CUDA core count is not one of the things that you should base your choice of a GPU on as the most important feature. Therefore, looking at the benchmark of a GPU should be the idea behind your choice.

CUDA Cores vs Stream Processors

While the Green team flaunts the CUDA cores, what AMD has is the Stream Processors. Although the two have many things in common, they are very much different from each other.

The first difference between the two is that they are not equal when you are looking at their power and numbers. In essence, 300 CUDA cores do not automatically translate to 300 Stream processors.

What this means is that unless you can put them both in a real-world gaming experience, you cannot tell which is more powerful even when you have 500 CUDA Cores GPU and another GPU with 600 Stream Processor.


At the end of the day, CUDA cores will be able to serve you for gaming, but most importantly, it was created for people with high computing works that deal with massive and complex data.

When it is time for you to pick your GPU, however, what you should have in mind is that it is beyond the number of CUDA cores that you get since there are other things that a good GPU should have including motherboard compatibility, what you need the card for, and the design of the card among other things.