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CUDA for Mac: What Is It Good for?

8 July 2014 1,183 views 2 Comments

OpenCL has been integrated into your Mac since Snow Leopard. The competing parallel platform, nVidia's CUDA for Mac, isn't. What's up with that?

Apple has aligned itself with the OpenCL parallel computing platform, which has been integrated into your Mac since OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. The competing parallel platform, nVidia’s CUDA for Mac, isn’t part of the default OS X install.

What is parallel computing? In the cases of OpenCL and CUDA for Mac, otherwise unused GPU clock cycles get put to work doing other tasks, like enhance rendering in Apple’s Final Cut Pro.

That said, the other day, I saw that there is an update available — CUDA for Mac Drivers 6.0.51 (download) — which supports supports all nVidia products available on Mac hardware.

That, of course, begged the question, “What is CUDA for Mac actually good for?”

At the very least, it makes Premiere Pro and After Effects (Adobe) render faster. If you are invested in Adobe’s world, that’s a good thing to have.

Interestingly enough, Mathematica not only supports CUDA for Mac, but also OpenCL.

That is an admirably ecumenical approach…

What’s your take?

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