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NVIDIA GeForce GT 240 Roundup (EVGA, Gigabyte, MSI, Sparkle)

by Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig     |     March 7, 2010

The GT 240 Within a Co-Processing Environment


We mentioned in the introduction that the GT 240 is marketed as an integral part of the computing ecosystem and through the use of CUDA, NVIDIA is making it happen. While many people have effectively thumbed their noses at CUDA and the whole GPGPU initiative, programmers have continued to develop tools which can harness the power of modern GPUs to accelerate a wide range of applications. Not all programs can make use of GPUs for additional performance but the ones that do stop lower-powered CPUs from becoming a bottleneck and slowing down performance. Considering the GT 240 will likely be paired with one of these lower end processors, NVIDIA’s CUDA can offer consumers enhanced computing performance without the need to upgrade.


The entire idea behind co-processing is to let the CPU work on the tasks it is good at while allowing the GPU to be used for tasks its parallel architecture is designed for. In the past, the graphics processor sat idly by when not running a 3D application while the system’s main processor sometimes got bogged down by certain tasks. In a co-processing environment, the GPU is able to handle intensive tasks such as video editing and HD decoding while the CPU is used for other items. NVIDIA’s goal here is not to replace the CPU but rather compliment it in order to make people’s lives easier.


Most of the people who read this site can be lumped into the “enthusiast” segment in one way or another and use their main computers to play higher-end games. Naturally, all the other tasks a PC can be used for also play a role in their purchasing decisions but if a PC is good enough to play games at high detail settings, it is likely more than good enough for any other day to day tasks.

The mainstream computer market on the other hand is concerned with more basic needs like watching YouTube videos, editing family videos and converting media files for use on their handheld device. As we showed you in past reviews, the inclusion of even a lower-end GPU for these situations can have massive benefits.


Just to reinforce what we are talking about, we have included a slide from NVIDIA which shows the benefits of various lower-end GT 200 series GPUs. As you can see, the benefits in some programs are significant but it is important to remember that most applications out there don’t support GPU acceleration.
 
 
 

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