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Where does CUDA fit into the render pipeline

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I want to start playing around with CUDA and experment with a voxel based rendering system. I'm just trying to get my head around where CUDA fits in. If I build a CUDA program, am I limited to only using the GPU, or can the GPU and CPU to communicte with each other ? I'm not too keen on developing a full application in CUDA as it would be a horriable waste of CPU power...

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CUDA doesn't fit in the render pipeline at all. It's a API for using the GPU to solve highly parallel numerical programming problems. You can think of it as a way to turn your GPU into a second CPU, albeit a somewhat specialized one.

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Cool, so I've got complete control over how everything renders. Can I still have my CPU's running the gameplay logic, with the GPU acting as a software renderer ?

Edit, found my answer in the nvidia docs. Yes I can use both the GPU and CPU in an application

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If it can run aside of DirectX or OpenGL you can offload all the tasks where you want no rasterizer involved or a simplified rasterizer like shadow maps and PostFX. I believe this will work in DirectX 11 where you can use the tranditional rasterizer based interface aside with a cuda-like interface. So you can run a ray-tracer on the side :-)

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Quote:
Original post by MrMark
I want to start playing around with CUDA and experment with a voxel based rendering system...

You might want to check out Ken Silverman's forum, in particular this thread http://www.jonof.id.au/forum/index.php?topic=1433.0

That guy initially uses some other system, but switches to CUDA fairly soon.

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