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Scientific Computing Using Consumer Video-Gaming Hardware Devices

Glenn Volkema, Gaurav Khanna
Center for Scientific Computation & Visualization Research, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, North Dartmouth, MA 02747 USA
arXiv:1607.05537 [physics.comp-ph], (19 Jul 2016)

@article{volkema2016scientific,

   title={Scientific Computing Using Consumer Video-Gaming Hardware Devices},

   author={Volkema, Glenn and Khanna, Gaurav},

   year={2016},

   month={jul},

   archivePrefix={"arXiv"},

   primaryClass={physics.comp-ph}

}

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Commodity video-gaming hardware (consoles, graphics cards, tablets, etc.) performance has been advancing at a rapid pace owing to strong consumer demand and stiff market competition. Gaming hardware devices are currently amongst the most powerful and cost-effective computational technologies available in quantity. In this article, we evaluate a sample of current generation video-gaming hardware devices for scientific computing and compare their performance with specialized supercomputing general purpose graphics processing units (GPGPUs). We use the OpenCL SHOC benchmark suite, which is a measure of the performance of compute hardware on various different scientific application kernels, and also a popular public distributed computing application, Einstein@Home in the field of gravitational physics for the purposes of this evaluation.
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