Re: GPU acceleration by using ATI video card

From: Axel Kohlmeyer (
Date: Fri Dec 14 2012 - 03:11:06 CST

On Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 9:28 AM, dongsheng lei <> wrote:
> Hello,
> I want to run GPU accelerated NAMD on my computer which has a ATI video
> card. However, according to the NAMD user guide and online information, GPU
> accelerated NAMD can only function with nvidia video cards, which are
> CUDA-capable. I want to know does it mean that we can not run GPU
> accelerated NAMD by using ATI video card in any case, currently?


> I heard that NVIDIA Contributes CUDA Compiler to Open Source Community and
> wish we can use ATI video cards to run NAMD with GPU acceleration in the
> future.

well, this is - like most things in IT - a rather obvious PR stunt. the CUDA
compiler is only a minor part of the package. the real smarts are sitting in
the drivers, the backend. and nvidia has been very protective of anything
in that area. just keep in mind the sad state of the open source drivers for
nvidia cards.

you can't blame companies for being selfish,
but you better watch out for not getting fooled
by PR. *most* of the IT business is about that,
not actually delivering something useful. that
would drive them out of business. my favorite
example is the IBM model M keyboard. greatest
keyboard ever. worst business model ever. those
are expensive to produce and last for *decades*.
better to sell something for $10 that costs $2 to
produce and lasts for 2-3 years.


> Best wishes to you,
> Dongsheng Lei

Dr. Axel Kohlmeyer
International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste. Italy.

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