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Killer CUDA Apps
Nvidia’s graphics technology is tailor-made for video editing. But which program saves you the most time?

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by Todd Haselton on Monday, September 28, 2009

And you thought graphics were just for gaming. CUDA is a technology developed by Nvidia that allows applications to leverage the graphics processor in a laptop to get speedier and more efficient computing. For CUDA-enabled notebooks with multiple cores, this means, in theory, completing tasks such as decoding video much faster.

Today there are more than 100 million CUDA-enabled PCs on the market, available in every type of system, from an affordable netbook such as the $399 HP Mini 311, to such monster gaming rigs as the $1,799 Alienware M17x.

To find out how well these programs—and the underlying Nvidia architecture—work, we tested the file conversion power of three CUDA-friendly apps; CyberLink MediaShow Espresso, Elemental Technologies’ Badaboom, and Nero Move it. We tested by converting a 1.27GB AVI file into an iPhone 3G-ready MPEG-4 format using an ASUS G51Vx (RX05), which has an Nvidia GeForce GTX 260M graphics card with 1GB of dedicated video memory. We set the resolution to 480 x 270 (and a 1 MBps bitrate). Audio encoding was set to AAC at a bitrate of 128 kbps. We used a freeware program called HandBrake (www.handbrake.fr) as a control, because it doesn’t use CUDA. It took 1 hour, 1 minute, and 32 seconds to complete this test.

Killer CUDA Apps


BadaBoom_t.jpg

Elemental Technologies Badaboom

Price: $29.99

This zippy and intuitive CUDA application makes short and easy work of video conversion.
Continue . . .

Cyberlink-Espresso_t.jpg

CyberLink MediaShow Espresso

Price: $39.95

This app makes converting videos simple, and works on notebooks with ATI as well as Nvidia graphics cards.
Continue . . .

NeroMoveIt_t.jpg

Nero Move it

Price: $49.99 (box), $29.99 (download)

This multimedia conversion application supports a wide variety of formats, but it could be faster.
Continue . . .


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