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Re: CUDA Support Issues on Current Laptops

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  • Subject: [mg114043] Re: CUDA Support Issues on Current Laptops
  • From: telefunkenvf14 <rgorka at>
  • Date: Mon, 22 Nov 2010 07:35:16 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <ic5iap$3uj$> <ic9lhf$o1l$>

On Nov 20, 5:27 pm, Yves Klett <yves.kl... at> wrote:
> I can affirm that for my battered Dell M4200 with NVidia QuadroFX 360
> graphics: The "newest" (anno 2008) Dell driver does not work with
> CUDALink, while the current NVIDIA driver for this card works fine.
> Beware: This is not to say that switching to "unofficial" drivers will
> not do any kind of damage - it just worked in my case (so far). I rather
> think that Dell does not keep up driver maintenance for older machines
> and graphics cards.
> Regards,
> Yves
> Am 19.11.2010 11:08, schrieb telefunkenvf14:
> > Short version:
> > Before you purchase a new laptop make sure to thoroughly research the
> > CUDA support and ability to upgrade graphics drivers. Do you have to
> > use OEM drivers or can you install drivers directly from NVIDIA?
> > Long version:
> > For those interested in CUDA on a newer laptop, or those interested in
> > purchasing a new laptop because it claims to support CUDA, a warning:
> > Lack of support from your laptop manufacturer may make it difficult to
> > dive right in to CUDA programming in Mathematica 8. (So don't blame
> > WRI, or even NVIDIA, if/when it doesn't work!!!) Based on what I've
> > learned, the warning is especially valid for machines with some sort
> > of switchable graphics.
> > Why?
> > Drivers for these systems are a combination of Intel and (in my case)
> > NVIDIA drivers, and a lot of tweaks go into making them play nice
> > together. As such, the NVIDIA drivers currently packaged in OEM laptop
> > drivers (from companies like Dell, Sony, Acer, etc.) are often way out
> > of date in terms of CUDA version support.
> > Even more frustrating is the fact that these companies appear
> > unconcerned with maintaining updated graphics drivers and CUDA
> > support. I say this given that they continue to sell supposedly CUDA
> > compliant machines---ok, yeah, but it's CUDA version 2 or 2.2. (These
> > versions are waaaay out of date in CUDA land.) **I'm not aware of
> > Apple's CUDA support, but presume it's probably better.**
> > Aren't there some workarounds?
> > Not really unless you are willing to try either:
> > (1) bios hacks (so you can shut switchable graphics off completely and
> > force the NVIDIA driver to be used full time). Windows *might* then
> > let you install the new version of the appropriate driver. Of course,
> > you might also void your warranty and/or brick your machine. Great
> > combo! :D
> > (2) hacking together newer versions of Intel and NVIDIA drivers for
> > your machine, or trying hacked driver packages produced by others and
> > downloaded from shady corners of the web. This is also PITA because
> > you'll have to deal with driver signing on 64-bit versions of Windows.
> > -RG
> > FYI: I've been using the last two prereleases of Mathematica v8 and
> > haven't been able to get any version of CUDA working on my brand new
> > Sony Z12 laptop. I love the laptop overall---check the specs on these
> > things and you'll see why---but, after all this hassle, I wish I'd
> > just gone with a new MacBook Pro or at least Googled Sony Z CUDA
> > Support prior to ordering.

Be thankful you can at least 'force' install the correct NVIDIA
drivers. This is not possible on my Sony due to the way they
implemented switchable graphics. And so I wait, hoping for an


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