A CPU (central processing unit) works together with a GPU (graphics processing unit) to increase the throughput of data and the number of concurrent calculations within an application.

A CPU can never be fully replaced by a GPU: a GPU complements CPU architecture by allowing repetitive calculations within an application to be run in parallel while the main program continues to run on the CPU. The CPU can be thought of as the taskmaster of the entire system, coordinating a wide range of general-purpose computing tasks, with the GPU performing a narrower range of more specialized tasks (usually mathematical). Using the power of parallelism, a GPU can complete more work in the same amount of time as compared to a CPU.

CPU and GPU rendering video — The graphics card helps transcode video from one graphics format to another faster than relying on a CPU.

Accelerating data — A GPU has advanced calculation ability that accelerates the amount of data a CPU can process in a given amount of time. When there are specialized programs that require complex mathematical calculations, such as deep learning or machine learning, those calculations can be offloaded by the GPU. This frees up time and resources for the CPU to complete other tasks more efficiently.

Cryptocurrency mining — Obtaining virtual currencies like Bitcoin includes using a computer as a relay for processing transactions. While a CPU can handle this task, a GPU on a graphics card can help the computer generate currency much faster.

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