How to Enable OpenCL Support on NVIDIA and AMD Platforms



OpenCL logo



First versions of OpenCL implementations are now available for NVIDIA and AMD platforms (platform… this is a term you will see often with OpenCL). Here is a small HowTo about enabling OpenCL on Both AMD and NVIDIA hardware under Windows.


Enabling OpenCL on NVIDIA platform

On NVIDIA platform, OpenCL comes with the latest R195.39 or R195.62 WHQL. R195.39 is the first driver that offer a public OpenCL support. The OpenCL.dll that comes with R195.38 is actually the Khronos OpenCL interface and real OpenCL implementation is hidden in some nvcuda files… Anyway installing R195.39 / R 195.62 is enough to have OpenCL on your system. After the driver installation, start GPU Caps Viewer 1.8.0 and you should see something like this:

GPU Caps Viewer 1.8.0 + GeForce GTS 250


All GeForce 8 and higher are OpenCL-capable devices.


Enabling OpenCL on AMD platform

Ah here we are, with AMD it’s trickiest! The most important thing is that your system must be clean of NVIDIA display driver residues. If, like me, you have both ATI and NVIDIA drivers on your system, the GPU code path of AMD’s OpenCL won’t work. Only the CPU code path will be ok. Yes, my friends, AMD provides OpenCL with CPU and GPU support. Really cool. To be sure your system is clean, just run Guru3D’s driver sweeper to remove ForceWare leftovers.

In some cases, it’s not enough and a fresh install of Windows may be the solution (that’s what I did for Catalyst 9.12… :(

Now you have a clean system, you have to install the latest Catalyst 9.12 hotfix that includes OpenCL support. Actually, Cat 9.12 doesn’t inlcude a standalone OpenCL support: you must install the ATI Stream v2 beta4.

Once the Catalyst 9.12 is installed, you have to install the ATI Stream beta4 SDK. After that, you should have an OpenCL GPU + CPU support. Want to be sure? Start GPU Caps Viewer 1.8.0 and you should see something like this:

GPU Caps Viewer 1.8.0 + Radeon HD 5870

From my tests, on Windows Vista, OpenCL GPU is supported by Radeon HD 3000 (at least the HD 3000 is detected as an OpenCL device but I didn’t manage to run the demo because of a linking error), Radeon HD 4000 (I tested a HD 4850 with success) and HD 5000 series (HD 5770 and HD 5870).



15 thoughts on “How to Enable OpenCL Support on NVIDIA and AMD Platforms”

  1. Korvin77

    at last! I have app with support of OpenGL3.2 and OpenCL Thank you! :)

  2. Dmitry Mitskevich

    Can’t start any OpenCL demo on Radeon HD 5750.

    I have Win7 64 bit. I’ve installed:

    1) Catalyst_9.12_Hotfix_Win7_Vista_8.682.2RC1_Dec15.exe
    2) ati-stream-sdk-v2.0-vista-win7-64.exe

    OpenCL platform detected. CPU and GPU are available. When I try to start OPenCL demo I get:

    *…GPU/CPU doesn’t support GL interop.

    OpenGL examples work fine. Just some of them crash when I close them.

  3. thinsoldier

    I’ve got open cl ticked now in gpu caps but none of the opencl demos in gpu caps run. The examples that installed with ati stream do run.

  4. undir

    Hi all, just thought I should share my experience with you on this matter.

    I have a ATI 4870 (Primary card) + Nvidia 9800 GT ECO (Secondary card for Physx), after installing the newest AMD/ATI drivers along with ATI Stream SDK and ATI OpenCL drivers, I couldn’t get OpenCL indentifed on GPU Caps.

    To get it to work, all I needed was to rename the file OpenCL.dll to something like OpenCL.dll.backup, this file is part of the Nvidia installation, once renamed OpenCL on the ATI card is now working like a marvel :)

  5. Athlonite

    @ thinsoldier i have the neither gpu caps demo’s or the stream examples running gpu caps demo’s say Opencl context (cpu/gpu): found 0 cpu device Bye
    or i get>> this opencl demo has GL interop option enabled:: your cpu/gpu do not support gl interop. GL_Interop disabled folowed by Opencl context (cpu/gpu): found 0 gpu device Bye WTF i followed JeGX’s guide down to the letter too
    GPU= HIS Radeon HD5770 1GB DDR5 850/4800 cat 9.12 hotfix + ATIstream2
    CPU= AMD Athlon x2 7750BE L2 1MB L3 2MB 2700MHz
    OS= Windows 7 x64

  6. x7007

    You only have to copy the OpenCL.dll file from the programfiles x86 if you have 64bit from the x86 folder to the GpuCaps folder and it will discover ATI Stream.

    i just dunno if this works for the Adobe Flash Gpu DXVA and all other important tasks.

  7. Arnaud Meuret

    Careful, GPUCaps kept pretending no OpenCL support until glut64.dll was found in my PATH. Obviously buggy.

  8. Stanley

    No OpenCL support :(

    4870×2 traying with 9.12 w/hotfix, 10.1, 10,2, 10.3 beta. already installed ati stream profiler 1.1 (sdk v2)… GPU Caps Viewer 1.8.2. i haven’t any nvidia device.

  9. Pingback: Anonymous

  10. Julliano Silva

    I’ve got an error when i “start the show”.
    This givme: OpenCL context: found 0 OpenCL GPU device. Bye…

    What is this? It´s all installed and ok with your tutorial.
    Waiting.. se u

  11. Oblivio

    When I open caps program my GPU is “n.a.”. In the example it says “cypress” or something. You said you tested it on the 4k series so I doubt that it is incompatible, but the only box checked at the bottom was OpenCL(CPU).

    Catalyst 12.4
    OpenCL 1.2
    Win 7

    Demo works… Julia fractal.

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