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Downside of using image vs global memory?

Question asked by boxerab on Jul 26, 2014
Latest reply on Jul 30, 2014 by dipak

I  have a kernel that processes RGB images. Currently, I take each channel one by one, and run the same kernel on that channel

The kernel input is a global memory buffer: data is moved in chunks from the global buffer into local memory for processing, then stored into another global buffer as output.

I was thinking of refactoring this to store all three channels in an RGBA buffer, and operate on all three channels at the same time, using vector operations. I understand that images have better spatial caching.

Is there any disadvantage to this refactor? I realize that I will have to reduce the number of pixels per chunk, because I will now have three times the amount of data.