Setting the number of compute units

Setting the number of compute units#

Applies to Linux and Windows


4 min read time

The GPU driver provides two environment variables to set the number of CUs used:



The ROC_GLOBAL_CU_MASK variable sets the CU mask on queues created by HIP or OpenCL runtimes. The HSA_CU_MASK variable sets the mask on a lower level of queue creation in the driver. It also sets the mask on the queues being profiled.


When using GPUs to accelerate compute workloads, it sometimes becomes necessary to configure the hardware’s usage of compute units (CU). This is a more advanced option, so please read this page before experimentation.

The environment variables have the following syntax:

ID = [0-9][0-9]*                         ex. base 10 numbers
ID_list = (ID | ID-ID)[, (ID | ID-ID)]*  ex. 0,2-4,7
GPU_list = ID_list                       ex. 0,2-4,7
CU_list = 0x[0-F]* | ID_list             ex. 0x337F OR 0,2-4,7
CU_Set = GPU_list : CU_list              ex. 0,2-4,7:0-15,32-47 OR 0,2-4,7:0x337F
HSA_CU_MASK = CU_Set [; CU_Set]*         ex. 0,2-4,7:0-15,32-47; 3-9:0x337F

The GPU indices are taken post ROCR_VISIBLE_DEVICES reordering. The listed or masked CUs are enabled for listed GPUs, and the others are disabled. Unlisted GPUs are not be affected, and their CUs are enabled.

The variable parsing stops when a syntax error occurs. The erroneous set and the following are ignored. Repeating GPU or CU IDs results in a syntax error. Specifying a mask with no usable CUs (CU_list is 0x0) results in a syntax error. To exclude GPU devices, use ROCR_VISIBLE_DEVICES.


These environment variables only affect ROCm software, not graphics applications.

Not all CU configurations are valid on all devices. For example, on devices where two CUs can be combined into a WGP (for kernels running in WGP mode), it’s not valid to disable only a single CU in a WGP. For more information about what to expect when disabling CUs, see the Exploring AMD GPU Scheduling Details by Experimenting With “Worst Practices” paper.