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Should I Use CPU or GPU for Stable Diffusion?

CPU or GPU for Stable Diffusion - PC Monitor

With Stable Diffusion, the choice between using a CPU (Central Processing Unit) or GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) can significantly influence the performance and efficiency of your tasks. So which one should you opt for? The short answer: a GPU.

The GPU: Power and Efficiency

Why a GPU? It's simple – GPUs are specifically designed to handle heavy computational tasks, such as those involved in Stable Diffusion. They possess a significant number of cores, far more than CPUs, allowing them to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. This characteristic, coupled with their high-speed processing capabilities, makes GPUs an ideal choice for Stable Diffusion.

Running Stable Diffusion on a CPU

But what if you only have a CPU at your disposal? The good news is, yes, you can run Stable Diffusion on a CPU. It's possible thanks to a specific fork of Stable-Diffusion that can be run exclusively on your CPU, compatible with both Windows 10 and Linux Mint 22.04. But here's the catch: the performance won't be as fast or efficient as running Stable Diffusion on a GPU.

While this CPU-only version allows you to use most features available on the internet, such as txt2img, img2img, image upscaling with Real-ESRGAN, and better faces with GFPGAN, it's worth noting that these tasks may take significantly longer to complete on a CPU compared to a GPU.

Balancing Performance and Availability - CPU or GPU for Stable Diffusion

The choice, therefore, boils down to balancing performance with availability. If you aim to perform Stable Diffusion tasks regularly and desire fast, efficient results, investing in a GPU is the best route to take. However, if you're just dabbling in Stable Diffusion or are restricted by budget constraints, a CPU can get the job done, albeit at a slower pace.

Before you make your choice, it's important to remember that while a CPU can handle Stable Diffusion, it's not the most optimal tool for the job. For more details on running Stable Diffusion on a CPU, you can check out this link.

So, there you have it. Whether you should use a CPU or GPU for Stable Diffusion depends on your specific needs, resources, and patience level. But if speed and efficiency are top priorities for you, the GPU certainly takes the cake.


Leave a comment below to let me know if this information becomes outdated. I will do my best to keep this blog updated as time goes on.

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