One-dimensional blood flow models have been used extensively for computing pressure and flow waveforms in the human arterial circulation. We propose an improved numerical implementation based on a graphics processing unit (GPU) for the acceleration of the execution time of one-dimensional model. A novel parallel hybrid CPU–GPU algorithm with compact copy operations (PHCGCC) and a parallel GPU only (PGO) algorithm are developed, which are compared against previously introduced PHCG versions, a single-threaded CPU only algorithm and a multi-threaded CPU only algorithm. Different second-order numerical schemes (Lax–Wendroff and Taylor series) are evaluated for the numerical solution of one-dimensional model, and the computational setups include physiologically motivated non-periodic (Windkessel) and periodic boundary conditions (BC) (structured tree) and elastic and viscoelastic wall laws. Both the PHCGCC and the PGO implementations improved the execution time significantly. The speed-up values over the single-threaded CPU only implementation range from 5.26 to 8.10 × , whereas the speed-up values over the multi-threaded CPU only implementation range from 1.84 to 4.02 × . The PHCGCC algorithm performs best for an elastic wall law with non-periodic BC and for viscoelastic wall laws, whereas the PGO algorithm performs best for an elastic wall law with periodic BC. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.