DX12 performance tuning and debugging – PIX on Windows (beta) released!

D3D Team

Continued commitment to gaming on Windows 10

With Windows 10, we promised to build an OS designed for PC gaming, with DirectX 12 as one of the cornerstones of the Windows 10 gaming experience. In the 18 months since our release, DirectX 12 has seen very rapid adoption, with nearly 20 AAA games now available with DirectX 12 support.

Much of this rapid adoption can be attributed to DirectX 12 offering game developers unprecedented control over GPUs, allowing game developers to build impressive games that take full advantage of the powerful hardware available to gamers today.

The importance of great graphics tools

As DirectX 12 adoption has grown, we’ve seen the gaming ecosystem mature.  Graphics card manufacturers such as NVIDIA, AMD, and Intel have improved both the performance and stability of their DirectX 12 drivers, and game developers have learned how to make more effective use of the new control available to them.

However, during this journey it has become increasingly clear that, with low-level APIs such as DirectX 12, attaining the best performance requires deep insight into every step of the rendering process.

On Xbox, we have a long running history of providing some of the most in-depth graphics analysis tools in the world to help game developers build the best games possible.  Our developer community has repeatedly asked us provide the same kind of tooling for Windows.

Available today, for free!

Today, we’re announcing that PIX, our premier performance tool on Xbox, is now available for free on Windows 10.

PIX is a stand-alone performance tuning and debugging tool, that enables game developers to track down the root cause of both GPU and CPU related issues. The Windows version of PIX is built on the Xbox version of the tool, so developers targeting both platforms can easily get started optimizing their Windows games.  PIX supports hardware from all major graphics vendors.

How PIX helps game developers

A key feature of PIX is the GPU capture. This allows game developers to get a very detailed breakdown of how the game renders a single frame. Each of the many steps and API calls are accurately timed so developers can understand how each part of the rendering contributes to the overall frame time and optimize accordingly.

In addition to visualizing the timing of a single frame, GPU captures also enable developers to track down correctness issues such as rendering problems caused by corrupted data due to synchronization issues. For instance, the Resource History view allows developers to understand how buffers and textures are used throughout the lifetime of the frame.

Want more information?

This is just a peek into the many features of PIX on Windows. For more information on PIX please visit the PIX blog and download site where you can find a series of getting started videos that we’re releasing today on the DirectX 12 Youtube Channel.


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