Steven Pratschner

Program Manager, PIX on Windows

I'm the Program Manager for the PIX CPU tools in the Gaming Division at Microsoft. PIX helps you identify the performance issues that may be affecting the frame rate of your DX12 AAA title on Windows and on Xbox.

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Using performance budgets in the Timing Capture metrics view

The 2208.10 release of PX on Windows adds the ability to specify performance budgets in the Timing Capture metrics view. Performance budgets make it easy to quickly find points in the graph that are over their budget. Performance budgets can be specified for any metric. Budgets are often assigned for a variety of scenarios, including ...
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Timing Capture Metrics View improvements in PIX 2203.30

The 2203.30 version of PIX on Windows contains two new features in the Timing Capture Metrics View.  We added both of these features based on your feedback.  The first new feature is the ability to graph a PIX CPU events execution time and stalled time, in addition to its duration.  The second feature is an enhancement to the consolidated ...
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Graphing Consolidated Events in the Timing Capture Metrics View

The 2201.24 release of PIX on Windows includes a feature that treats a set of events that follow a common naming pattern as the same event in the Timing Capture Metrics view.  You'll find this feature useful if you follow the common practice of naming the PIX events that represent a frame of CPU work (or any other repeated set of work) with a...
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Critical path analysis in Timing Captures

The 2201.24 version of PIX on Windows includes a new feature that uses the CPU context switch data collected during a Timing Capture to compute the critical path for a selected PIX event. The critical path is the series of events and thread dependencies that, if shortened, would reduce the overall duration of the selected event. As an ...
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File IO profiling support for archive files

The August release of PIX on Windows adds file io profiling support for archive files to Timing Captures.  This new feature allows Timing Captures to identify which individual assets are being read out of archive files such as .zip or .pak. If the File Accesses checkbox is selected before starting a Timing Capture, PIX will collect data on...
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New File IO-related counters in the Timing Capture Metrics View

The 2107.01 release of PIX on Windows adds drive bandwidth counters to the Metrics view in Timing Captures.  These new counters, along with the existing drive utilization counters and the ability to view data on all file accesses, helps give you a clear picture of how file io is impacting title performance. To collect the counters and the ...
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Symbol loading improvements to PIX Timing Captures

Have you ever opened a Timing Capture only to realize you hadn't configured your symbol path correctly?  The good news is that PIX has long had the ability to process symbols after the fact.  The bad news is that you had to close and reopen the capture (after fixing up your symbol path) to trigger PIX to reload the symbols. A small, but ...
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CPU Sample collection issue fixed in a recent Windows Update

Several people have reported that CPU samples were not showing up in Timing Captures starting a few months ago.  This ended up being an issue with Windows Defender that has been fixed in a Windows servicing update that was released earlier this week.  A description of the fix and how to verify that you've received it is available on the ...

Timing Capture Sampling Profiler video

I recently posted a new video to the PIX on Windows YouTube channel that describes some of the features in the Sampling Profiler in Timing Captures.  This video shows how to use CPU samples to analyze CPU performance in portions of your title that aren't sufficiently instrumented with PIX events. As always, use the feedback button in the ...
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Converting previous versions of Timing Captures

In some releases of PIX, the Timing Capture file format must be changed as new features are added. Such a format change was made in the 2104.20 release of PIX on Windows. If you attempt to open a capture that contains an older file format, a dialog will be displayed with the following text: Please use the Convert menu to migrate this ...
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