Using GPU PerfStudio

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GPU PerfStudio is a free graphics debugging and profiling tool for Windows. It works directly on the graphics API level and is especially useful for inspecting individual drawcalls.

Although the tool is developed by AMD, the debugging functionality is available on NVidia hardware as well. PerfStudio supports OpenGL and can hence be used with Horde3D. Altogether, the tool is quite easy to use and quick to get up and running. In the long run, it can help to save a lot of time.

First Steps

It is important that your application has a pause function which freezes all simulation and mouse input. In the standard Horde3D samples, the pause mode is activated by hitting the space key twice.

  • Get GPU PerfStudio 2.4 or the latest version from [1] (no installation is required)
  • After launching PerfStudio, click on the blue Connect icon
  • Specify the path of your application (e.g. the Knight sample) and click Connect. The PerfStudio server and your application will be launched
  • When you want to debug a specific frame, enable the pause mode in your application (hit space twice in the Knight sample)
  • Switch to PerfStudio and click on Pause
  • Open the Frame Debugger. At the bottom you see a slider with which you can cycle through the drawcalls

In the Frame Debugger you can inspect the current render state for each drawcall. This can be very helpful to find out where a visual glitch is coming from and why it is appearing. The outcome of the drawcalls is visualized directly in the viewport of your application. For that reason, it is useful to have the application window and PerfStudio side by side. Even better is of course a workspace setup with two monitors.

For more information and details, please refer to the PerfStudio documentation.

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