Microsoft PIX 1704.14 Beta
FREEWAREFILES EDITOR'S REVIEW
Microsoft PIX is a handy tool that helps users to easily improve game performance. The performance tuning and debugging tool uses the GPU capture process to render single frames, allowing developers to peer into the details of the process. The developers can tune DirectX 12 games, ensuring that the PC gaming platform is not relegated to the realms of history.
Using Microsoft PIX
Microsoft PIX requires quite a robust system with:
- 32 GB RAM
- Windows 10 build 14393 with the latest updates
- Direct3D 12 GPU with the latest graphics drivers
However, you may use a computer with x64 processor architecture, Windows 10 build 10586 and a Direct3D 12 GPU of any feature level.
The program connected to our local Windows PC by default when we launched it. However, we could easily switch it to debug another computer from the "Home" tab. We could register as many PCs as we wanted the software to connect to.
Microsoft PIX gave us the option to start tracing a process for GPU capture. We needed to inject the PIX capture engine into our title's process before issuing any DirectX calls, and we had the option to launch it under GPU capture.
In the "Launch UWP" tab, we viewed a list of all the Windows universal apps installed on our computer. However, we could only launch traces on 64-bit titles in the list.
We were prompted to supply a path to an executable in "Launch Win32" tab. We could also supply an optional working directory if it was different than where the executable was found and an optional command-line argument.
The "Attach" tab listed all the currently running processes on the computer. We could use it for different types of capture but not GPU capture that required PIX capture to be launched before running a process.
We could play through our title with the capture layer injected, but the frame rate was slightly affected because the capture layer added some overhead. We could disable adaptive frame rate or quality settings in our title to compensate for it.
We pressed the "Print Screen" key to initiate the GPU capture at the location that we wanted to capture. Alternatively, we could click the camera icon on the program interface. We could exit the title or click on one of the captured thumbnails and the program automatically terminated the title.
We analyzed captures in the "Overview" tab, and we could visualize the process in the "Timeline" pane on the lower part of the user interface. The "Pipeline" tab gave us detailed information about the captured frames. The "Debug" tab allowed us to perform necessary debugging.
Microsoft PIX provided five major modes of operation:
- GPU captures
- Timing captures
- Function summary captures
- Callgraph captures
- Memory allocation captures
Microsoft PIX for Windows is a program that is designed for developers to improve game performance on PCs. They can use it to analyze and tune DirectX 12 games. The software requires specialized skill.