GPU Performance

Doing performance work with GPUs is harder than with CPUs because of the asynchronous and massively parallel architecture.


PIX - Can do timing of Direct3D calls. Works reasonably well with Firefox.

NVIDIA PerfHUD - Last I checked required a special build to be used.

NVIDIA Parallel Nsight - Haven’t tried.

AMD GPU ShaderAnalyzer - Will compile a shader and show the machine code and give static pipeline estimations. Not that useful for Firefox because all of our shaders are pretty simple.

AMD GPU PerfStudio - I had trouble getting this to work, and can’t remember whether I actually did or not.

Intel Graphics Performance Analyzers

  • Haven’t tried.


  • Open source, works OK.


  • Doesn’t seem to emit traces on android/Nexus S. Looks like it’s designed for X11-based linux-ARM devices, OMAP3 is mentioned a lot in the docs …


Accurately Profiling Direct3D API Calls (Direct3D 9) Suggests avoiding normal profilers like xperf and instead measuring the time to flush the command buffer.

OS X - Best Practices for Working with Texture Data

  • Sort of old, but still useful.