Intel releases graphics performance analyzer

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San Francisco (CA) – On Monday, Intel released a Graphics Performance Analyzer (GPA) suite of software tools designed to help game makers optimize graphics on Intel’s Visual Adrenaline developer program. The application allows game developers to target a wider range of consumer hardware by allowing varying levels of performance tailored specifically at GPU-specific levels of performance.

The software works like Intel’s VTune app for the CPU, in that it looks for ways to increase performance and throughput of gaming graphics by analyzing what the software is doing, and suggesting better ways to do it.

Intel’s VTune software enables x86-based CPU programs to be optimized in ways which are often impossible for compilers to know about, or are very difficult to code for manually.

According to Intel:

GPA provides in-depth application analysis and customization so developers can pinpoint performance bottlenecks and optimize games for Intel-based desktop PCs and laptops that use Intel’s chipsets. GPA consists of three components: System Analyzer, Frame Analyzer and the Software Development Kit (SDK). System Analyzer delivers high-level views of overall software performance, Frame Analyzer offers in-depth frame-by-frame performance analysis and the SDK enables developers to customize the suite according to their needs. Developers have the choice to run the tools locally or remotely through a network connection.

Elliot Garbus, VP and GM of Intel’s Visual Computing Software Division, said, “Game developers need simple, yet powerful tools which enable them to create games that look real, act real and feel real. The Intel Graphics Performance Analyzers suite is the only software development toolkit that provides a holistic view of system performance for games running on Intel Integrated Graphics. Solving performance bottlenecks with GPA ensures developers are delivering the best gaming experience.” [Editor’s note: I’m not sure where Garbus suggests game developers need “simple” tools. Game developers are some of the best developers in the entire industry.]

According to Chris Taylor, CEO of Gas Powered Games, Intel’s GPA has already helped them “unlock a higher level of optimization, making our games look even better and run on a broader spectrum of hardware configurations.”

GPA works on Intel’s current integrated graphics chipsets, including those supporting the Core i7 CPU. Intel continues to develop this product and will also support future technologies. The GPA graphics toolkit sells for $299 at Intel’s Business Exchange.

See Intel’s press release, and GPA website, all of Intel’s software. Intel’s technical manuals on their x86-based CPUs (called IA-32 and Intel 64 (x86-64)) can be downloaded here. Note also that AMD today announced a similar software program as part of a free closed-beta program.

Note: Intel’s technical manuals on IA-32 and Intel 64 serve as the industry standard for all x86-based CPUs. While there are subtle differences present in AMD’s implementation of the full x86 ISA, and VIA’s implementation of the full x86 ISA, the vast majority of computer instructions are identical across all platforms, making these excellently written manuals (also available in print via Intel’s Literature Center) an invaluable resource for low-level software developers.

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