For three generations of Xbox consoles, game developers have used Microsoft's Pix tool for graphics performance tuning and debugging. Microsoft says that developers looking to work with its DirectX 12 API have been asking for a similar tool. Now, the company has released a beta version of Pix for Windows 10.
The purpose of Pix is to allow developers to carefully scrutinize the steps of the graphics rendering process. Pix has five primary operating modes that provide data capture of data regarding the GPU, timing, function summary, callgraph, and memory allocation. By using these tools, devs can get a deep and detailed look at the how their applications' graphics rendering is timed, analyse CPU and GPU performance and threading, and obtain detailed information of prime importance for optimization and debugging.
Pix should be useful for just about anyone developing a DirectX 12 game or app. Since this version of Pix is based on the Xbox release, it's likely that the tool will be particularly helpful for those looking to simultaneously develop titles for PC and Xbox. The software is still in beta, so there's a lengthy list of features that Microsoft still wants to add, but it's immediately available for interested folks to download and try out.