Intel® Graphics Performance Analyzers (Intel® GPA) Release Notes - 2021.1

Last Updated:03/24/2021

Introduction

Intel® Graphics Performance Analyzers (Intel® GPA) provides tools for graphics analysis and optimizations for making games and other graphics-intensive applications run even faster. The tools support the platforms based on the latest generations of Intel® Core™ and Intel Atom® processor families, for applications developed for Windows*, Ubuntu*, or macOS*.

Intel® GPA provides a common and integrated user interface for collecting performance data. Using it, you can quickly see performance opportunities in your application, saving time and getting products to market faster.

For detailed information and assistance in using the product, refer to the following online resources:

  • Home Page: view detailed information about the tool, including links to training and support resources, as well as videos on the product to help you get started quickly.
  • Get Started Guide: get the main features overview and learn how to start using the tools on different host systems.
  • Training and Documentation: learn at your level with Getting Started guides, videos and tutorials.
  • User Guide for Windows Host: get details on how to analyze Windows and Android* applications from a Windows system.
  • User Guide for macOS Host: get details on how to analyze Android or macOS applications from a macOS system.
  • User Guide for Ubuntu Host: get details on how to analyze Android or Ubuntu applications from an Ubuntu system.
  • Support Forum: report issues and get help with using Intel® GPA.

What's New in This Release

New Features for Analyzing Graphics APIs

 

Graphics Frame Analyzer

  • Improved the quality of DirectX* 12 multi-frame stream capture and playback.
  • Enabled multi-frame profiling by default for DirectX* 12.
  • Added Technical Preview of multi-frame profiling for DirectX* 11

Graphics Trace Analyzer

  • Completed full support for synchronization by adding support for WinAPI, allowing visualization of CPU Signal calls signalling WaitForSingleObject or WaitForMultipleObjects.
  • Enhanced thread zone visualization. The green line over each CPU thread track coordinating with bright blue coloring of the call time indicates that the thread is active. Elsewhere, the thread is inactive.
  • Adjusted metrics tracks to display the full percentage range, 0% to 100% for a better relative assessment. This can be toggled back to the actual available range for each track.

New Features for Intel® GPA Framework 

  • Full support implemented for multi-frame analysis of DirectX* 12 workloads by improving the quality of stream capture and playback
  • Technical Preview implemented for multi-frame analysis of DirectX* 11 workloads
  • Enabled collection of the Intel Metrics Detection library-based metrics so that developers who have platforms with multiple Intel GPUs can collect query-based metrics for both GPUs
  • Support for Vulkan SDK 1.2.148. Please update Vulkan SDK to build against GPA Framework
  • Support for Windows SDK 19041. Maintains backward compatibility with the previous SDK

Note: Trace-cmd source code is available in https://archive.softwareheritage.org/ hash commit is f8ea7186250942cbb2741b82f167eca5fbba9ac0

System Requirements and Supported Platforms

The minimum system requirements are:

The table below shows platforms and applications supported by Intel® GPA 2020.4

Target System
(the system where your game runs)
Host System
(your development system where you run the analysis)
Target Application
(types of supported applications running on the target system)
Windows 10 Windows 10 DirectX 9, 10, 11, 12; Vulkan 1.1, 1.2
Windows 7 SP1/8.1/10 Windows 7 SP1/8.1/10 Microsoft DirectX 9, 10, 11
Ubuntu 18.04 Ubuntu 18.04, 20.04 OpenGL 3.2, 3.3, 4.0, 4.1 Core Profile

macOS: 10.15

(Note: We are no longer in active development for macOS.)

macOS: 10.15 OpenGL 3.2, 3.3, 4.0, 4.1 Core Profile;
Metal* 1 and 2

Intel® GPA does not support the following Windows configurations: server editions, Windows 8 RT, Windows 7 Starter Kit.

Although the tools may appear to work with the OpenGL API on the Windows platform, this API is not officially supported on Windows platforms. Some features and metrics may not be available on unsupported platforms.

Supported Windows Graphics Devices

Intel® GPA supports Intel® Graphics devices found in these Intel® processor generations as targets for analyzing Windows workloads. All these targets have enhanced metric support:

  • Intel® Iris® Xe MAX graphics
  • 11th generation Intel® Core™ processors
  • 10th generation Intel® Core™ processors
  • 9th generation Intel® Core™ processors
  • 8th generation Intel® Core™ processors
  • 7th generation Intel® Core™ processors
  • 6th generation Intel® Core™ processors
  • 6th generation Intel® Core™ m processors
  • 4th generation Intel® Core™ processors

Although the tools may appear to work with other graphics devices, these devices are unsupported. Some features and metrics may not be available on unsupported platforms. If you run into in an issue when using the tools with any supported configuration, please report this issue through the Support Forum.

Driver Requirements for Intel® HD Graphics

When running Intel® GPA on platforms with supported Intel® HD Graphics, the tools require the latest graphics drivers for proper operation. You may download and install the latest graphics drivers from the Intel Download Center.

Intel® GPA inspects your current driver version and notifies you if your driver is out-of-date.

Installation Notes

Installing Intel® GPA

Download the Intel® GPA installer from the Intel® GPA Free Downloads.

If you use the product in a host/target configuration, instal Intel® GPA on both systems. For more information on the host/target configuration, refer to Best Practices.

Installing Intel® GPA on Windows

To install the tools on Windows, download the *.msi package from the Intel® GPA Free Downloads and run the installer file.

To profile Vulkan applications, make sure to download and install the latest Vulkan SDK and runtimes.

For DirectX applications, download and install the DirectX End-User Runtime.

Installing Intel® GPA on Ubuntu

To install Intel® GPA on Ubuntu, download the .sh file from the Intel® GPA Free Downloads and run the installer script.

Installing Intel® GPA on macOS

To install the tools on macOS, download from the Intel® GPA Free Downloads and run the .pkg installer.

Note: We are no longer in active development of Intel® GPA for the macOS platform.

Technical Support and Troubleshooting

For technical support, including answers to questions not addressed in the installed product, visit the Support Forum.

Known Issues and Limitations

For Intel® GPA Framework

  • User input for keyframes and deferred stream capture may not be registered in certain applications. Please use time-interval keyframes and capture layer parameters for deferred stream capture.
  • When using the AMD* RX Vega card to capture a stream on a Hades Canyon machine the argument "--page-tracker-mode 2" must be added to any ./gpa-injector command in order to properly capture the stream. Note that this does not apply to the iGFX card.
  • Intel® GPA Framework has been released for Vulkan and Direct3D 12. Direct3D 11 support is released in the Technical Preview form.
  • At present, the Intel® GPA Framework contains only Release builds (no debug builds of libraries).
  • The capture layer supports only 64-bit applications. However, the injection mechanism will work with 32-bit processes for the purpose of allowing the capture of applications that require 32-bit launchers.
  • A modification of shaders in HLSL representation can cause the gpa-player to crash if the original shader representation was different from HLSL (Vulkan).
  • Support is not provided yet for collecting query-based metrics from Direct3D 12 copy queues and Vulkan transfer queues. When used, they are ignored by the MetricsExtractor when the graphics API pipeline statistics based query managers are used, but are accepted by the Intel HW MD library query manager which may return metrics results. No validation of such results have occurred.

For DirectX Applications

  • Shader Profiler in Graphics Frame Analyzer may not work with driver versions higher than 27.20.100.9079. Please use 27.20.100.9079 driver to use the feature.
  • Parallel Execution View is not supported on Skull Canyon platforms. 
  • Applications that are dynamically linked to Microsoft* Visual C++ Runtime Library, Version 14.0 or higher cannot be launched on Windows 7 platforms with Auto-Detect Launched Applications mode enabled. You can start the application directly from Graphics Monitor or the command line. 
  • To collect stable metrics on third party graphics solutions, enable Developer Mode in Microsoft Windows OS settings. 
  • A few DirectX 11 applications that create a temporary Direct3D* 11 device may crash if started from Graphics Monitor. To resolve this issue, please enable the System-wide Time-based GPU Metrics option in the Metrics tab of the Graphics Monitor options. 
  • Graphics Frame Analyzer does not display the DirectX 12 Pipeline Statistics metrics for frames that contain ClearState or SetProtectedResourceSession calls. 
  • In rare cases,  the “SQ is full” metric may have values higher than 100%. Do not use this metric for analysis in such cases. 
  • Collection of CPU hardware metrics is not available in Intel® VTune™ Profiler when Graphics Monitor is running.
  • Graphics Frame Analyzer may work slowly during DirectX 9 and DirectX 10 frame profiling with the latest drivers.
  • Shader Profiler may not work for DX12 frames opened on integrated Intel® Iris® Xe Graphics when discrete Intel® Iris® Xe MAX Graphics also exist. As a workaround for this issue, disable discrete Intel® Iris® Xe MAX in Device Manager.

For Vulkan Applications

  • Shader Profiler in Graphics Frame Analyzer may not work with driver versions higher than 27.20.100.9079. Please use 27.20.100.9079 driver to use the feature.
  • To profile Vulkan titles, make sure to download the latest Vulkan runtimes and SDK.
  • In the case where Vulkan applications run on multi-GPU machines choose to render on a non-default adapter, one outside of the list of explicitly enumerated adapters, stream files may be produced that cannot be analyzed in the Profiling View of Graphics Frame Analyzer.

For Metal Applications

  • To run and profile applications from Steam*, manually download and update to the latest 64-bit version of Steam.
  • 32-bit applications are not supported for profiling.
  • Playback of the Metal stream files captured with earlier Intel® GPA versions is not supported. Old Metal stream files can be converted to the new stream format using the following steps:
    1. Open Terminal and change the directory to
      cd /Applications/Intel/FrameAnalyzer.app/Contents/Resources/metal.
      
    2. Capture a new stream of the old player running the .gpa_stream file that you want to convert by the following command:
      ./gen2/gpa-injector ./gpa-playback --layer capture -- <path-to-old-.gpa_stream-file
    3. The newly converted stream is automatically added to ~/Documents/GPA/ and is displayed in the Graphics Frame Analyzer open file dialog.
  • macOS users who are running OS X* El Capitan or newer must disable System Integrity Protection (SIP) in order to profile Steam applications. If SIP is enabled on your machine, a message will appear at the top of Graphics Monitor directing you to disable it. If you would prefer not to disable SIP but need to profile a Steam application, use the following process:
    1. Launch and sign into Steam
    2. Locate the executable of the desired application and copy the location, it typically looks something like this:
      /Users/YOUR_USER_NAME/Library/Application\ Support/Steam/steamapps/common/YOUR_APPLICATION_BINARY 
    3. Launch Graphics Monitor
    4. Paste the location of desired application in the first input box and hit start
    5. Intel® GPA will now be injected into the executable, allowing for live profiling and Trace/Frame/Stream Capture

Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE)

For detailed descriptions of each listing see the National Vulnerabilities Database.

  • No CVE Issues

 

Archived Release Notes

Back to Release Notes' Overview

Intel GPA Main Page

Intel GPA Framework

 

Product and Performance Information

1

Performance varies by use, configuration and other factors. Learn more at www.Intel.com/PerformanceIndex.