Welcome from Pete Baker

Director - Intel Visual Computing Software Enabling, Software and Services Group, Intel Corporation

Thank you for your work as a PC game developer. The Second Generation Intel® Core™ family of processors dramatically raises the mainstream performance bar for games. We want to ensure your games look and run their best on the world's highest volume gaming platform. We have assembled key information that can help you optimize your games.

We have included the following tools and documents to support the optimization process:

  • Intel® Graphics Performance Analyzers - for analysis of CPU and graphics performance
  • 10+ Graphics Samples - techniques that showcase unique technologies and capabilities of the platform
  • How-To Guides and Case Studies - accelerate the optimization of your own game by seeing how others have used the tools successfully

I also invite you to join the discussion and find updated information on the Visual Adrenaline Developer Program on the Intel® Developer Zone.

Working together we can deliver exciting experiences that delight and entertain consumers. Together we can ensure that our shared customers have the best gaming experience.

Thank you again,

Pete Baker
Director, Intel Visual Computing Software Enabling
Software & Services Group, Intel Corporation

Second Generation Intel® Core™ Family of Processors

With the microarchitecture of these processors, for the first time Intel has fully combined CPU and graphics processing into the same chip. The graphics performance and compatibility of these processors are strong enough to support the rich visual environments of modern PC games. Intel® processors are highly valued for their price-performance ratio and their strong performance-per-watt. As manufacturers continue to design and sell more products with Intel processors, the available market of capable graphics platforms grows. Don't miss the chance to tune your game for this new standard in PC gaming.

Developer Guides and Reference Manuals

We have reference material for our graphics and processors which are of particular use for game developers.

Guide Updated Abstract Link
Intel® Microarchitecture Code Name Sandy Bridge Graphics Developer Guide 2011-02 Covers DirectX* usage best practices on Intel® HD Graphics 2000 and Intel® HD Graphics 3000. /en-us/articles/intel-graphics-developers-guides
Intel® Microarchitecture Code Name Ivy Bridge Graphics Developer Guide Coming soon... Covers DirectX* usage best practices on the upcoming Intel® HD Graphics processors. Coming soon...

Tools for Optimizing Games and Graphics for Intel® Processors

At Intel, we believe we have created the best processing hardware for computing. We know that it's not always easy to harness that processing power, so we've built powerful software tools for analyzing your application on our hardware. Our best tools for graphics and gaming are collected here.

Tool Abstract Link
Intel® Graphics Performance Analyzers 4.0 Intel® Graphics Performance Analyzers (Intel® GPA) shows high-level performance metrics for the CPU and graphics, and allows you to capture a frame from a DirectX* application for detailed analysis and on-the-fly tweaking of the DirectX* calls. Intel GPA Platform View can show you detailed interaction between the CPU and graphics. Intel GPA is a free download to registered members of Intel's Visual Adrenaline Developer Program. http://www.intel.com/software/gpa
Intel® Parallel Amplifier Intel® Parallel Amplifier is a CPU counter profiler and can give you detailed insight into how much time is spent in each function of your application. /en-us/articles/intel-parallel-amplifier/

How-To Guides

We have some focused introductions to common tasks with our performance tools.

How-To Guide Updated Abstract Link
Getting started with Intel® GPA 2011-04 Start here to understand what Intel® GPA is designed to do, and learn the basic workflow for analyzing your game with Intel GPA. This guide demonstrates the features of Intel GPA using gpasample.exe, which ships with Intel GPA. /en-us/articles/gpa4-GettingStartedGuide
Attaching Intel® GPA to your game 2011-03 Trouble attaching Intel GPA to your game? This short article shows the various ways to attach Intel GPA to your game and start analysis. /en-us/articles/gpa-40-tip-attaching-to-your-game
Using Intel® GPA Experiments 2011-03 Intel GPA has several features called Experiments, that let you dynamically change DirectX* calls and see the results. This guide shows how Experiments can be used to isolate different parts of the graphics pipeline. By understanding the outcome of the Experiments, you will learn where your game is encountering graphics bottlenecks. /en-us/articles/practical-game-performance-analysis-using-intel-graphics-performance-analyzers
Intel® GPA Pixel History and Overdraw modes 2011-03 Intel GPA contains several features that help identify unnecessary draw calls. Pixel History and Overdraw are the focus of this how-to guide, using gpasample.exe, which is packaged with Intel GPA. /en-us/articles/gpa-tip-using-pixel-history-and-overdraw-mode
Tips and Tricks with Intel® GPA 2011-04 If your questions about Intel GPA aren't answered here, this page contains additional tips and tricks that might help you. /en-us/articles/intel-gpa-kb/all/1/

Case Studies

Many PC game developers have already had success using our tools to improve their games' performance. For some, we've written about what challenges they faced and what solutions they found. We hope these case studies will be helpful for your own efforts. Maybe we'll be writing about your game next!

Case Study Updated Abstract Link
Confetti 2011-02 Covers integration of Morphological Antialiasing to replace a Multi-Sampling Antialiasing approach. Intel GPA is used to quantify the improvement. /en-us/articles/confetti-special-effects
Demigod 2010-07 Shows how Intel GPA was used to zero in on performance problems in the post-processing effects, and how simple changes improved performance. /en-us/articles/becoming-more-godlike-how-demigod-appeased-the-masses-with-intel-graphics-performance-analyzers
Ghostbusters: The Game 2010-07 One scene in the first level of the game was having significant performance problems. Intel GPA was used to identify a shader that was maxing out the graphics hardware, and shows the outcome of the simple fix. /en-us/articles/updated-tools-spice-up-new-ghostbusters-game
Intel sample code: Ocean Fog 2011-04 Intel GPA shows how this downloadable sample code was using high-resolution normal maps and textures that weren't contributing to the visual quality of the scene. After reducing the resolution, significant performance improvements were achieved. /en-us/articles/sample-tweaker-ocean-fog

Sample Code

Intel develops code samples to show game developers how to take advantage of architecture and platform features. The code samples are accompanied by additional collateral to make it as easy to integrate these concepts and techniques into your own code.

Sample Code Updated Abstract Link
Detect Intel Graphics
2011-04 This sample code shows how to properly detect the presence of Intel Graphics chipsets /en-us/articles/gpu-detect-sample
Sample Code Homepage 2011-03 The "code page" is the home on the web for all of Intel's gaming and graphics related sample code and collateral. /en-us/

Developer Days

Developer Days is our regional training and optimization event where we come to you with engineers to help you optimize your game. We have several events planned-contact us at gamedevinput@intel.com if you are interested in participating.

If you've already been invited to participate in Developer Days, the information in this document will be very useful for your preparation. To get the most out of Developer Days, download and install Intel GPA and start analyzing your game before your session.

Thank you

We believe that our new generation of processors provides compelling game and graphics performance. These processors are proving to be very popular with customers and manufacturers. We want your game to be part of this new era of PC gaming. We believe the information contained here will help you be successful. Please tell us know how to improve this collection of technical information to make it even better. You can contact us at gamedevinput@intel.com.

Also, as you optimize your game, please work with your Intel account representative to send us an updated binary for testing. If you don't have an Intel account representative, please sign up for the Visual Adrenaline Developer Program so we can start a closer working relationship with you.

For more complete information about compiler optimizations, see our Optimization Notice.