Platform Monitoring Frequently Asked Questions


This is an organic document, meaning, that it will expand as need and request dictate. The purpose is to help establish a repository of common and perhaps not-so-common questions that arise while optimizing systems using Platform Monitoring processes.

Platform Monitoring Overview

1. What is Performance Monitoring?
Performance Monitoring is the current collective monitoring of hardware resources e.g. counter/controls etc that is supported on Intel platforms. Performance Monitoring is sometimes referred to as PerfMon.

2. What is Application Tuning and why is it Important?
Application tuning takes full advantage of the hardware by optimizing and allows the application to run at peak performance. The efficiency and performance of your workload or application gives you a competitive edge by understanding the full benefit of the hardware features.

Technical Requirements

3. What tools do I need to tune my applications?
It is important to use the right tools for the right set of problems at the system, application, or micro-architecture level. Each tool has a different focus and is oriented towards one or two levels of optimization. Some tools may overlap and cover multiple levels.

4. What tools are available for performance analysis?

5. How do I know which tool will suit my needs?
The tools listed above use hardware event counters. The counters can be configured to provide simple event counts to meet your need.

For more information, see additional Intel® Tools:
Intel® Parallel Studio
Intel® Graphics Performance Analyzer
Intel® VTune Performance Analyzer
Intel® Threading Building Blocks
Intel® Integrated Performance Primitives
Intel® Media SDK

Platform Information

6. What performance monitoring features does my Platform have?
Table in PMU guide Volume 3b (Performance Monitoring Chapter, Appendix A: Performance Monitoring Events)
Refer to methodology where SW can enumerate the capability of the Platform
The tool documentation is an excellent way to determine what features the Platform has available. If you install a tool like VTune, the tool detects which processor it is running on and which performance monitoring features are available.

7. What is an event?
An event is an architectural or micro-architectural occurrence in the processor. Events are counted by the performance monitoring counters to provide characterization data.

8. What can I do to learn more about Performance Monitoring?

  • Refer to the chapters in the SDM to talk about the PMU. If you want to learn more about programming check the PMU manuals
  • Check back to the Platform Monitoring Community often.
  • VTune Help Files.
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