Standalone GUI: Build Application and Create New Project

Before you start analyzing your application target for hotspots, do the following:

  1. Get software tools.

  2. Build application.

    If you build the code in Visual Studio*, make sure to:

  3. Create a performance baseline.

  4. Create a VTune Amplifier project.

Get Software Tools

You need the following tools to try tutorial steps yourself using the nqueens_fortran sample application:

  • Intel® VTune™ Amplifier, including sample applications

  • .zip file extraction utility

  • Supported Fortran compiler (see Release Notes for more information)

Acquire Intel VTune Amplifier

If you do not already have access to the VTune Amplifier, you can download an evaluation copy from

Install and Set Up VTune Amplifier Sample Applications

  1. Copy the file from the <install-dir>\samples\<locale>\Fortran\ directory to a writable directory or share on your system.


    The default installation path for the VTune Amplifier XE is [Program Files]\IntelSWTools\VTune Amplifier XE <version>. For the VTune Amplifier for Systems, the default <install_dir> is [Program Files]\IntelSWTools\system_studio_<version>\VTune Amplifier for Systems.

  2. Extract the sample from the zip file.


  • Samples are non-deterministic. Your screens may vary from the screen captures shown throughout this tutorial.
  • Samples are designed only to illustrate the VTune Amplifier features; they do not represent best practices for creating code.

Verify Optimal Compiler/Linker Options

Configure Visual Studio project properties to generate the debug information for your application so that the VTune Amplifier can open the source code.

  1. Select the nqueens_parallel project and go to Project > Properties.

    The nqueens_parallel Property Pages dialog box opens.

  2. Select Configuration Properties > General and make sure the selected Configuration (top of the dialog) is Release.

  3. Select Fortran > General pane and specify the Debug Information Format as Full (/debug:full).

  4. Select Fortran > Optimization pane and set the Optimization to Maximize Speed.

  5. Select Linker > Debugging and set the Generate Debug Info option to Yes (/DEBUG).

  6. Click OK.

Configure Target Properties

  1. Right-click the nqueens_parallel project and select Properties from the context menu.

    The nqueens_parallel Property Pages dialog box opens.

  2. In the nqueens_parallel Property Pages dialog box, select Configuration Properties > Debugging.

  3. In the right pane, specify the Command Arguments as 15.

  4. Click OK.

Build the Target in the Release Mode

Build the target in the Release mode with full optimizations, which is recommended for performance analysis. For this tutorial, Intel® Fortran Compiler is used to build the application.

  1. Go to the Build > Configuration Manager... dialog box and select the Release mode for your target project.

  2. From the Visual Studio menu, select Build > Build nqueens_parallel.

    The nqueens_parallel.exe application is built with your default Fortran compiler.


The build configuration for nqueens_parallel may initially be set to Debug, which is typically used for development. When analyzing performance issues with the VTune Amplifier, you are recommended to use the Release build with normal optimizations. In this way, the VTune Amplifier is able to analyze the realistic performance of your application.

Create a Performance Baseline

Run the application to create a performance baseline that will be used to identify optimization you achieve during performance tuning with the VTune Amplifier.


Before you start the application, minimize the amount of other software running on your computer to get more accurate results.

  1. From the Visual Studio menu, select Debug > Start Without Debugging.

    The nqueens_parallel.exe application starts running.

  2. Note the execution time displayed in the shell window caption. In the example above, the execution time is 127336 milliseconds.


    • Run the application several times, note the execution time for each run, and use the average number. This helps to minimize skewed results due to transient system activity.

    • The screenshots and execution time data provided in this tutorial are created on a system with 4 CPU cores. Your data may vary depending on the number and type of CPU cores on your system.

Create a VTune Amplifier Project

  1. From the Start menu launch Intel VTune Amplifier version standalone GUI.

  2. Create a new project via New > Project....

    The Create a Project dialog box opens.

  3. Specify the project name nqueens that will be used as the project directory name and click Create Project.

    VTune Amplifier creates the tachyon project directory under the %USERPROFILE%\My Documents\Amplifier XE\Projects (for VTune Amplifier XE) or %USERPROFILE%\My Documents\Amplifier for Systems\Projects (for VTune Amplifier for Systems) directory and opens the Choose Target and Analysis Type window with the Analysis Target tab active.

  4. From the left pane, select the local target system from the Accessible Targets group. From the right pane select the Launch Application target type.

  5. Specify and configure your target as follows:

    • For the Application field, browse to: <sample_code_dir>, for example: C:\samples\nqueens_fortran\vf12\nqueens_parallel\Release\nqueens_parallel.exe.

    • In the Application parameters field, specify the task size for this target: 15.

  6. Click Choose Analysis to select an analysis type.


You set up your environment to enable generating symbol information for your binary files, built the target in the Release mode, created the performance baseline, and created the VTune Amplifier project for your analysis target. Your application is ready for analysis.

Key Terms

Optimization Notice

Intel's compilers may or may not optimize to the same degree for non-Intel microprocessors for optimizations that are not unique to Intel microprocessors. These optimizations include SSE2, SSE3, and SSSE3 instruction sets and other optimizations. Intel does not guarantee the availability, functionality, or effectiveness of any optimization on microprocessors not manufactured by Intel. Microprocessor-dependent optimizations in this product are intended for use with Intel microprocessors. Certain optimizations not specific to Intel microarchitecture are reserved for Intel microprocessors. Please refer to the applicable product User and Reference Guides for more information regarding the specific instruction sets covered by this notice.

Notice revision #20110804