Microsoft’s Windows PIX debugging tool now available for games

by Radu Tyrsina
Radu Tyrsina
Radu Tyrsina
CEO & Founder
Radu Tyrsina has been a Windows fan ever since he got his first PC, a Pentium III (a monster at that time). For most of the kids of... read more
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Developers have an array of programs and tools at their disposal that help them maintain and improve on projects. A lot of these programs are the reason why a game looks and feels the way it does by the time it reaches the consumer. One of these tools is Microsoft’s PIX software. PIX is a means for developers to handle debugging for Xbox games, and it has continuously done so across multiple versions.

Recently, Microsoft also took a big step and made PIX available on Windows. Albeit it’s in the form of a beta version at the moment, it doesn’t take away from the fact that Windows game developers now have a powerful tool in the process of being upgraded, which they can use to improve the quality of their products. If you’re a developer and want to know just what PIX can help you with, we have a list you can check out:

  • Inspect CPU and GPU parameters and threading levels while used by the game through the software’s Timing Capture feature;
  • Trace single function executions through the Callgraph Capture feature;
  • Analyze Direct3D 12 renders and performance on GPUs;
  • Record the activity logs of each function through the Function Summary Capture feature;
  • Analyze game memory consumption and distribution and learn key elements of the process.

System Requirements

If you’re going to run PIX, you will need to be geared up with the bare essentials:

  • At least 32 GB of RAM;
  • A copy of Microsoft’s Windows 10, which includes the Anniversary Edition update (you could probably operate just fine with an inferior build, but this is the one recommended);
  • A GPU that supports Direct3D 12.

While it is not yet announced how much it will take PIX to exit the Beta phase, it is no doubt a great tool to have and as time goes by so will PIX for Windows 10 provide more and more help to developers that want to get the very best out of each project. If Xbox debugging performances can be any insight into what PIX can help achieve, most would agree that porting over to Windows 10 was a great idea.


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