Get Started

  • 2021.3
  • 09/23/2021
  • Public Content

Get Started with Intel® Graphics Performance Analyzers for Windows* OS

On Windows, Intel® Graphics Performance Analyzers (Intel® GPA) provide a solution for graphics analysis and optimization that can help you improve the performance of games and other graphics-intensive Microsoft DirectX*, Vulkan*, OpenGL*, and Mixed Reality applications.
To profile a DirectX, Vulkan, or OpenGL application, you need to have the tools installed on the system where your application runs (target system). If you want to profile an application remotely, install the tools on both host and target systems.
  • Make sure your system satisfies the software and hardware requirements described in the Release Notes.
  • Install Microsoft .NET* 4.0 (only for DirectX 9/10).
  • To analyze Mixed Reality apps, install Mixed Reality Portal.

Step 1: Launch your application for analysis

To launch a Vulkan or DirectX application:
  1. Click to launch Graphics Monitor on your Windows target system.
  2. Depending on the type of the application that you want to launch, click the
    Desktop Application
    tab or the
    Universal Windows Applications
    tab (DirectX only).
  3. Select an application for analysis.
  4. Choose the required
    Application Startup
    • Frame : Choose this mode to capture a frame for a DirectX application.
    • Trace : Choose this mode to capture a trace for a DirectX, Vulkan, or OpenGL application.
    • Stream : Choose this mode to capture a multi-frame stream for a DirectX 11/12 or Vulkan application.
  5. Click
    The application opens for real-time analysis with the Heads-Up Display (HUD) overlay.
  6. Press
    to toggle between different HUD display modes that show frame rate, real-time performance metrics, and HUD controls.
To launch a Mixed Reality application:
Analysis for WinMR applications is the same as DirectX applications. The only difference between the two is the way in which you launch the application for analysis.
  • Launch the WinMR portal from the start menu, ensuring that the head mounted display (HMD) is fully set up.
  • In the task notification area, right-click the Graphics Monitor icon and select
    Graphics Monitor
    from the context menu.
  • Click the
    Universal Windows Applications
  • Select an application from the provided list and click
    The application opens for real-time analysis with the Heads-Up Display (HUD) overlay.
When analyzing on Intel® HD Graphics and Intel® Iris® Graphics, the mirrored display may not be created, the HUD will appear only in the HMD. In this case, keyboard shortcuts are not available. It is recommended to start System Analyzer, connect it to an application, and perform a run-time analysis. However, when analyzing on discrete graphics cards, the HUD will appear on both the mirrored display and the HMD.
Learn more about modifying analysis settings.

Step 2: Run high-level system analysis

  1. Use the HUD to examine various CPU, GPU, graphics API, or system metrics while your application is running. You can select the metrics for analysis in the
    screen accessible through the Graphics Monitor Launcher Screen.
  2. Modify render states and observe performance changes in frame rate and in metrics charts to identify performance bottlenecks. Click Ctrl+F1 to view the list of the available overrides and the respective keyboard shortcuts.
  3. Capture frame/stream and trace files for further in-depth analysis with Graphics Frame Analyzer and Graphics Trace Analyzer, respectively.

Step 3: Perform stream analysis for DirectX11 and Vulkan applications

Explore the performance impact of specific frames in the stream at different stages of the rendering pipeline:
  • detect frames with potential bottlenecks
  • profile the detected frames in the Graphics Frame Analyzer
Learn more about stream analysis.

Step 4: Perform frame analysis for GPU-bound applications

  • Find the most expensive draw calls in the frame and analyze their optimization opportunities.
  • Experiment with state overrides to correlate performance issues with specific stages of the graphics pipeline.
  • Depending on the results of your experiments, explore the following optimization opportunities:
    • analyze texture bandwidth
    • optimize complex geometry
    • experiment with states and shaders
    • minimize overdraw

Step 5: Perform platform analysis for CPU-bound applications

  • From the Graphics Monitor context menu, launch Graphics Trace Analyzer.
    In the opened window, you can see all the captured trace files.
  • From the
    Graphics Trace Analyzer
    window, select and open the captured trace file by a double-click.

Product and Performance Information


Performance varies by use, configuration and other factors. Learn more at