In the latest Microsoft-sponsored article, part of the Gamasutra XNA microsite
, the team behind graphics debugging tool PIX explains the improvements
in the June 2008 release, also revealing a sneak peek at upcoming additions to the tool.
The team describes PIX as "a comprehensive graphics debugging/optimization tool that records detailed information about an application's use of Direct3D," that "collects data for a single rendered frame or a continuous stream of rendered frames."
Of the many new features added in the latest release, the team describes the new render view support for draw instancing:
Predicated draw calls were introduced in Direct3D 10 as a means to skip draw calls on the GPU, without needing feedback from the CPU. For instance, you could conditionally draw some complex object based on whether a lower resolution model of that object, such as its bounding box, is visible. The occlusion test for whether the simple object is visible or not, and the conditional drawing of the complex object, both happen on the GPU without having to deal with the complex threading issues of communication between GPU and CPU. This predication mechanism has been used effectively in professional titles as a simple and powerful way to do scene graph culling on the GPU.
PIX now supports Direct3D 10's ID3D10Predicate objects during capture and when viewing geometry in the Mesh view.
You can now read the entire sponsored feature
detailing many of the new features, including draw call timing for single-frame captures.