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20 March 2012

GPU Debugging Tools

At the end of last year Graphics Remedy released their main product gDEBugger for free!
 For a long time I've beed waiting for that, because that tool is probably the best among other that support OpenGL based applications. It is a bit disappointing that DirectX has more useful tools than OGL... for instance Pix, NVidia PerfKit, NVidia FX Composer (shader editor, but also has shader debugger...) Fortunately situation for OpenGL improves!

So far I had experience with tools for OpenGL like:
  • GLIntercept - very useful, but quite simple tool that overrides openGL32.dll and saves all rendering commands to nice HTML file. Unfortunately it is quite old - latest version from Dec 2005!
  • glslDevil - nice debugger for glsl, unfortunately I had some problems with running that app - it crashed several times. I used it only for less than 1h, so that opinion is not important.
  • gDEBugger - very powerfull, very advanced tool...
Here is nice link that explains basic functionality: screens
I'am still playing with that, but at a first glance it is quite intuitive (people who used PIX should not have any problems with gDebugger). Just pass exec dir, arguments and press Run... now you can test various aspects of your app. Of course there is list of all ogl commands - info about deprecated function usage, warning, stats, calls, etc. List of textures and FBO allows to see if your output looks properly. There is list of buffers, shaders... Additionally there is OpenCL support, but I haven't played with it yet.

original post date: 2011-01-27

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