GPU Monitoring and performance evaluation is not a so simple task. While PC / OS monitoring is quite simple
( using the task manager to check memoty usage, pagefile usage, CPU load ), there is no native tool in Windows
for GPU. I'll explain the basic steps for GPU Monitoring / Troubleshooting
The freeware GPU-Z is the basic tool. Using the second tab ( Sensors ), you can check the instant values,
as well as the min and max values for each parameter. Click the pull-down menu next to each value, to toggle
instant / min / max values. This way, after a couple of hours of GPU use ( ie playing some graphic intensive game ),
you can check the max loads, the current temp, the max temp, as well as checking the temp decrease while back in
Remember to click the two checkboxes : ' log to file ' and ' Continue refreshing this screen while GPU-Z is in the background '
2. Graphs tracing using GPU-Z
GPU-Z will save a GPU-Z Sensor Log.txt on your desktop. You can use this file to make graphs.
I'll tip on how to do this, using Open Office Calc.
1. Activate all logging options in GPU-Z : ' log to file ' and ' Continue refreshing this screen while GPU-Z is in the background '
2. Keep GPU-Z open on the Desktop, launch the game, and play a couple of hours
3. Shutdown the game, and wait 30 minutes
4. Shutdown GPU-Z
5. Open GPU-Z Sensor Log.txt in Open Office Calc using the file type option in the open dialog box :
file type : CSV text ( *.csv *.txt, *.xls )
6. add the ' comma ' checkbox in the text import dialog box
7. In the Datasheet, select all + order by time ( so to eliminate the blank lines )
8. In the Datasheet, select all + replace . ( dot ) into , ( comma ) ( for numbers proper handling )
9 go on the bottom of the page, grab the last line ( collumn tags ) and insert it at the top ( first line )
( so you have proper collumns tags )
10. Select all + insert graph
graph type : lines
check first line and first collumn as tags
11. Move and resize your graphic
12. Save the datasheet, and make screen captures using pan and zoom different options
A few captures sheet of Anno 1404 over a GeForce 7800 GT :
Whole game session ( click to enlarge ) :
A zoom over the session beginning ( check temp rise ) ( click to enlarge ) :
A zoom over the end of session ( check temp decrease ) ( click to enlarge ) :
These three graphs show that :
. GPU memory gets fully loaded
. GPU is working at a 100 % load through the whole game session
. GPU temperature is way high
Well, it's no big surprise Anno 1404 is a little too much for a 7800GT, but now
you can check where and how it actually have some difficulties.
Interesting too, if you notice, the temp spikes just fit the CPU use spike and the memory
Tip : A GPU-Z Sensor Log.txt of a 2 hours test has many datas, so be patient for Open Office time of compute
and results display. Too, tou'll have to make tradoffs, since the whole session view shows the whole session,
but lacks dots resolution. On the opposite, close-ups zooms shows a very detailled graph, but lacks the
' whole picture ' interest. Data viewing softwares can be of some help here ( GNUPlot, ... )
Having a few tools to monitor and graph GPU activity is very funny, very interesting, and ways improve your
knowledge of GPU performance. It's allways worth trying it !!!
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