PIX on Hybrid Graphics

PIX currently always runs its analysis engine on the default graphics adapter.  If you are using a hybrid graphics system, such as a laptop which contains both integrated and discrete GPUs, the default adapter will usually be the lower powered integrated GPU.

You can configure PIX to use the discrete GPU by adding a rule for WinPixEngineHost.exe in the vendor control panel for your GPU.  For example on AMD:

  • Launch AMD Radeon Settings
  • Navigate to Preferences, Radeon Additional Settings, and then Power
  • Select Switchable Graphics Application Settings
  • Click Add Application, select WinPixEngineHost.exe, and assign it to run on the AMD GPU

On a hybrid NVIDIA system:

  • Launch NVIDIA Control Panel
  • Select Manage 3D settings, and switch to the Program Settings tab
  • Click Add, select WinPixEngineHost.exe, then Add Selected Program
  • Change the Select the preferred graphics processor for this program setting
  • Apply

To make sure this setting is correct, look at the GPU information in the Details tab of the computer connection after you launch PIX, and make sure this is no longer using your integrated GPU:



Note that every version of PIX installs to a different directory, so you may need to recreate your control panel rule with a different path to the WinPixEngineHost executable after upgrading to newer versions of PIX.

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