Thursday, March 18, 2010

AMD CodeAnalyst Performance Analyzer for Windows®

Sharing some experience with AMD CodeAnalyst profiler.

This profiler from AMD is free, simple, lightweight and implemented as a Visual Studio plugin (apparently there is Linux version, but I did not try it yet). 
Default profiling mode is time-sampling. 

I took a  few screenshots:

From Blog

From Blog

From Blog

Pros and Cons:

1. Easy to use, you can start your session in a few minutes (+)
2. Hot-spot detection is easy, chart based, results are generally believable (+)
3. Profiler is lean and works fast, profiled program is not slowed down. (+)
3. AMD CodeAnalyst is free (+)
4. Different screens (chart and data) sometimes give contradicting results, which is a bit confusing. (-)
    In the screenshots above 1 and 3 indicate different proportion in hot-spot data (maybe I don't understand something or bug in visualization).
5. I failed to get call stack for hot-spots even though configuration promised to collect it. (-)
    This can be a big issue for large projects with multiple code paths.
    Similar tools like Intel Parallel Studio can show call stacks and allows easy call stack analysis.

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