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Microsoft releases PIX for Windows 10 to help developers optimize their games

Microsoft is throwing a bone to PC game developers with the release of PIX for Windows 10. Previously only available as a Xbox development tool, PIX allows developers to jump in to monitor and tune a game's performance for easier optimization.

PIX essentially uses the DirectX 12 API to give developers a clear look at every step of the rendering process. This allows the program to give a clear look at how the game is being rendered in detail, even down to individual frames. PIX also makes it easier to spot issues with corrupted data or synchronization.

PIX is available in beta for Windows 10 now for free, and it can be downloaded direct from Microsoft (opens in new tab). Meanwhile, Microsoft has also provided a handy set of videos to help developers get started with PIX.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to

  • If this means better optimization, I'm all for it.
  • PIX optimization is primarily for low-level optimization, the kind that only really works on consoles, where there is a fixed (or limited) set of GPUs. A developer could use PIX to super optimize for 100% efficiency on a 1080 card, but cause worse performance on ATI, intel itegrated or even lower end NVIDIA cards. It can be super useful for tracking down a performance-related bug (i.e. a massive drop in frame rate for a frame or two) more than for general optimization on PC.  
  • If windows 10 is universal shouldn't it run all xbox games the same way? ( powerful machines I mean )
  • Only a machine with the exact same specs as an Xbox will run a game "the same way" as an Xbox.
  • Nice. This also seems a piece of the future Scorpio ecosystem.
  • Nice. This also seems like a piece of the future Scorpio ecosystem.
  • Note that PIX was available for Windows for a long time, but was superseded by the GPU debugging and profiling tools integrated into recent versions of Visual Studio. I'm curious what this new PIX has that VS doesn't, as I haven't looked into it yet (unfortunately, work still has me on Windows 7) *edit* just looked. This is only for DX12 applications, and will not do any analysis of DX11 applications, so it really only is for people looking to fine-tune or debug at a very low level.
  • what? Design of windows 8? not available through the store?
  • what? "Design of Windows 8" what does that even mean? Also, with the way that PIX fiddles with your DirectX runtime in order to do its magic, it is unlikely to ever be in an store app sandbox, just like any other low-level debugger.
  • Microsoft should run for movie production, into the animation first...