The Windows 8 Task Manager? – GPU Usage monitoring becomes a requirement

Over the past 2 weeks I have been conducting performance testing on Autodesk Inventor using three different Operating Systems. Essentially the results of the testing revealed that unless applications are optimized for specific hardware much of the horse power we buy goes unused and wasted. One has to wonder if the inherent monitoring tools we see in Windows are really giving us the full picture. Perhaps the easiest thing to point at is Windows 7 current lack of GPU monitoring.

Diagram of a possible Windows 8 Task Manager.

Essentially the next Windows version after Windows 7 will be tackling new hurdles that reflect the way we already use computers but will essentially help to bring huge performance increases which do not exist today. Perhaps the single most important reason why we have not been paying attention to the whole picture as it relates to bottle necks in performance is because we have not had the tools to do it. The saying “out of sight out of mind” brings on new meaning as it relates to monitoring and the GPU is one clear area that has been out of sight. 

I certainly want to give credit where credit is due. The Windows 7 team made big strides in performance and my testing revealed improvements of up to 20% over Windows XP in intensive graphics rendering and stunning differences related to DriectX11. Simply on performance alone, Windows 7 makes the cost of upgrading for CPU hungry users worth the lower than ever operating system price.

As we look to the future of monitoring and performance, we are going to see better cooperative processing between GPUs and CPUs. This will mean we will need tools to monitor what is going on to help pinpoint and troubleshoot issues. We are also going to see the removal of what I call “Multi-Core management bottlenecks” through initiative like Barrelfish and we will need a way to monitor that.

I think more than ever we are seeing that hardware relies on the operating system to capture the inherent performance increases which exist under the covers.

Jeff Loucks
Available Technology
Available Technology

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