While VTune analyzer has three distinct modes of operation, the real value is in tying together the three parts for the user. Each mode is clearly designed to complement the other two and provide developers with all the information they need to produce high performance code. The counter monitor is an excellent tool for a first look from a system perspective, while Call Graph Profiling helps developers identify where to spend their time and Event Based Sampling identify the nature of the bottlenecks in the application. VTune analyzer is also equipped with a built in ‘Tuning Assistant’ that gives advice on how to improve performance, based on the results from the three profiling modes. VTune analyzer’s features are incredibly useful for developers who need to produce fast code, and it should be considered an essential tool for performance analysis and optimization on Intel based microprocessors.
Performance analysis tools are hardly unique to Intel though, and there are a wide variety of other offerings. For those with AMD based systems, Code Analyst is likely the best choice, although its capabilities are much less advanced than VTune’s. Apple has developed Shark, a tool for OS X, which has a good reputation (and at least a couple of our readers have worked on). Another well known tool is DTrace, which was one of the widely touted features of Solaris 10, and Sun’s own performance analysis engine for Sun Studio Compilers. Lastly, gprof and oprofile are open source tools, although they likely lack some of the functionality provided by proprietary products. The bottom line is that no matter what your platform is, a good performance tool should only be a short click away.
For those who are interested in finding out more about VTune, Intel’s website has more information.