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Process Explorer v15.x now with GPU monitoring

Overview

Process Explorerhas always been one of the best PC monitoring and troubleshooting tools around. In build v15.x is now possible to track graphics processor (GPU) usage on Windows 7 or later.

You won’t see this by default when the program first launches, but that’s easy to fix.
Click View > Select Columns > GPU and check the boxes next to whatever you’d like to watch: GPU Usage, GPU Private Data, GPU Committed Bytes, or GPU Shared Bytes.

A click or two later and you’ll be better able to spot any resource hogs that might be slowing your system down. This seems to work very well: we ran a few graphics benchmarks, and Process Explorer gave us a detailed view of what they were doing. But if you prefer a graph, rather than the raw data, just double-click a process, click the new GPU Graph tab, then watch to see how your app’s GPU usage varies over time.

Other improvements in this build include the ability to restart a service. Double-click a svchost.exe instance, click the Service tab, choose a misbehaving service and click Restart, and Process Explorer will stop and start it for you. (Be careful, of course. Restarting the Spooler service, for instance, may fix some printing problems, but choosing something more critical may lock or crash your PC.)

And elsewhere, the performance graphs have been revamped to have a cleaner look, while a range of optimisations mean the program now has a smaller memory footprint. Not that Process Explorer was ever exactly a resource hog, but this version is now more efficient than ever, requiring little more than 14MB (private working set) to monitor all the usual process properties on our test PC, and the new GPU details as well.

Process Explorer v15.x combined with XenDesktop HDX3D Pro Graphics

One of the big challenge in designing a XenDesktop HDX3D environment is how to understand, how much capacity of GPU do your users require for theirs 3D Apps and which GPU should you buy. With Microsoft Process Explorer v15.0 is easier to get an understanding how much GPU is being used with each 3D application.

Example – identifying GPU with XenDesktop with Process Explorer v15.0

In this example you have a Xendesktop machine that have a Nvidia Quadro 2000 graphic card that have  192 CUDA cores, you are using a heavy 3D app that requires lots of CUDA cores you then install the Process Explorer v15.0 from Microsoft and quick you can identify that the 3D app requires x CUDA cores, if the 3D app is using maximum CUDA cores what you can see via the Process Explorer v15.0 then you should consider buying a larger Nvidia Quadro card example (4000,5000) or Tesla.

Howto automate the identifying of the GPU

Use Citrix Edgesight Loadtester+VSI script+Microsoft Process Explorer v15.0 and you should have a pretty good idea how much GPU your user is requiring.

Process Explorer v15.0 combined with XenApp (v.5 or v.6) HDX3D Pro Graphics

HDX 3D allows graphics-heavy applications running on XenApp on a physical server to render on the server’s graphics processing unit (GPU). By moving DirectX, Direct3D and Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) rendering to the server’s GPU, the server’s central processing unit (CPU) is not slowed by graphics rendering. Additionally, the server is able to process more graphics because the workload is split between the CPU and GPU. This feature is only available on servers with a GPU that supports a display driver interface (DDI) version of 9ex, 10, or 11. DirectX and Direct3D require no special settings.

The challenge is its very hard to get an overview of how much GPU you require when you design a server with the amount of 3D applications. If you want 10,20,50 users, how many users can the GPU handle before it run into the limit, with Microsoft Process Explorer v15.0 its now possible of getting this identified.

Example – identifying GPU with XenApp

You have 1 physical server  4 CPU 6 cores each and 1 Nvidia Quadro 2000 graphic card.
The OS is Windows Server 2008R2 and Citrix XenApp6 is installed. GPU passthrough have to be enabled, look here for how to configure this.  AutoDesk AutoCAD 2011 (verified to run on XenApp 6) and Microsoft Process Explorer v15.x is installed

With this solution you have lots of CPU and a maximum of 192 CUDA cores. You can now tell your amount of users to connect to the server and do load testing. A simpler task to achieve load testing i would recommend using Citrix Edgesight for Load Testing combined with Login VSI and Process Explorer v15.0 then you should get a quick overview on how much load your GPU can handle and how big a GPU you require or if multiple GPU’s.

Sources

Click here to download Microsoft Process Explorer v15.x

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