NVIDIA's Parallel Nsight finally releasedWednesday 21st July 2010, 08:20:00 PM, written by Alex Voicu
We don't always have the pleasure of writing about things we're very fond of, but this is one of those rare occasions. As such, let it be known that we think Nexus...err...wait....Parallel Nsight is a lovely tool for anyone that wants to do any sort of GPU oriented work, and it's one which will make programming modern GPUs significantly easier.
Whilst we'll be looking at it more in-depth in the coming weeks, a brief breakdown of what makes Nsight so lovely is in order. Basically, what NVIDIA did was take all of its developer oriented tools, glue them together to form a coherent product, and then package that product as a Visual Studio extension. For anyone that has done naked graphics or GPU compute development in VS, this should bring some stimulation to the salivary glands: no longer does one have to go to PIX for detailed debugging, no longer must one battle to get proper syntax highlighting and IntelliSense support for shaders.
Even better, debugging becomes pretty much the same as we've had on CPUs for years, with breakpoints and conditional breakpoints being available, and examination of what evil things happen in VRAM/GPU registers being possible.
Whilst some of the aforementioned features require the presence of NVIDIA hardware (officially, from G9x upwards, but G8x seems to work too), the more mundane ones are IHV agnostic, or at least that's what they told us, so even programmers that opted for another IHV should get a nicer overall development experience by using Nsight.
For the time being, only Visual Studio 2008 is supported, with 2010 being added to the mix in Q4 of this year. There will be two versions of Nsight, namely Standard, which is free and is launched today, and Professional. The latter will have a 349$ licensing cost for the first year, and 299$ for subsequent years. For further reading, we'll direct you to NVIDIA's site, at least until our piece is published.
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