NVidia’s Nsight GPU Debugging tool has been in beta for a few months, but no longer as NVidia today has announced it entering the mainstream as a production tool for CUDA debugging. Right now you can head on over to the NSight page and get NSight 1.0 for free for all your CUDA, C/C++, and .NET programming needs within Visual Studio.
Visual Studio developers can now use Parallel Nsight to debug CUDA C/C++, or DirectCompute applications on the GPU using the same familiar tools and techniques as on the CPU. Parallel Nsight also provides the analysis tools that give developers the information required to achieve the highest levels of GPGPU application performance.
In addition, they’ve taken the surprising step of splitting the tool into a Standard (free) and Professional (paid) version, with some extra new features. If you fork out for the Pro version, you get:
- The System Analyzer, a tool for timeline inspection and performance analysis
- The Ability to set Data Breakpoints, in addition to Code Breakpoints
- OpenCL Support
- Premium Support
The Professional version isn’t quite ready for release yet, so you can go over right now and get a time-limited trial (30 days) of the Release Candidate to try it out.
Both versions come with tools for graphics debugging and HLSL debugging, enabling such impressive features as pausing your graphic and selecting an individual pixel and digging through all of the various shaders that affected the final result. Perhaps the most powerful, and my favorite, feature is the flexibility in the debugging hardware environment. Of course, you can run everything on one machine if you like, but it can go far beyond that.
With a bit of configuration work, you can build a workstation with 2 Quadro cards, and exploit the SLI MultiOS support to run your debugger in the host OS, and monitor an application running on the second GPU in the virtualized environment. This will be great for those tricky ‘system locker’ problems.
But if you really want to go ‘extreme’, say you have an entire visualization cluster you need to debug or large arrays of QuadroPlex systems, you can use the new Networking feature. Connect over an ordinary TCP/IP link to the client machine and debug, analyze, and inspect your code from the comfort of your own desk.
All together NVidia has drawn a new line in the sand, defining the new standard for GPU/GPGPU debugging technology, and made NSight a must-have product for Visual Studio developers. The Analyzer tool will be great for those people trying to eek out the last few cycles of performance in their code, and the remote debugging features will be a welcome addition for anyone trying to debug on large-scale GPU clusters or graphics cards arrays (NextIO, QuadroPlex, Tesla, etc).
Read the full announcement after the break, and go check NVidia’s Site for the downloads!