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Synthesizer

XNA 3.1 - HLSL Params Bottleneck

2 posts in this topic

Hello,
I think I may be having a bottleneck when passing parameters to my HLSL effects.
I'm using Deferred Rendering & each model knows how to draw itself (has a draw method).
I tell each model from outside which technique to apply or if to use a specified technique within the model (previously set in loading time).

They always use the effect set by my custom model processor.

I arranged everything so the shadowing technique & the normal drawing technique are inside of the same effect file, so i always use the same effect, the same draw method & the same parameters: depending on the technique I send to the unused params "Matrix.Identity" for example (just to send something & let it work).

But I think that may not be very good...

I'm thinking on splitting the effect files, & specifying them during runtime (just like I do with the Techniques). But the problem is the parameters in the draw method of the model. Some time ago I was having a desing in which the models didn't know how to draw themselves & were drawn by a "Deferred Renderer", a "Shadow Renderer", etc. I keep some of this design, but the final "draw" thing is inside of each model (even I think it was a better design, I changed it because of compatibility with octrees, where you don't know what u put inside, but they just "draw" themselves).

So... how do u advice me to face this problem?
May the bottleneck actually be there or may I be completely off aim? (is it possible to profile this kind of thins in PIX? Do u advice me any other, maybe better, software?)

Thanks a lot
Synth
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Setting shader constants *can* be a performance burden if you set them many many times during the frame. However it is mainly a CPU performance issue, so the first thing you'd want to do is try to decide if you're primarily CPU-bound or GPU-bound. There are a few ways of doing this...PIX can give you a rough idea if you use the first option (capture statistics for each frame), by displaying the frame timeline for both the CPU and GPU. If you're GPU-bound you will generally see the GPU completely active (no greyed-out idle sections) with the CPU working 2 or so frames ahead of the GPU. If you're CPU-bound you will generally see large gaps of idle or inactive time in the GPU timeline, and the CPU won't be 2 frames ahead. You can also look into Nvidia's Parallel Nsight or AMD's GPU PerfStudio, both of which offer comprehensive profiling tools.You can also try some of the more low-tech solutions suggested [url="http://blogs.msdn.com/b/shawnhar/archive/2008/04/07/how-to-tell-if-you-are-cpu-or-gpu-bound.aspx"]here[/url]. Either way you should make sure that you turn off VSYNC and fixed time step, to make sure there's no additional waiting being introduced into your frame time.
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Thank you very much, I will definatelly test it as you explain, starting with PIX.
I'll also double check the VSync & fixed time step.
Thanks a lot for all the info & the fast response!

Synth
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