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(Originally asked on stackoverflow)

Using visual c++ express 2010 for direct3d you have to download the directX sdk and there is a tool called pix for debugging shaders, looking at 3d resources etc.

With visual studio 2012 express the directx sdk is included in the windows sdk that comes with it but this does not seem to include the winpix.exe tool. Is this very useful tool still available? I guess I can still use the one from the previous sdk but it seems wrong to install the entire sdk just for that tool.

Is there a version for VS2012 express that I'm missing?

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It does not seem to be present in the Desktop Express I installed in a virtual machine. The whole Debug->Graphics menu is missing and none of the terms involved can be found using the quick search.

It's either an oversight or one of the things that the paid editions adds value with.

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Seems a shame given that VS2012 Pro is so expensive for a hobbyist but I fear you are right. – JohnB Sep 14 '12 at 19:30

It used to be PIXWin.exe, not winpix.exe. At least that was the case for the last DirectX SDK (June 2010). It seems that things have changed now:

Starting with Windows 8, the DirectX SDK is included as part of the Windows SDK.


A replacement for the PIX for Windows tool is now a feature in Microsoft Visual Studio, called Visual Studio Graphics Debugger. This new feature has greatly improved usability, support for Windows 8, and Direct3D 11.1, and integration with traditional Visual Studio features such as call stacks and debugging windows for HLSL debugging. For more info about this new feature, see Debugging DirectX Graphics.

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Yes pixwin, sorry. Yes that's the question really, that doesn't seem to be included with the express version so I was wondering if there was any other version of pix? I know that's not quite how I asked it :( – JohnB Sep 14 '12 at 8:45
Reading Microsoft prose makes me think you could try the Windows SDK and search for this Visual Studio Graphics Debugger, if you don't have it already. Hopefully it's in it, or if you're out of luck it'll be included in pro versions of Visual only. That would be a huge step back from MS though, so that would surprise me. – Laurent Couvidou Sep 14 '12 at 9:09
Well I'm still using the stand alone PIX from the previous DirectX SDK and it still works fine. But it's a huge install just for that. – JohnB Sep 14 '12 at 11:16
The Visual Studio Graphics Debugger may not be available in Express. I'm currently using Premium 2012 and it is available from the Debug menu > Graphics > Start Diagnostics. It does not appear to work with Direct3D9. – NtscCobalt Sep 14 '12 at 15:38
Direct3D9 is pretty much discontinued. The Windows 8 Kits doesn't target it at all, including the graphics debugger. If you want to target it, you need to forever use the June 2012 DirectX SDK. – Lars Viklund Sep 14 '12 at 17:39

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