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GPU Performance API

The GPU Performance API (GPUPerfAPI, or GPA) is a powerful library which provides access to GPU Performance Counters. It can help analyze the performance and execution characteristics of applications using a Radeon™ GPU. This library is used by Radeon GPU Profiler as well as several third-party tools.

Table of Contents


Prebuilt binaries can be downloaded from the Releases page:

Major Features

  • Provides a standard API for accessing GPU Performance counters for both graphics and compute workloads across multiple GPU APIs.
  • Supports Vulkan™, DirectX™ 12, DirectX 11, OpenGL, and OpenCL™.
  • Supports all current Radeon graphics cards and APUs based on Graphics IP version 8 and newer.
  • Supports both Windows and Linux.
  • Provides derived "public" counters based on raw hardware counters.
  • Provides access to some raw hardware counters. See Raw Hardware Counters for more information.

What's New

  • Version 3.8 (04/01/21)
    • Add support for additional GPUs and APUs, including AMD Radeon™ RX 6700 series GPUs.
    • Code has been updated to adhere to Google C++ Style Guide.
      • New public headers have been added.
      • Old headers are deprecated and will emit compile-time message.
      • Projects loading GPA will need to be recompiled, but no code changes are required unless moving to the new headers.
    • Improvements made to sample applications.
    • Updated documentation for new codestyle (and
    • Support for the --internal flag to has been removed from the build script.

System Requirements

  • An AMD Radeon GPU or APU based on Graphics IP version 8 and newer.
  • Windows: Radeon Software Adrenaline 2020 Edition 20.11.2 or later (Driver Packaging Version 20.45 or later).
  • Linux: Radeon Software for Linux Revision 20.45 or later.
  • Radeon GPUs or APUs based on Graphics IP version 6 and 7 are no longer supported by GPUPerfAPI. Please use an older version (3.3) with older hardware.
  • Windows 7, 8.1, and 10.
  • Ubuntu (16.04 and later) and CentOS/RHEL (7 and later) distributions.

Cloning the Repository

To clone the GPA repository, execute the following git command

After cloning the repository, please run the following python script to retrieve the required dependencies and generate the build files (see for more information):

  • python

Source Code Directory Layout


The documentation for GPUPerfAPI can be found in each GitHub release. In the release .zip file or .tgz file, there will be a "docs" directory. Simply open the index.html file in a web browser to view the documentation.

The documentation is hosted publicly at:

Raw Hardware Counters

This release exposes both "Derived" counters and "Raw Hardware" counters. Derived counters are counters that are computed using a set of raw hardware counters. This version allows you to access the raw hardware counters by simply specifying a flag when calling GpaOpenContext.

Known Issues

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Vulkan ICD Issue

On Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, Vulkan ICD may not be set to use AMD Vulkan ICD. In this case, it needs to be explicitly set to use AMD Vulkan ICD before using the GPA. It can be done by setting the VK_ICD_FILENAMES environment variable to /etc/vulkan/icd.d/amd_icd64.json.

OpenGL Fetchsize Counter on Radeon RX 6000

FetchSize counter will show an error when enabled on Radeon RX 6000 Series GPU using OpenGL.

Adjusting Linux Clock Mode

Adjusting the GPU clock mode on Linux is accomplished by writing to: /sys/class/drm/card\<N\>/device/power_dpm_force_performance_level, where <N> is the index of the card in question.

By default this file is only modifiable by root, so the application being profiled would have to be run as root in order for it to modify the clock mode. It is possible to modify the permissions for the file instead so that it can be written by unprivileged users. The following command will achieve this: sudo chmod ugo+w /sys/class/drm/card0/device/power_dpm_force_performance_level

  • Note that changing the permissions on a system file like this could circumvent security.
  • On multi-GPU systems you may have to replace "card0" with the appropriate card number.
  • You may have to reboot the system for the change to take effect.
  • Setting the GPU clock mode is not working correctly for Radeon 5700 Series GPUs, potentially leading to some inconsistencies in counter values from one run to the next.

DirectX11 Performance Counter Accuracy For Select Counters and GPUs

The following performance counter values may not be accurate for DirectX 11 applications running on a Radeon 5700, and 6000 Series GPU.

  • VALUInstCount, SALUInstCount, VALUBusy, SALUBusy for all shader stages: These values should be representative of performance, but may not be 100% accurate.
  • Most of the ComputeShader counters (all except the MemUnit and WriteUnit counters): These values should be representative of performance, but may not be 100% accurate.

OpenGL Performance Counter Accuracy For Radeon 7500

The following performance counter values may not be accurate for OpenGL applications running on a Radeon 5700 Series GPU.

  • Most of the ComputeShader counters (all except the MemUnit and WriteUnit counters): These values should be representative of performance, but may not be 100% accurate.

Variability in Deterministic Counters For Select GPUs

Performance counters which should be deterministic are showing variability on Radeon 5700 and 6000 Series GPUs. The values should be useful for performance analysis, but may not be 100% correct.

  • e.g. VSVerticesIn, PrimitivesIn, PSPixelsOut, PreZSamplesPassing

Profiling Bundles

Profiling bundles in DirectX12 and Vulkan is not working properly. It is recommended to remove those GPA Samples from your application, or move the calls out of the bundle for profiling.

Style and Format Change

The source code of this product is being reformatted to follow the Google C++ Style Guide In the interim you may encounter a mix of both an older C++ coding style, as well as the newer Google C++ Style. Please refer to the _clang-format file in the root directory of the product for additional style information.