1. What is “AMD System Monitor”? a. The “AMD System Monitor” is ...

ruralrompSoftware and s/w Development

Dec 2, 2013 (4 years and 29 days ago)

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1.

What is “AMD System Monitor”?

a.

The “AMD System Monitor” is used to monitor both CPU and Graphics card, or
GPU, workloads. Modern applications are starting to make use of OpenCL to
accelerate the applications faster than just the CPU alone could provide.

b.

AM
D created this utility to demonstrate the benefits of their new APU’s or
Accelerated Processing Units like the new AMD Fusion processors, that combine
a CPU and GPU into the same processor package.

2.

Let’s download and install the “AMD System Monitor”.

a.

Open
a web browser like “Internet Explorer”.

b.

In the “Address Bar” enter “support.amd.com”, and press “enter”.

c.

In the “Search AMD” box, enter “AMD System Monitor”, and press enter.

d.

The first link should be “AMD System Monitor”, click it.

e.

On the “AMD System Moni
tor” page, click the “AMD System Monitor” link at the
bottom.

f.

When asked what you want to do with the file, click the “Save as” button.

g.

Let’s select the “Desktop”, and click the “Save” button.

h.

When the download finishes, on the “Download Information Bar”,
click the “Open”
button.

i.

The zip contains the installation files, but we need to extract the contents before
we run the installer. Otherwise it will error out.

j.

Click the “Extract all files” button.

k.

By default it will unzip the files to the same location a
s the source zip file, which
in this case is the desktop. This is fine, as we will delete the files after
installation.

l.

Ensure that “Show extracted files when complete” is selected, and then click the
“Extract” button.

m.

Double
-
click the folder inside the n
ew window.

n.

Double
-
click the “Setup.exe” file to being the installation.

o.

On the “Open File
-

Security Warning” window that opens, click the “Run” button.

p.

On the “AMD System Monitor” window that opens, click the “Install” button.

q.

On the “Welcome” screen, cli
ck the “Next” buttonl.

r.

On the “License Agreement”, click the radio button to select “I Agree”, and click
the “Next” button.

s.

On the “Select Installation Folder” screen, change from “Just Me” to “Everyone”,
and then click the “Next” button.

t.

On the “Confirm I
nstallation” screen, click the “Next” button.

u.

The installation should only take a minute.

v.

On the “Installation Complete” screen, click the “Close” button.

3.

To open the “AMD System Monitor”, click the Windows “Start” button, “All Programs”,
“AMD”, “System Mo
nitor”, and then click the “System Monitor” link.

4.

Let’s review the information presented in the “AMD System Monitor”.

a.

At the very top right of the window, you will see an “Always on Top” link. You
can check this and it will keep the utility open on top o
f anything you are running,
including a game. This is useful to be able to run tests but still see the usage of
the GPU.

b.

Just to the right of the “Always on Top” link there is a black box that says “Rec”
inside it. Pressing this button once will begin re
cording all of the information
presented in the utility every couple seconds. You will see it flashing to represent
that it is recording. Pressing it again will end the recording.

c.

The recordings are stored in the directory you installed the “AMD System
Mo
nitor” in, within a folder named “Recordings”. The default path is “C:
\
Program
Files (x86)
\
AMD
\
System Monitor
\
Recordings
\
w”. The recordings are stored in a
CSV file format. You can view these files in Microsoft Office or OpenOffice, as
well as with other

programs if you want.

d.

Below this information you will see the CPU listed with a CPU monitor below it,
as well as the Graphics card or GPU with a monitor for usage.

e.

The CPU usage bar represents the combined usage of all cores.

f.

You can click on both of
these to expand them and get a graph of usage by
clicking on “Details”.

g.

Once it is expanded, we can see that I have 3 CPU cores, and a single GPU.

h.

Each core is listed, with it’s clock speed, and it’s own usage bar. The Graph
above it has individual lin
es for each core.

i.

In the top right it shows the combined use of all cores.

j.

For the GPU we can see the core frequency of 625MHz and a memory clock of
993 MHz. There is no usage now, but the red line will graph any usage.

k.

In addition to the 3 green line
s representing each CPU core, there is a red line in
the CPU details. This is the usage of the GPU. This is so you can only have the
CPU expanded and still view the GPU usage.

l.

Below the CPU and GPU information, there is the systems “Memory Usage”.

m.

We can

see this system has 4095MB or 4 GB of RAM. It gives you a breakdown
of memory “In Use”, “Modified”, “Standby”, and “Free”.

5.

Let’s run an OpenCL benchmark to stress the GPU so we can see the usage climb. For
this we’ll use the LuxMark OpenCL Benchmark sof
tware.

a.

You don’t need to install this program, this is just so I can demonstrate what the
System Monitor will show when the GPU is in use. For this reason I will just run
the benchmark and not actually go through the installation process with you.

b.

We can s
ee that as soon as I start this benchmark the red GPU line rises to
100% GPU usage.

c.

Currently I have it set to only test the GPU’s, which is why the CPU is at such a
low usage now.

d.

If I change this to monitor the CPU and GPU, we can see that they are both

heavily used.

e.

With the benchmark being split between the CPU and GPU, the usage is very
high for both, but not at 100% constantly.

f.

If I run the test exclusively for the GPU we get a score of “1668”.

g.

If we run it again with the CPU and GPU, we get a scor
e of “2550”.

h.

We can see that the GPU is twice as powerful as the CPU in this OpenCL
benchmark.

6.

The last thing I want to go over quickly is a problem I ran into while reinstalling the AMD
System Monitor. I had installed this once to see how it worked, then

I uninstalled it so I
could reinstall it, and write the script for this tutorial. When I reinstalled the program it
kept crashing upon starting it. The performance counters had apparently become
corrupted. To fix this open a command prompt and type in
“lodctr /r”. This will restore
the perf registry strings and info.

7.

You should now have the AMD System Monitor installed, and have a good
understanding of the information presented.