winsat d3d

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista

Assesses a system's ability to run D3D based applications such as games.

For examples of how to use this command, see Examples.


winsat d3d <parameters>


Parameter Description


The primitives used in the assessment are spheres. The parameter specifies the theta and phi quantization. Increasing this number causes more shader processing to occur.
Range: [2, 180/batch size]


Specifies the radius of the spheres. A smaller radius will reduce the number of pixels drawn for that sphere while keeping the overhead of that sphere constant.
Range: [0.01, 8]


Total number of spheres in the scene. A large number of objects, combined with a small object size, results is an assessment that is batch limited.
Range: [0, 8]


Width and height of the textures created by the assessment as a power of 2.
Range: [1, 12]


The total number of textures that WinSAT will create. If the number of textures is less than the total number of objects that require a texture, then WinSAT will re-use the textures in the scene. If there are more textures that are required in the scene then WinSAT will iterate over the list using as many as is needed for this frame. This means that all textures will be used eventually.
Range: [0, 8]


This is the number of textures each sphere requires to render.
Range: [0, 16]


Having large batches reduces driver time and tends to make the application fill rate limited. Conversely, having many small batches causes more driver overhead.
Range: [1, TotalObjs]


Number of seconds to run the assessment.
Range: [5, 8]


Specifies a path to a file to save the results along with the arguments to WinSAT.
Range: string


Width and Height of the window the app is running in. On XP, this is the screen resolution, on Vista it will be similar, but will not run in exclusive mode.
Range: [256, 8] for windowed and card supported screen resolutions for full screen mode.

-vs <profile>

Forces the use of a particular vertex shader profile. The assessment is not guaranteed to run correctly when forced into using a particular shader model.

-ps <profile>

Forces the user of a particular pixel shader profile. The assessment is not guaranteed to run correctly when forced to use a particular shader model.

-fps <n>

In full screen mode, limits the refresh rate (frames per second) to the nearest rate supported by the card.

-rendertotex <n>

Render to texture float <n>. Simulate multiple-stage off-screen texture rendering. WinSAT will cycle through the specified number of rendertargets.

-rtdelta <n>

When rendering with render targets, the delta defines how far back in the render target circular buffer the assessment will go to set a previous render target as a texture. The default is 1.


Specifies that the D3D device should be created in full screen mode.


Turns off back buffer alpha blending.


Sets the window to "not visible" so that the assessment draws to an off-screen surface.


Use the texture shader that samples up to 16 textures and adds them together instead of the default simple shader.


Use the alu shader that loads up to two textures and computes an intensive lighting formula instead of the default simple shader.


Seeds rand with a fixed number in order to run the exact same assessment multiple times.


Disables the z-buffer warming used to make the results consistent for non-alpha assessments.


Forces software rasterization of the assessment. This option can decrease the speed of the assessment.


Disables ETW tracing. Use this option if you intend to do your own ETW logging and do not want the log stopped when the assessment runs.


Disables the call to clear in the OnFrameRender function.


Send verbose output to STDOUT, including status and progress information. Any errors will also be written to the command window.

-xml <file name>

Save the output of the assessment as the specified XML file. If the specified file exists, it will be overwritten.


Save information about physical volumes and logical disks as part of the <SystemConfig> section in the XML output.


Create a globally unique identifier (GUID) in the XML output file.

-note "note text"

Add the note text to the <note> section in the XML output file.


Include the local computer name in the XML output file.


Enumerate extra system information in the XML output file.


  • The following example assesses performance with 20 total spheres and 10 rendered textures using the alu shader, without back buffer alpha blending and in full screen mode, for 10 seconds, sending verbose output to stdout.

    winsat d3d -totalobj 20 -objs C(20) -totaltex 10 -texpobj C(1) -alushader -noalpha -fullscreen -v -time 10


  • Membership in the local Administrators group, or equivalent, is the minimum required to use winsat. The command must be executed from an elevated command prompt window.

  • To open an elevated command prompt window, click Start, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and click Run as administrator.

Additional references