Build, debug, profile and trace heterogeneous compute, graphics, and virtual reality applications built with CUDA C/C++, OpenCL, DirectCompute, Direct3D, Vulkan API, OpenGL, and the Oculus SDK.

Screenshot shows Scrubber, Range Profiler with Range Info and Pipeline Overview, and Geometry View.
Version 5.2 supports debugging of Oculus SDK applications as well as Vulkan API applications.


NVIDIA® Nsight™ Visual Studio Edition is the world’s first graphics development environment integrated into Microsoft Visual Studio, the world’s most popular development environment. This application development environment extends the building, debugging and performance analysis capabilities of Visual Studio to support GPU computing. Nsight Visual Studio Edition is useful in several different application areas, including:

  • Real-time graphics development
  • High-performance computing and supercomputing applications
  • Workstation and ISV content creation software

Supporting NVIDIA CUDA applications, Microsoft Direct3D 9, Direct3D 11, Direct3D 12, DirectCompute applications, Vulkan applications as well as OpenGL 4.2, OpenGL 4.3, OpenGL 4.4, and OpenCL applications; you can use the Nsight Visual Studio Edition in Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, Visual Studio 2012, Visual Studio 2013, or Visual Studio 2015 development environments.


Download Nsight Visual Studio Edition 5.2

To download, you must be a member of NVIDIA Developer - DesignWorks.

By clicking the "Agree & Download" button below, you are confirming that you have read and agree to be bound by the SOFTWARE DEVELOPER KITS, SAMPLES AND TOOLS LICENSE AGREEMENT for use of the SDK package. The download will begin immediately after clicking on the "Agree & Download" button below.

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To run Nsight Visual Studio Edition , please obtain a compatible NVIDIA Display Driver for your hardware.


What’s new in Nsight Visual Studio Edition 5.2

Graphics Debugging

  • Frame debugging, profiling, and workload trace on the latest Pascal family of GPUs
  • Support for the OpenGL Multicast Extension, including frame debugging, profiling, serialization, analysis, tracing, VR Inspector: A dedicated view for inspecting Oculus states.
  • Khronos Vulkan Graphics and Compute APIs are now supported for frame debugging.
  • A new Range Profiler, a powerful new view for determining how your application utilizes the GPU.
  • OpenGL users can now retry capture if unsupported operations are encountered.
  • New Virtual Reality features include:
    • frame debugging
    • serialize frame captures with Oculus SDK API calls and generate source code
    • event list viewing
  • Improved Geometry View
  • Graph Configuration View has been updated with improved filtering.
  • Frame Debugger now has a Capture Next Frame feature and frame captures now include screenshots of the frame buffer and back buffer.
  • Direct3D 11 and OpenGL workload trace has been extended to Pascal family GPUs.
  • Direct3D 12 support has been enhanced with graphics profiling, dynamic shader editing, Source code serialization of a frame and various improvements to the scrubber for multi-threaded applications.

Compute Debugging

  • Pascal GPU family support for CUDA Debugging, CUDA Memory Checker, and CUDA and OpenCL Trace.
  • FP16 datatype now supported on Pascal and GM2xx Maxwell family GPUs.
  • When debugging, in-scope variable values are now always available

Learn more about the new features

Operating System 64-bit Windows 10. 8.1, HPC Server 2008, 7
Dependencies NVIDIA Quadro and Tesla K-Series/M-Series or better, and GeForce 600 series or better GPUs. Complete list of supported GPUs

System hardware requirements

NVIDIA GeForce driver 376.09 or newer
NVIDIA Quadro driver 375.86 or newer

Visual Studio 2015, 2013, 2012 (Community Edition, Professional Edition or better)
Visual Studio 2010 Professional Edition or better, with Visual Studio Service Pack 1 installed
.NET framework 4.0

DirectX SDK
CUDA toolkit
Graphics APIs OpenGL 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, and 4.5
Kronos Vulkan
Microsoft Direct3D 9, Direct3D 11, and Direct3D 12
Microsoft DirectCompute

Nsight Visual Studio Edition in Action

Nsight Visual Studio Edition is used by ISV content creation, real-time rendering and advanced supercomputing software companies.

“We had an aggressive framerate target for our recent milestone and NVIDIA Nsight was instrumental in our success attaining that goal

John Lafleur, Lead Software Engineer, Blizzard Entertainment

"By the way, the new UI is awesome. I love that I can see the event timeline, GPU timing, as well as parallel draw times all in one view. Don't change it! :)"

Ryan Greene, Blizzard Entertainment

Learn more about Blizzard Entertainment

"Thanks for that wonderful tool. It is one of the best graphics tools for PC!"

Florent Guinier, Video Game Programmer, Ubisoft

Learn more about Ubisoft

"Once you get hooked on Nsight it’s hard to live without it!”

Dan Ginsburg, President, Upsample Software, LLC

Learn more about Upsample Software

"NVIDIA Nsight Visual Studio Edition is a terrific tool for both debugging and analyzing the performance of your shaders and graphics code. My favorite feature is the powerful shader debugger and the way it integrates into Visual Studio. It has improved my workflow to the point where I almost don't know how I can write graphics code without it."

Greg Hjelstrom, Technical Director, Petroglyph Games

Learn more about Petroglyph Games


Key Features of Nsight Visual Studio Edition

Debugger for GPU Computing

  • Debug your CUDA C/C++ and DirectCompute source code directly on the GPU hardware
  • As the industry's only GPU hardware debugging solution, it drastically increases debugging speed and accuracy
  • Use the familiar Visual Studio Locals, Watches, Memory and Breakpoints windows
  • Custom CUDA info page for navigating massively parallel threads states and contexts

Graphics Debugger

  • OpenGL, Vulkan and Direct3D frame debugger with render state and draw call inspection.
  • Debug HLSL and GLSL shaders directly on the GPU hardware. Drastically increasing debugging speed and accuracy over emulated (SW) debugging.
  • Use the familiar Visual Studio Locals, Watches, Memory and Breakpoints windows with GLSL and HLSL shaders, including DirectCompute code
  • The Debugger supports all HLSL and GLSL shader types: Vertex, Pixel, Geometry, and Tessellation

Application and System Trace

  • Trace OS, multi-core CPU, Graphics and Compute APIs, Driver and GPU activities on a single timeline
  • Correlate OpenGL, Direct3D, CUDA and OpenCL activities to the exact CPU code line
  • CUDA profiler with unlimited experiments on live kernels
  • Specialized report pages with API call logs and statistics

Graphics Profiler

  • OpenGL and Direct3D (including DirectCompute dispatches) Frame Profiler
  • Automatic bottlenecks and performance determination on a per-draw call and Direct3D Perf Markers basis
  • Frame timings page for advanced draw call timing measurements

VR Inspector

  • Targeted view of virtual reality API usage
  • Supports the latest Oculus SDK

Geometry View

  • Powerful visualization capabilities.
  • Shows the pre-transformed geometry from the state of the Direct3D or OpenGL machine.
  • Show parameters for the current draw call.
  • Select shade mode, draw attribute index, or reset the camera.
  • Automated detection of vertex buffer data errors.


Getting Started with Nsight Visual Studio Edition

The NVIDIA® Nsight™ Visual Studio Edition software comprises two main pieces of software:

  • The Nsight Monitor, and
  • The Visual Studio® extensions.

You need to install Nsight Monitor on both your target and host machines. Note that in order to run a CUDA-based application, the target machine must have a graphics card that supports CUDA. See the System Requirements for NVIDIA® Nsight™ for a complete list.

To install the NVIDIA Nsight Visual Studio Edition:

  1. Install the desired version of Microsoft Visual Studio you would like to use (Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, Visual Studio 2012, Visual Studio 2013, or Visual Studio 2015)
  2. Confirm that your system satisfies all required dependencies.
  3. Register to be a member of NVIDIA Developer - DesignWorks.
  4. Download the Nsight Visual Studio Edition installer from above.
  5. Run the installer.
  6. On the first screen, accept the license agreement, and click Next.
  7. The next screen allows you to customize the features that will be installed.
  8. Click Install to begin the installation process.
  9. You may get a warning message, asking you to verify that the software you are installing is from a trusted source. In this case, click Yes and the installation will continue.
  10. Click Finish to complete the installation.


An install guide and how to use documentation for the Nsight Visual Studio Edition is available online.

Read documentation

Developer Webinars

Instructional Videos and Webinars can be found here.

Developer Forums

Our forum community is where Developers can ask questions, share experiences and participate in discussions with NVIDIA and other experts in the field.
Check out available forums here.

Additional Resources