Environment Variables for Profile-Guided Optimizations
There are three environment variables that affect test scenarios on an image created with /LTCG:PGI for profile-guided optimizations:
PogoSafeMode specifies whether to use fast mode or safe mode for application profiling.
VCPROFILE_ALLOC_SCALE adds additional memory for use by the profiler.
VCPROFILE_PATH lets you specify the folder used for .pgc files.
The PogoSafeMode and VCPROFILE_ALLOC_SCALE environment variables are deprecated starting in Visual Studio 2015. The linker options /GENPROFILE or /FASTGENPROFILE and /USEPROFILE specify the same linker behavior as these environment variables.
This environment variable is deprecated. Use the EXACT or NOEXACT arguments to /GENPROFILE or /FASTGENPROFILE to control this behavior.
Clear or set the PogoSafeMode environment variable to specify whether to use fast mode or safe mode for application profiling on x86 systems.
Profile-guided optimization (PGO) has two possible modes during the profiling phase: fast mode and safe mode. When profiling is in fast mode, it uses the INC instruction to increase data counters. The INC instruction is faster but is not thread-safe. When profiling is in safe mode, it uses the LOCK INC instruction to increase data counters. The LOCK INC instruction has the same functionality as the INC instruction has, and is thread-safe, but it is slower than the INC instruction.
By default, PGO profiling operates in fast mode. PogoSafeMode is only required if you want to use safe mode.
To run PGO profiling in safe mode, you must either use the environment variable PogoSafeMode or the linker switch /PogoSafeMode, depending on the system. If you are performing the profiling on an x64 computer, you must use the linker switch. If you are performing the profiling on an x86 computer, you may use the linker switch or set the PogoSafeMode environment variable to any value before you start the optimization process.
Set PogoSafeMode to any value to enable safe mode. Set without a value to clear a previous value and re-enable fast mode.
This environment variable is deprecated. Use the MEMMIN and MEMMAX arguments to /GENPROFILE or /FASTGENPROFILE to control this behavior.
Modify the VCPROFILE_ALLOC_SCALE environment variable to change the amount of memory allocated to hold the profile data. In rare cases, there will not be enough memory available to support gathering profile data when running test scenarios. In those cases, you can increase the amount of memory by setting VCPROFILE_ALLOC_SCALE. If you receive an error message during a test run that indicates that you have insufficient memory, assign a larger value to VCPROFILE_ALLOC_SCALE, until the test runs complete with no out-of-memory errors.
The scale_value parameter is a scaling factor for the amount of memory you want for running test scenarios. The default is 1. For example, this command line sets the scale factor to 2:
Use the VCPROFILE_PATH environment variable to specify the directory to create .pgc files. By default, .pgc files are created in the same directory as the binary being profiled. However, if the absolute path of the binary does not exist, as may be the case when you run profile scenarios on a different machine from where the binary was built, you can set VCPROFILE_PATH to a path that exists on the target machine.
Set the path parameter to the directory path in which to add .pgc files. For example, this command line sets the folder to C:\profile: