This article has touched only the surface of the techniques available to you when using hardware performance counters to measure and improve the performance of your applications. Hopefully, you now have an idea of what hardware performance counters are and how they can help you gain insight into performance bottlenecks. If you would like to get started using PerfSuite or other tools and supporting software mentioned in this article, visit the web sites listed in the Online Resources appendix at the end of this article.
It also should be noted that many different ways exist in which applications can be tuned for higher performance. In fact, the most effective way is not loop-level improvements or tweaking but fundamental changes to the algorithms used in your application that are more computationally efficient. Ideally, your software will use efficient algorithms further tuned to make effective use of your CPU. PerfSuite and other similar tools can go a long way toward making this process easier for you.