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DX9 system crash on Intel Atom CPU Z530 with Intel GMA 500

Last post 7/7/2014 6:59 AM by cha0s22. 2 replies.
  • 7/4/2014 8:14 AM

    DX9 system crash on Intel Atom CPU Z530 with Intel GMA 500

    our project has to run on a very specific hardware, which is listed below:

    WinXP Professional 32bit
    Intel Atom CPU Z530 with Intel GMA 500 (2 CPUs, 1.6Ghz, 512 MB RAM)
    DX 9.0c
    800 MB swap memory fixed size

    The problem is very simple to reproduce. You can load the EffectParam Sample from the DirectX SDK and let it run on such a system for a longer period of time (between 5-12 hours). The sample crashes on all our devices with that configuration and our project does as well. By watching the memory monitor during runtime, I could find out, that the memory consumption increases constantly over time. This effect is not reproducable on better hardware with more RAM and up-to-date graphic cards and as the Microsoft sample shows the same effect, I cannot believe that our application has a memory leak. Furthermore killing our application and restarting it does not free all the memory that has accumulated over time. In fact it seems to stay that way until I reboot the system.
    All this leads me to the theory that DirectX9 itself seems to allocate lots of memory for whatever reason. As the problem only occurse with a certain amount of textures (thats the reason why I picked EffectParam Sample) I assume that it has something to do with the small vram size of our devices (dxdiag reports only 4mb vram) and the automatic memory management of DirectX9.

    So does anyone have other ideas for the cause of our problem? Or in case that my theory is correct: Does anyone know a way to clear the ressources that are allocated over time on such a system setup?

    Help is very appreciated,
  • 7/4/2014 4:33 PM In reply to

    Re: DX9 system crash on Intel Atom CPU Z530 with Intel GMA 500

    Reply Quote
    There are any number of things that could be causing the memory issue:

    - Problems or leaks in the Intel driver (the latest release as December 2009 on Intel's site). You could try to use an old copy of Driver Verifier to check that.
    - Your app could have a memory leak. You could try using an old copy of AppVerifier to check that.
    - You could be hitting virtual memory fragmentation issues.  You could try using VMMap to check that.
    - You could be fragmenting the virtual memory. You could try using EvictManagedResources per this old article.

    Windows XP is fully out of support, so you should consider moving to something that can be supported for your project. If there's a problem in the OS, Direct3D 9.0c runtime, or the Intel driver, it can't be fixed.

    What compiler are you using for your project?
  • 7/7/2014 6:59 AM In reply to

    Re: DX9 system crash on Intel Atom CPU Z530 with Intel GMA 500

    Thank you for your reply.
    I'll try all your suggestions. We are moving to a newer platform right now, but it would be nice, if the project could run on the old systems as well.

    The project is compiled with Visual Studio 2008, so we use the Microsoft compiler delivered with that version.

    Both installing another driver and using EvictManagedResources showed tremendous improvements in terms of stability. I'll mark your post as answer, thanks a lot for your help.
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