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Alessio1989

Is reference counting the best and proper way to deal with ID3D11Resource objects?

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Actually I am revisiting all tutorials and samples I learned about graphics and DirectX11 to make my own - simple - engine/framework.
 
In all professional code I saw, a sort of reference counting often deals with objects's lifetime.

My question is if reference counting is really the best and the proper way to deal with ID3D11Resource objects, and if it is better to use C++11's smart pointers or Microsoft's implementation (like ComPtr and CComPtr), or make my own reference counting implementation ("higly inspired" by a professional solution), or use raw/naked pointers brutally (I guess this one is not the best solution).
 
My doubts are about ID3D11Resource objects: since they have also to deal with GPU memory, should I take particularly care about something I'm missing, or is it suffice to treat them as any other objects?
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I'm curious, why might you want to keep track of the actual usage of the resource? I believe it should be up to the system using that resource to decide whether it needs it or not, no matter how often it uses it. The system should be smart enough to know when to tell the resource manager whether it needs the resource or not, if it needs it, increment the ref, if it doesn't, decrement the ref

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Thank you both for replay.

I will check for intrusive reference counting first and give it a try. Then I will think about implementing some sort of "smart" resources manager(s).

 

Of course more suggestions are always welcomed! happy.png

Edited by Alessio1989
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Thank you for the reply.

I saw that DirectXTK and your Hieroglyph 3 engine use WRL::ComPtr (it should work on Windows 7 too), while other solutions (like Epic's UE4) use a custom implementation of a smart pointer (https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/API/Runtime/Core/Templates/TRefCountPtr/index.html)
 
I am actually writing only the DX11 wrapper, but since then I will use it to define my custom GFX API, it would be fine to find a solution that could be used alongside all the project. For now I will do some tests to comprehend which solution is the best for me. Edited by Alessio1989
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Yeah, if you are sticking to windows only, then WRL::ComPtr is a good solution.  If you plan to go cross platform, then you will need a wrapper around your resource pointer anyways (to abstract the API specific parts) so then you can just use plain smart pointers for the wrapper object.  If your wrapper object acquires the resource pointer in its constructor, and then releases it in its destructor, then the smart pointer will take care of the reference counting and just delete the wrapper when there are no more references to it (which will then release the resource pointer).

 

This is more or less what WRL::ComPtr does, with some additional goodies added in for querying interfaces and things like that.  If you need those, you can always add them to the wrapper class.  In fact, if you make your wrapper class a class template, then you can easily reuse it for any COM based object that you want to use...

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