Question Can a VRAM memory leak cause a GPU TDR error?

Pollin

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So, while watching some video files, my screens went black and then came back on. According to Windows event viewer, the driver was restarted due to a TDR error (No BSOD, it recovered successfully). Naturally, I started monitoring my GPU more closely for the next few hours to see if it would happen again/what might have caused it. It was then that I noticed my VRAM usage was climbing to an absurd level considering all I was doing was browsing the internet/watching Twitch. I checked task manager for processes using dedicated GPU memory, and noticed explorer.exe was using roughly 2 out of 4 gigs and climbing (despite not doing anything with explorer), in addition to the normal usage from firefox and such. A simple restart of the process and VRAM is back down to normal and seems to be staying there.

Looking into the TDR error though, I can't really find any info on whether it could've been caused by this. My working theory is that the memory leak + the fact I was watching a 4k video and had a fair few firefox tabs open in the background filled up the VRAM and caused the GPU to timeout and reset the driver to clear VRAM, but there's not really any info on whether VRAM getting maxed out can cause a TDR. That feels like the most logical explanation compared to if the TDR was entirely unrelated to a VRAM memory leak that was ocurring at the same time. Most info i've found says it's either a driver issue or the card is dying or something. It seems to be working fine now, but idk. The card is getting pretty old, it's a 1050 ti.
 
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Colif

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most of the time if its a memory leak its caused by the drivers. Have you tried replacing them?
funnily, tdr errors also caused by the drivers so you cover both by replacing them...

Have you run a malware scan as viruses like using gpu as well.

this might help = https://www.raymond.cc/blog/having-problems-with-video-card-stress-test-its-memory/
 

Pollin

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most of the time if its a memory leak its caused by the drivers. Have you tried replacing them?
funnily, tdr errors also caused by the drivers so you cover both by replacing them...

Have you run a malware scan as viruses like using gpu as well.

this might help = https://www.raymond.cc/blog/having-problems-with-video-card-stress-test-its-memory/
Thank you for the advice. I did update my driver, but I didn't do a clean install as I've learned from experience not to trust that the latest nvidia drivers will work correctly and I wanted to be able to roll back if needed. That said, everything has been perfectly stable today (so far, at least. I hope I didn't just jinx it.) And after some testing the card has performed exactly as it should. No memory leaks either. I'm still pretty sure my theory about the VRAM memory leak causing the TDR is correct, but I'll keep a closer eye on things for a while and see if it happens again. If it does, my next step would be doing a proper clean driver install like you suggested.
 
It's probably not a leak; if it was, it would be a much more widespread problem. It's more then likely one of two things is happening:

1: Physical VRAM failure - My guess
2: Problem when GPU is trying to change to boost clocks - Unlikely, given its a 1050

I'm guessing the VRAM is starting to go. Not sure if there's any way to verify that. But generally, if I have a GPU with a TDR error across multiple drivers, I RMA on the spot.
 

Pollin

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Oct 22, 2013
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It's probably not a leak; if it was, it would be a much more widespread problem. It's more then likely one of two things is happening:

1: Physical VRAM failure - My guess
2: Problem when GPU is trying to change to boost clocks - Unlikely, given its a 1050

I'm guessing the VRAM is starting to go. Not sure if there's any way to verify that. But generally, if I have a GPU with a TDR error across multiple drivers, I RMA on the spot.
Only one TDR error, it hasn't reoccurred since I updated the driver. And there's no doubt about me having a VRAM leak, I was literally watching it happen and tracking the VRAM usage by process, which immediately went back to normal once the offending process was restarted, and has stayed completely normal ever since. I figure the chances I have a VRAM leak AND a completely unrelated TDR at the same time are pretty low, I was just asking to find out if anyone could shed more light on it.
 

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