While adapting Adam Nathan's cool WPF plugin for WMP, I found that WPF 3D rendering wasn't working on my home machine. Only the 2D WPF elements were rendering. But the plugin did show up correctly on my work machine. Hmm.

The two machine configurations are thus:

Work box (3D works)

Windows XP Pro sp2

Intel Pentium 4 2.4 GHz, 1 GB RAM

Video card: Intel 82845G/GL/GE/PE /GV

 

Home box (3D doesn’t work)

Windows XP Pro sp2

Intel Pentium 4 2x3.0 GHz, 1 GB RAM

Video card: NVIDIA GeForce MX 440 AGP8x

DirectX 9.0b SDK installed

Passing strange, but I figured it was a driver issue or something. After posting to the helpful folks in the WPF 3D group, I received a prompt reply from Federico Schliemann suggesting this:

1. With your given hardware (NVIDIA GeForce MX 440 AGP8x) you are expected to run in Tier0 acceleration.  This will make 3D and other high end content slow and limited because of the lack of hardware acceleration.  Consider using a machine with higher end video hardware. 

2. DirectX9.0b.  We use DirectX9.0C.  Try upgrading. 

3. A little more info will help: Run dxdiag tool and send us back the report on what video card, driver, etc you are running.  Also, the WPF version and build will help, since by that we can track the progress of known isssues.

Option 1 is amusing; I thought the GeForce card was pretty powerful. I guess two years makes a difference. Looks like I'll be trading up to a beefier card in the near future.

Option 2 seemed the most promising. I had installed the DirectX SDK last year, and I was still running 9.0b.

I installed 9.0c, without removing 9.0b, and voilà! Adam's visualizer runs fine.

Federico continues: 

The 9.0c latest SDK has really cool tools and samples the older ones didn't.

So the moral is: Upgrade your DX installations.