If you’re wondering how your audio interface is performing on Windows with ASIO drivers, CEntrance has released a free utility that measures latency. Latency is the delay in transit as an audio signal performs a trip through your interface. Looks handy, and you know what this means: time to post some Windows driver/interface benchmarks! Measure away, and let us know how it goes! Keep in mind, you can take advantage of everyone’s favorite Windows driver, ASIO4ALL, to provide higher performance for even audio devices (like an internal laptop card) that don’t have ASIO drivers.

I’d love to measure WDM/DirectX Windows driver latency, which is where problems usually occur, though I’m not sure I’d like the results. For those of you not in the know, ASIO is generally the way to go.

Let us know how much latency you get; reply here.

CEntrance Latency Test Utility, via Sonic State

  • Wallace Winfrey

    Too bad they make downloading this utility such a pain in the ass. You have to sign up for an account on their store, then wait "up to a day" for them to "approve" your status, at which point you're allowed to download it. Thanks, but no thanks.

  • clearly there is no way i'm going to bother registering with them for it, but if we're sharing latency figures…

    i get 6ms from an RME hammerfall pcmcia in a toshiba pentium m 1600mhz laptop. it's the most stable thing i've ever had, i'll never go back to having a card with bad drivers, digi mbox, egosys, can all kiss my ass. if only i could get a UAD-1 for my laptop i'd be truly happy (never seem to run out of processor power, but i love those plugs…)

  • would love the utility, but too much of a pain to down.

    I'm currently getting 11.5ms with my Echo I/O and Dell 700m 1.8 with a gig of ram, running tinyxp/traktor 3/DM2.

  • kokorozashi

    Remember "WDM" (per Sonar's human interface, but more correctly called DirectKS) bypasses compatibility layers such as DirectX, so you should expect WDM to perform at least slightly better than DirectX. I'd be interested to see how WDM and ASIO compare for a given driver.

  • I found that for my laptop, I get lower latency with WDM than ASIO4All.

  • Well, yes, it's Ye Olde DirectX (pre-WDM/DirectFS) devices that are the issue.

    But now you've got me thinking — this annoying register-to-download process aside — maybe what we need is a real in-depth look at DirectFS and WDM in XP (as well as what's in store for Vista).

    Rather than me making up the answers, I definitely know whom I could talk to at Steinberg, Microsoft, and the device manufacturers who actually developed the stuff. Would be interested to correlate that with what we're getting in the real world.

  • kokorozashi

    Alternatively, persuade the developers of this utility to build variants based on all the relevant APIs (DirectKS, DirectX, MME, heck throw in GSIF just for funsies). Then you could collect empirical data yourself without regard to how fast things are supposed to be in theory.

    From what I understand, Microsoft has warned that DirectKS is going away in Vista, and they rilly rilly want people using DirectX or some other higher-level API.

  • someone

    Measurement results: 64 samples / 1.45 ms on my PIII 650 MHz, ESS1868 ISA soundcard on XP.

  • Michael Goodman from CEntrance here…

    Wow — didn't know downloading the LTU was such a pain! Thanks for letting us know. We are now planning a new version that would measure the different interfaces (WDM, DirectX, etc.) and will be easier to get 🙂

    Please leave your comments on the CEntrance forum as well, so we have immediate feedback. We need it.

  • another someone

    I recently purchased the Ideal Driver and got the latency on my Mackie 400F down to 6.31ms

    The LTU had a reading of 15.13ms using stock Mackie driver, but I do agree that the LTU download process is not ideal 😉

  • David

    Yes the download process is a massive pain. What are LTU trying to achieve by this – getting their hands on a bunch of useless fake data.

    A waste of everyone's time.

  • Mihcael from CEntrance again.

    We heard ya. We're improvin'. The download is now as painless as can be. Measure away!

  • Michael from CEntrance again…

    We heard ya. We're improving. The LTU download is now as painless as can be. Measure away!

  • stan peterson

    Don't know my ear from eyeball with these things. Will try anything to prevent extra, low down notes appearing when I try record direct from keyboard, using MIDI. Have 1500Mg P4, IBM ThinkPad with 512Mb RAM, on XP Pro with Tracktion2.