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Windows audio stack sucks, anything higher than stereo 16 bit 44.1k has higher cursor lag - Page 6  

post #51 of 258
Sound components undoubtedly affect system performance. That is measurable.
While audio cards, drivers and software are real system cloggs most of the time, how exactly will they affect the mouse response?
Simple, they strain the processor to where polling gets increasingly more instable with demanding audio components. Instable polling rates or missed polling intervals alone can leave mousing feel horrible.
And as a performance factor, they can cause system hickups (measured with DPC latency) where the processor's sleep/work cycles are messed with, effectively freezing the system. Did you ever start up a game and perform your first sound-intensive action, like firing a weapon - and then experience a full-second freeze as a direct response before audio replay begins? Imagine that happening all the time when game sound is processed (read: all the time), just not in full seconds but miliseconds. It does not directly affect the mouse, rather the entire system, but it's still the mousing that you will first notice feels stuttery or un-smooth. Reducing the processor's "task-ability" of audio to microseconds and making sure there are never inconsistencies and disruptions to audio processing where the processor halts shoot up to miliseconds or more does a lot for the gaming experience.

I would rather we had someone with the abilities to properly research, measure and prove stuff as well, but until then these feel-based beliefs are all we have really and it's better than nothing.

However, there are two simple tests to indicate the negative effect of "bad" audio components on a system. The one is DPC latency. When you experience a system freeze, there will be DPC latency spike. So even seemingly harmless values can mean microfreezes. That one r0ach even used.
The other one is using the MouseTester to log polling behaviour under different levels of audio strain (disabled, enabled and not active, enabled and active). Both serve to more or less confirm r0aches feelings and things get a lot less dark.
Edited by HAGGARD - 1/16/15 at 7:43am
post #52 of 258
Yes its measurable, if you build some sort of robot to move your mouse for you, reproducing the exact same movement every time. Until someone does that, this is all pointless since we can't verify anything.
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post #53 of 258
Nice attitude. Now that's just the extreme opposite of what people criticise r0ach for. Then we can just stop posting here altogether except to market new products since I doubt some 20-something gaming enthusiast will engineer a freaking mouse testing robot.

Apart from that, DPC latency is not subject to human inconsistency. And polling behaviour can be observed over long enough periods to where differences should become visible regardless of the physical movement being the exact same.
post #54 of 258
I had three sound cards, yes the driver sucks on all 3.
They are slow drivers, high cpu use and sucks afterall
but. r0ach is overeacting.
any sound card or onboard would feel the same if are well implemented and not problematic..

thats just his paranoia
post #55 of 258
I agree that his method is flawed in that he says X is better than Y solely based on his mouse feeling, but the general notion of striving to reduce audio-processing strain to enhance the gaming experience is justified. As I mentioned in another thread and as you mentioned as well, most sound cards and drivers are equally ressource-heavy and DPC latency inducing.
But who is to say there cannot be a difference between differently interfaced components and driver sets? Onboard vs. PCI vs. PCIe vs. USB vs. GPU HDMI; Legacy drivers vs. Windows default drivers vs. latest drivers - takes someone with a variety of products to test for DPC latency and polling behaviour and we get something more people might deem useful.

Then there's more this knowledge can be used for. Without having to change sound components, you can still try and assign specific cores to your audio service and HUB activity so that it does not mess with polling intervals. Or resolving IRQ conflicts where your sound component shares a slot with the USB controller your mouse is registered to. Or simply changing output to 16bit/44.1kHz as it's the least complex and the most commonly used format (game SFX certainly follow the CD-quality format, for your "audiophile needs" you can still avoid resampling and achieve bit-perfect playback by changing formats when you listen to music or let a plugin do that for you).
Edited by HAGGARD - 1/16/15 at 4:06am
post #56 of 258
On the fence about this, as so many others are, but from an audio standpoint, there isn't a benefit to having your soundcard set to 192 khz/24 bit or owning a DAC capable of producing such.

http://xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html
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post #57 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by .:hybrid:. View Post

Yes its measurable, if you build some sort of robot to move your mouse for you, reproducing the exact same movement every time. Until someone does that, this is all pointless since we can't verify anything.

Already been done.

http://www.overclock.net/t/1529341/the-first-real-test-for-measuring-input-lag

Guy hasn't posted in 3 weeks.
Edited by Trull - 1/16/15 at 6:06am
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post #58 of 258
If you are experiencing issues with mouse movement like latency or inconsistent distance cursor travels, jumpy cursor, etc. The first thing to do should be to change your mouse.

First-hand experience: I had a cursor that would jump to edge of screen every once in an hour or so. Most of the time cursor would frantically deviate a very small bit from the trajectory of the actual mouse, so instead of a single smooth line I'd get hills or valleys once in a while. I removed drivers, change mouse settings. This persisted for years as I changed mice: wireless logitech and microsoft mice, wired logitech and microsoft mice, dell, dollar store mice, factory direct mice. I still have a roller ball mouse somewhere, it’s hands down the worst item in my house and I would throw it in the trash if I didn’t keep a small collection of ancient tech around. I created a new boot drive on my laptop and installed a stripped version of winxp on it, just to test if it was something to do with drivers, interference, system glitches or such. No avail. A good large quality mat didn’t help either.
The only thing that helped was a Wacom Intuos tablet, it was smooth as a piece of float glass. That was hardly a solution, though. Eventually I just plugged in a Razer DeathAdder, turned all “enhancements” off and the problems went away.

Point:
If you experience issues with mouse movement, first get a mouse with a good sensor. Razer, Mad Catz or Roccat should work. Read up on mouse sensors in the meantime, it’s good stuff. Also get a mat that’s uniform and matte. Razer, Corsair, Mionix, SteelSeries all make very good mats. Turn off “enhancements” such as accelerations and automatic DPI changes and whatever else the sick imagination of the marketing department can come up with to turn your life into hell on wheels trying to complete a roller coaster course.
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post #59 of 258
How can you be "on the fence" about it? I mean, nobody is denying that sound components are a performance factor, right? That in turn affects how well the entire system can handle game and I/O tasks. The question is if there's even a way to reduce the demand of audio processing. We should start to flesh things out and get people to test stuff. I will do further tests, but here's an example:



The first measurement was taken during playback of a 16bit/44.1kHz FLAC music file. The second without any audio going on. While all values average around 1ms according to a 1000Hz polling interval, the polls are issued noticably more timely and consistently without active audio processing. The mouse is a WMO, the sound card is a realtek ALC889 onboard chip feeding an external DAC/AMP optically (via WAS-API plugin). Drivers are Windows default.

Of course, that's just to demonstrate that sound components do affect polling behaviour. Measurements should be taken while in-game, so having a program that logs count reporting (utilizing raw input data) constantly would be neat for further testing. But in terms of optimizing your system using media player playback and the MouseTester to observe polling behaviour with and without audio events is already useful enough if you take enough samples to be positive things get better/worse one way or the other.
Say I now want more stable polling during audio playback. My audio controller does have a unique IRQ slot. The next thing I could try and do is change drivers. Then I could try and assign a specific CPU core to the audio process (AudioSrv service -> go to process, it will give you the svchost.exe that handles audio). Or change process priorities of the program or audio process. I could change the output type (while playing I use the analogue line-out of the sound card, not the optical S/PDIF). Ultimately I could try disabling the onboard sound chip and use other sound cards and see if they disrupt polling less, go through driver sets and settings again and so on. Or I would come to the conclusion that polling cannot be entirely stable with audio going on on my system and decide to reduce the polling interval to 500Hz.
Same can be done for DPC latency, which fortunately can be measured real-time while playing the game you want to enhance the experience of.

All that of course if you are "hardcore" about (mouse) performance. Otherwise you could just P'n'P and not criticise people for wanting to tinker with stuff like this, ha.
post #60 of 258
What are you using to measure that Haggard?
Because I want to see how things are on my system which currently has eight sound devices connected to it.
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