Intel i3 Latency

Hi Everyone,

I want to make a live machine for playing some NI synths and piano’s live.

I shall use an Audiophile 192 for the output card, as its not a production box.

I’ve heard that the i series with their DDR3 intergrated memory controllers are all very low latency,
anyone got any experience of this?

No complaints here. i5 2500k

How low can you play in real time say with a four or so instruments stacked up?

What soundcard you using?

if ur talkin prcessors, i have an i3.
i think itll handle bout anything ill
throw at it…i was recording with
only 5ms of latency with no problem
and i figure i could go even lower…

It also depends on which specific instruments you will be running. Most people find that NI reaktor for instance is very CPU hungry and I’m not sure if your system will be able to run 5 at the lowest latency. But generally you should be fine.

I can stay at 128 samples for quite some time on my FW1814 - any 4 instruments alone, no problem. It also depends on other things I’m throwing at it.

I am thinking 1 instance Akoustic Piano, 1 instance Pro 53, 1 instance B4 II, and Superwave Ultimate synth…
Maybe BASIC included Cubase EQ and Reverb and Delay in FX Channels nothing more … want to play with all for running at 32 samples. Maybe 64 …

And I only use PCI sound cards too … You’ll get a lack of USB or Firewire devices because of data routing.
This is something I HAVE done extensive test’s on :slight_smile:

Not sure what you mean by this. I’m running a Mackie Onyx mixer with built in Firewire card at 64 buffers for like 2ms or 2.5ms (can’t recall exactly) latency with no problems whatsoever. My system is a Core i7 920 and I run primarily VST synths and effects, tons of them. One of my recent songs had something like 18 VSTi’s loaded, many by Native Instruments, also with tons of effect plugins and I wasn’t even at 50% CPU load. Personally, having used an M-Audio Delta 44 and an Echo Mia for years and now my Mackie Firewire for many years I don’t see any negative aspects of using a firewire interface. Matter of fact, I think it’s actually performing a bit better than the other cards I’ve used.


Have you tried a PCI or PCI-E card on that system?

Yes of course. I went from an Echo Mia to the Mackie Onyx.


While that may well be true in your particular case, it only proves that the firewire interface you are using is better than one particular older PCI interface of questionable performance compared to similar products from companies such as RME - this in no way proves that firewire is as good or better than a PCI/PCIe interface. I’m fairly certain that had you compared to a PCI RME HDSP9652 the results would have been quite different. From what I have seen, RME beats everyone when it comes to low-latency performance and stability. They also have some fantastic performing firewire products, but they do not quite perform as well as their PCI/PCIe interfaces do (the lowest buffer setting is only 48 samples for firewire versus 32 sample for the PCI/PCIe stuff).

But that is the point since the guy I was replying to said, “And I only use PCI sound cards too … You’ll get a lack of USB or Firewire devices because of data routing.” Wasn’t sure what he was saying exactly with that statement.

I’m not disagreeing with you at all, I’m an IT Technician for a living so I know very well a PCI based Sound card has the potential to perform better than a Firewire based one, but I’d hardly suggest all firewire and USB 2 interfaces be avoided. By the way, by no means would I call the Echo Mia of questionable performance. I’d used it over 2-3 system builds in the past years with flawless performance.


This might give you some useful information about various soundcards.