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  • "SteadyFlow" started this thread

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Thursday, October 22nd 2015, 5:12pm

Audio latency in BF4 is high !

Folks, I discovered something that I find to be quite startling - audio latency in BF4 tends to be quite high. Specifically, I measure the audio latency by using Audacity to measure the time difference in the sound of the mouse click and the resulting sound from this action (in the case of BF4, time difference between mouse click and hearing the gun shot in the Test Range). It's very easy and anyone can try it !

I'm using Windows 8.1 64 Bit and tested two different sound cards 1) Sound Blaster OMNI 5.1 USB sound card 2) Built-in PCIe Realtek sound of my motherboard.

Here are the results of the latency, for only Windows and BF4.

Sound Blaster Omni Sound:

Windows Only:94 ms BF4: 180 ms (86 ms higher)

Realtek Sound:

Windows Only:50ms BF4: 120 ms (70 ms higher)

I'm surprised how high the latency of the Sound Blaster is on Windows alone - 94 ms ! That is 1.56 FAMAS bullets worth of time. Then BF4 adds 86 ms on top of that (this is best case scenario as I was using the Test Range) for a total of 180 ms latency or 3 FAMAS bullets fired before the first shot is even heard !

The cheap Realtek on-board sound does much better with 50 ms for Windows, and total of 120 ms in BF4 or 2 FAMAS bullets before the first shot is even heard !

Regardless, the latency is pretty high in my opinion. I've read that Windows 8/10 audio latency is pretty bad due to the buffering inherent in the Windows audio architecture, and BF4 does no favors by adding 70 - 80 ms latency on top of that. Need some ASIO support for BF4 :-)

I've been using my Sound Blaster Omni all this time, but I'm gonna switch to my cheap mobo Realtek sound for BF4 and other FPS games. Does audio latency suck for all USB sound cards/DACs ? I'm curious to see the experience of other readers - this is very easy to test on your systems so please measure and post your results here.

This post has been edited 3 times, last edit by "SteadyFlow" (Oct 22nd 2015, 5:32pm)


Miffyli

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Thursday, October 22nd 2015, 6:25pm

I'd imagine max 33ms is added from logical frame interval alone (well, more like 16ms but still). Then there's the required audio processing, convolutions with environment, selecting right tracks for different distance and/or calculating it etcetc. You could check how it compares to the values in performance graph (tells amount of time spent on frame by CPU/GPU) with perfoverlay.drawgraph 1
Links to users' thread list who have made analytical/statistical/mathematical/cool posts on Symthic:
  • 3VerstsNorth - Analysis of game mechanics in BF4 (tickrates, effects of tickrate, etc)
  • leptis - Analysis of shotguns, recoil, recoil control and air drag.
  • Veritable - Scoring of BF4/BF1 firearms in terms of usability, firing and other mechanics.
  • Miffyli - Random statistical analysis of BF4 battlereports/players and kill-distances. (list is cluttered with other threads).
Sorry if your name wasn't on the list, I honestly can't recall all names : ( . Nudge me if you want to be included

  • "SteadyFlow" started this thread

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Thursday, October 22nd 2015, 6:40pm

Between Windows and BF4, this combined latency can have a detrimental effect on gun play - especially for those who like to quick burst a lot or lead on longer range targets.

All of us rely on audio feedback to judge when bullets have been fired and the number of bullets in our bursts, and high audio latency will cause bullet hits/damage to be misjudged due to the delay in hearing the audio cue -> resulting in higher TTK, bad inconsistent aiming, and wasted bullets.

Most of us worry about/discuss 30hz/60hz tick rate issues, netcode, weapon balance, etc - but here is one aspect of the game that effects everyone's gun game, but most are not aware that it's even an issue.

Is it an issue ? I'd love to get some latency measurements from readers (especially those using USB DACs).

This post has been edited 5 times, last edit by "SteadyFlow" (Oct 26th 2015, 10:16am)


Krolman

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Thursday, October 22nd 2015, 7:03pm

Try other games as well not just BF4.
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Oh look and a twitter... Yeah follow us there too pls

If only people would talk back it wouldn't be so lonely.[In B4 I get overwhelmed]


"Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish." - Euripides, Bacchae

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Things that I support


Hardline is a fun and sometimes silly Cops and Robbers sorta thing and I think that's great. Or it would be if it didn't suck.


intel best ethernet controllers


ammo regen pls


TL;DR: all vehicles in BF4 are screwed up in some way or another.



I know I shouldn't be surprised that something like that even exists but.... 8|


You're just a spreadsheet baddie.




  • "SteadyFlow" started this thread

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Thursday, October 22nd 2015, 7:38pm

My point is not that BF4 itself if increasing the latency - it's Windows + BF4 and the type of soundcard seems to be important.

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Thursday, October 22nd 2015, 9:22pm

My point is not that BF4 itself if increasing the latency - it's Windows + BF4 and the type of soundcard seems to be important.


well yeah the more links in the chain the longer it is. That's why you plug in your headphones in the back of your PC MOBO rather the front header.
Apparently we do have a facebook... You should go ahead and like it

Oh look and a twitter... Yeah follow us there too pls

If only people would talk back it wouldn't be so lonely.[In B4 I get overwhelmed]


"Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish." - Euripides, Bacchae

"You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant."- Harlan Ellison



Things that I support


Hardline is a fun and sometimes silly Cops and Robbers sorta thing and I think that's great. Or it would be if it didn't suck.


intel best ethernet controllers


ammo regen pls


TL;DR: all vehicles in BF4 are screwed up in some way or another.



I know I shouldn't be surprised that something like that even exists but.... 8|


You're just a spreadsheet baddie.




  • "SteadyFlow" started this thread

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Thursday, October 22nd 2015, 10:05pm

On the contrary, plugging into the front header is usually equivalent to plugging in back of mobo. This is because normally a second headphone amp is used to drive the front header which is fed by the same audio signal driving the headphone amp in the back of the mobo.

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "SteadyFlow" (Oct 23rd 2015, 12:06am)


C0llis

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Thursday, October 22nd 2015, 10:23pm

I'm not surprised at all that a USB soundcard has more latency than the onboard sound. Also, comparing the onboard sound with a PCIe soundcard would be interesting IMO.

@SteadyFlow

Have you tried doing the same test in singleplayer?

Things people said

And reading Youtube comments still gives me Turbo Cancer.

It really is quite frustrating when Helen Keller sets up her LMG in the only doorway in/out of an area.

What kind of question is that? Since when is cheese ever a bad idea?

Hardline is a fun and sometimes silly Cops and Robbers sorta thing and I think that's great. Or it would be if it didn't suck.

  • "SteadyFlow" started this thread

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Friday, October 23rd 2015, 12:05am

I'm getting a standalone PCIe sound card in a couple of weeks so should be able to test it then - however, the onboard sound chip is also PCIe (internally hooked up to the PCIe bus) so the results should be similar.

Not especially interested in singleplayer as the latency is not that important when compared with multiplayer competitive play (not that BF4 is competitive, but u know what I mean :-)

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Saturday, October 24th 2015, 9:17am

I noticed and reported this issue on console.

Maybe try and get your hands on a proper studio grade sound card. You *definitely* do not want to be using USB, as it's a buss not designed for realtime applications and latency jitter is massive.

Do games on windows even support proper drivers or is it windows API based drivers only?