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Old 4th January 2017
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TAFKAT's Avatar
I know a few have been asking for the Focusrite results which had been deferred after their 2.1.2 driver took a detour of sorts , so I'll post up the results and a quick overview now and then post up the larger report when I have completed the rest of the testing on the other interfaces.

O.K, what exactly are we looking at here. I'll explain in detail below but first I do need to cover the reasoning of why I deferred posting the results.

I first tested the initial Version 2.00 driver , posted the results and summary only to be informed that an updated driver had been released the day prior that I had missed. To be thorough I retested the updated driver which had introduced some performance issues , so I pulled the results, made contact and worked with Focusrite QA to resolve the issue that I had encountered. I do have to commend the Focusrite reps for being open enough to hear me out, acknowledge the problem and then work to remedy the issues I reported. A welcome change to experiences I have had in the past with other manufacturers.

With that out of the way, some will be asking why there are 2 sets of results.

The Focusrite Control Panel has buffer settings starting at 16 samples , which on a USB interface is essentially impossible to achieve due to the limitations of the USB protocol. On even closer inspection you will notice that the actual delivered latency of the listed settings are around double what other more conventional settings would be delivering i.e, most interfaces for a 256 buffer setting would have respective I/O latency around 6.5-7.5ms , 512 would be around 12.5-13.5ms , however going by the Focusrites Standard Panel Settings , 256 has 12.5ms , 512 has 24ms , essentially double.

Thing is performance at the respective delivered latencies was actually quite good, so to closer approximate the results comparatively against other interfaces using similar respective I/O latencies, I shifted the results down one position and have listed an alternate and IMO, more accurate comparative chart.

I have spoken to Focusrite QA about simply relabeling the panel settings to better reflect the respective latencies , and I have been told its under consideration.

The performance of the 2.1.5 driver is pretty much back to the original driver , respective latencies are up a tiny bit , but the performance is very smooth. What had happened at 2.1.2 was that most of the latency values had been driven down further than the original release, but it had impacted severely with the overall performance of the driver , so it was scaled back and the performance has been returned.

This highlights what I have noted recently, that updated drivers do not automatically mean better performance in some instances.