Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am considering buying a very-low-latency audio interface like this one. One question is if it will reduce CPU load (I'm at about 60%+ and my Macbook has 2.4ghz and 4gigs ram) during intensive audio processing.

If the answer is "yes," how will it compare to a different, cheaper firewire audio interface? My thought is that offloading the processing is always the same gain, regardless.

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Using a USB device will gain you some, but not completely free your CPU. While you don't need to process audio, you do still need to control the relatively dumb USB interface, which can go as high as 30% depending on the load.

FireWire is a more intelligent interface and will only take up about a third as much CPU in order to maintain the same throughput, but the varying capabilities of the devices may mean that the FireWire device does more audio processing in the computer and less in the device.

share|improve this answer
Interesting answer +1, though the conclusion seems to be, "try them out in an A/B test." I'll report back if I manage to test this. – Dan Rosenstark Apr 3 '10 at 10:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .