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Old 15 April 2019, 23:44   #1
roondar
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Question A question about the audio buffer and stuttering audio

I've recently been having some problems with the audio output of WinUAE. During some games and applications, audio sometimes starts to produce audible 'clicks'/'stutters' (difficult to describe really).

The first time I noticed it was when I ran PowerGlove, which had perfect audio on my real A500, but had the problem I described above. I tried running it on a variety of different configurations and eventually found that using an A500 type config, disabling cycle exact mode and disabling the 'more compatible' flag on the processor tab seemed to help - though even then I still needed an audio buffer size of 9 for it to be stable.

I noticed it again during development when I started adding audio, sometimes the audio would seemingly underrun the buffer. The situation does seem to improve if I select WSAPI instead of DirectSound but it still occasionally happens. I've even run LatencyMon, which claims my system should be fine for 'real time audio'.

Main difference since I started noticing this problem was that I upgraded WinUAE from a rather old version (3.2 I think) to the most recent one at the time (4.1).

I'm a bit puzzled by this problem as I have a fairly fast CPU (Intel i7 3770@3.4GHz) and a SoundblasterX AE-5 which never seems to have any problems. I'm not running WinUAE while also running a bunch of heavy applications and the task manager seems to suggest that overall system load and individual CPU cores are all well within limits.

However, I can't be certain what causes this - I can't rule out it's not WinUAE (which usually works really well). But just to try and rule that out: what settings should I try to get the best results for audio?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 16 April 2019, 18:46   #2
Toni Wilen
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It is practically never anything to do with sound emulation or hardware.
Most common causes are:
- aggressive power saving (approximate/cycle-exact modes use physical CPU time in very short bursts. Test if fastest possible CPU makes any difference)
- display rendering being too slow (forced vsync etc..). Check if windowed mode/fullscreen/D3D9/D3d11 changes make any difference.
- too slow CPU (not in this case, unless it is overheating and throttling)

AE-5 is good, it also supports quite low buffer sizes.
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Old 16 April 2019, 18:54   #3
roondar
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Thanks for the tips, I'll try them out. I'm pretty certain the CPU isn't throttling, but I'll check anyway.

I may have forced VSYNC on so that's a good thing to try. And I didn't know that WinUAE had different D3D options so I'll check that out to.

Would changing WinUAE priority potentially help?
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Old 16 April 2019, 19:40   #4
Toni Wilen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roondar View Post
I may have forced VSYNC on so that's a good thing to try. And I didn't know that WinUAE had different D3D options so I'll check that out to.
Winuae won't like externally forced vsync.

Quote:
Would changing WinUAE priority potentially help?
No
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