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As far as I understand the WDM, DirectSound drivers cannot be hardware accelerated on Windows Vista and newer. Is XAudio2 affected as well?

Or in other terms: in latency terms is it definitely better to use XAudio2 instead of DirectSound?

I'm asking this because I want to go back to DirectSound for my next game to simplify deployment (XAudio2 requires a COM registration, which requires admin privileges and therefore an installer, and also causes trouble on emulated environments), but if there is a difference in latency, then I'll stay with XAudio2.

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All you can do to be sure is testing, but I have never noticed audio latency in older games on Windows Vista and Windows 7. The biggest problem for non-hardware acceleration using the new audio path in Vista/7 is that EAX didn't work anymore (though some of that could be simulated through OpenAL). Of course XAudio2 has a lot of features that DirectSound doesn't have.

So bottom line, I don't expect problems, just make sure you have all the features in DirectSound that you are used to in XAudio2 and you should be good to go!

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Yeah, the problem is that the fact that both work without any noticeable lag differences, in my Core i7 Ivy Bridge with 64GB RAM and a Roland Q49 audio interface, doesn't mean it will run the same in other peoples' computers... I read on a SO comment that XAudio2 is written over DirectSound for XP, but has a different kernel path for Vista and above, but I can't find any hard references on that... –  Panda Pajama Mar 21 '13 at 18:21

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