Topic: Latency comparison: HDSPe vs FF400 vs FFUC
Because this questions keeps coming up here is a comparison of the HDSPe (ExpressCard + MF2) vs Fireface 400 vs Fireface UC on both Windows and OS X.
The following list shows the number of samples used by hardware (AD/DA) + safety-buffer, but *without* audio buffers (which obviously vary according to what you setup yourself).
Input OS X vs. Windows (in samples)
HDSPe: 69 vs. 32
FF 400: 109 vs. 45
FF UC: 69 vs. 55
Output OS X vs. Windows (in samples)
HDSPe: 103 vs. 64
FF 400: 96 vs. 96
FF UC: 70 vs. 63
These are the latencies your interface begins with *without* audio buffers being added. So on Windows a Fireface UC at 44.1 kHz with a buffer setting of 64 samples would sum up to 63 + 64 = 134 samples = 2.88 ms output latency.
Windows buffer sizes are lower to begin with but OS X allows to set audio buffers as low as 1 sample (if the application supports it), while the minimum on Windows is 32 for PCI(e) and 48 for FW and USB (in practice rather 64).