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Computer latency: 1977-2017

🔒 danluu.com

What a great project filled with delightful sentences like:

At 144 Hz, each frame takes 7 ms. A change to the screen will have 0 ms to 7 ms of extra latency as it waits for the next frame boundary before getting rendered (on average,we expect half of the maximum latency, or 3.5 ms). On top of that, even though my display at home advertises a 1 ms switching time, it actually appears to take 10 ms to fully change color once the display has started changing color. When we add up the latency from waiting for the next frame to the latency of an actual color change, we get an expected latency of 7/2 + 10 = 13.5ms

I’ve never been bothered by latency from key to display on any of my computers, but it’s curious to see that the latency has gone up with complexity. I do notice this whenever I use an Android device. Touch devices drive the latency demand higher in my opinion since your finger is there and your brain and eyes want to see the reaction with as close to no latency as possible. For me Android has a frustrating amount of latency.

Posted on December 26, 2017

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