Audio Dropouts After New Windows 10 Builds

If you are like me, and you are suddenly experiencing audio dropouts while recording in Cubase 10 or just audio in general on Windows itself, check your BIOS to see if C States is enabled. At least on my machine, an Intel Chipset, C States refers to the OS turning on and off processors to save power, and it’s a big deal for a continuous flow of data such as real time sound. I’m sure we all know this, but I had no idea that a new build of Windows 10 would re-enable C States in my BIOS. I happened to come across this while reading another post about Hyperthreading as I was looking for answers to this problem in this forum. I wanted to see if my BIOS supported turning on and off Hyperthreading, but I didn’t intend to do so, and I saw C States enabled in my BIOS. I have to say I was jumping for joy, because I was so frustrated trying to figure out what Windows 10 did to my DAW and Audio in general. I hope this helps somebody else who can’t figure this out. I feel kind of foolish not realizing this to begin with.

I always had C states enabled without any issues. But I guess it’s because if your system is from Skylake era or newer, the C states and turbo boost latency have drastically improved so it should no longer be an issue.

I have a Dell Precision laptop with an i9-9980HK (newer than skylake), and while I haven’t tested it in a while, I definitely needed to disable C-states in the BIOS in order to get reasonably dpc-latency-free performance in LatencyMon back in Nov/Dec when I was fighting with it. Granted, I’m heavily VSTi-focused and so need as small a buffer latency as I can possibly get, and dpc latencies that some would consider “minor” do cause audible glitching at low buffer settings. But the point is, at least in my case, disabling C-states made an audible and measurable (in LatencyMon) difference.