Audio dropouts solved: Steinberg USB Audio (Ci2+), nVidia and Windows10 1903

Hi all,
just a quick success story, maybe it helps others with a similar setup:

  • Windows 10, 1903
  • nVidia Graphics Card
  • Steinberg (Yamaha) USB Audio Interface (CI2+ in my case)
  • Cubase 9.5

After upgrading my graphics card (from nVidia GTX 970 to nVidia GTX 1660) I experienced horrible stuttering and brutal dropouts on the Steinberg Ci2+ Audio Interface. This happened from within Cubase (9.5) as well as any other audio application, such as Windows Media Player. I almost despaired when all tricks failed: Fiddling with the nVidia power management settings, disabling HD Audio and all the other tips&tricks, all to no avail. I could improve the situation somewhat, but it was far from perfect.

Until I remembered that my audio interface was now connected to a different USB port than before I switched graphic cards.

Bottom line:

When I connect the audio interface directly to a USB 2.0 port on the mainboard, I cannot get it to work. Audio is terrible. But my system (which is somewhat older) also has a separate USB 3.0 PCI card (costs around 10-15€).

When I connect the CI2+ Audio Interface directly to the USB 3.0 PCI card interface, everything is absolutely fine. I can even set ASIO to 64 samples and have a latency of 5/8ms.

So the problem seems to be connected to the nVidia drivers/card, but also to the USB chipset. My old Gigabyte (UD4P) mainboard 2.0 USB interface does not work, but the additional PCI USB 3.0 card works just fine. So if you have the option of buying/trying an separate PCI USB 3.0 card it might be worth a try.