Cubase 11 on Windows 10 - Projects opening REALLY SLOW - please help!

My cubase 11 Projects (which are from my large orchestral template) take around 7 to 8 minutes to open. I know several people who’s large projects take less than a minute to open, so I’m certain that there is something I can do to fix this.

This issue is so frustrating to me because these are my specs:
Processor AMD Ryzen 9 5900x 12-core 24 Thread Processor 3.70 GHz
G.Skill Trident Z Neo DDR4 - 128 gb RAM
ROG STRIX B450-F Gaming Motherboard
My Windows 10 OS is installed on a Crucial MX500 2.5 inch 2 TB. (Read/write speed 560/510 mb/s)
My sample libraries are installed on an External SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD (Read/write up to around 1050 mb/s).

In Addition to this, I have all my Cubase projects on an internal NVMe SSD - Samsung 980 Pro,
this SSD is supposed to have a read/write speed of 7,000/5,000 mb/s. But when I open up a project and open up the activity monitor, on the processes page it looks like the memory is loading about 150 mb/s. So it takes a while to reach, for example, 62% (71,759.9 MB).

I also have AVG Antivirus, AVG Driver updater, and AVG Tuneup installed. In the settings of AVG Antivirus, I added the following to my exceptions list in an effort to help my Cubase projects open quicker:

C:/Program Files (x86)/
C:/Program Files/
D:/ (this is my external drive with my sample libraries)
G:/ (this is my internal Samsung 980 Pro with all my projects)

My only thought left is that my cubase projects are opening so slow because my OS is installed on the Crucial MX500 SSD? In which case I would just need to buy a 2TB NVMe and move my OS onto there. But before I do that, I wanted to put this out there and see what anybody else thinks.

One bottleneck I am aware of - My motherboard does not support PCIe 4.0 for the NVMe internal SSD (only has PCIe. 3.0), however, on the samsung magician app it still says that the drive has a read write speed of about 3,500 mb/s…so I still think my projects should be opening much quicker.

SO sorry for the long post, I just wanted to give all the info I can to be as clear as possible!

One thing I should mention - When a project is open, everything runs incredibly smooth, and I have a lot of plugins and sample libraries. Cubase itself opens up very quickly, it’s just the loading of projects that is really slow.

**I realize this is very tech oriented and not necessarily a fault of Cubase - but I wanted to post here because I don’t think general PC forums would understand this issue since it is very much related to music production.


I suspect the antivirus software though you have exceptions set so that is very peculiar.

Try monitoring the task manager to see if any other processes outside of Cubase are using CPU time or disk whilst your project loads (the antivirus would show for example if the exceptions weren’t in place). It doesn’t have to be a lot of CPU time for it to create double handling and slow disk throughput.

The other thing to double check is expectations - SSD peak speed will be way higher than loading samples. This is in part plugin dependent and nothing to do with Cubase. Plug-ins can stream more effectively from SSD which means they can load less samples at start up but they will only do this if the plugin has changed its buffering to suit an SSD (reduced its pre-load cache). This will also reduce memory usage. By way of calibration my top memory usage is about 1/3 of yours and Cubase takes about 1-2 minutes to load my template with its default active tracks (I also deactivate a lot of tracks until I need them which also reduces load time substantially). Given your template is 3x that size it may be that what your experiencing is perfectly normal given the pre-load settings in your libraries and the active tracks on load. You don’t mention prior experience or if this is a change in behavior so I though I’d just share mine as an aid.

Last thing to note - all my SSDs and sample libraries are on internal drives (NVME and SATA). I note you have your sample libraries on an external drive. Whilst the bandwidth for an external drive can be similar the interface connecting it may not be as efficient (depends on how it’s connected). Specifically the latency involved in IO could be a problem. This is different to bandwidth and impacts the back and forth time on smaller transactions (like sample loading).


Thanks for the reply robw! And apologize for my delayed response - busy weekend.

I tried completely uninstalling AVG to see if it made any difference and it didn’t change anything. I made sure that the default Windows Antivirus function was completely off too when I tested this.

I also tried moving my external SSD that has my sample libraries onto a different USB Port - Currently it is plugged directly into one of the front USB ports on the PC case, so I moved it to one of the USB ports in the back that goes into the motherboard. After this move, I checked the activity monitor and the project opened even SLOWER. So, perhaps this is my main issue, it’s the external SSD causing the slow open times.

I appreciate the insights you gave to your project workflow! I also deactivate any tracks that aren’t being used and I even tried saving a project with constrain delay on so that it hard-bypasses all the plugins, but it didn’t change the long load times.

I’m curious, you mentioned you have your sample libraries on internal SSD’s - The SATA SSD’s all seem to have read/write speed of 550ish mbps, but perhaps because they are internal it’s still the better option?

Could you clarify what the pre-load cache is? How do I change this? Is this a Kontakt only thing? I’ve done batch resaving already, if that is related at all. When you say plug in, are you referring to sample libraries or plug ins such as EQ, Compressors, etc.?

Thanks again for all your info! I feel like I’m getting a bit closer to what my next step should be

@robw Sorry not sure if it tagged you in my last reply

It’s called a few different things depending on the sampler. In EW Opus for example it’s part of the Audio Engine Preferences and the “Streaming Options” (pg 23 of this manual Kontakt has another name. The Steinberg Halion 6 manual has a nice description - Streaming Section

The SATA SSD’s all seem to have read/write speed of 550ish mbps, but perhaps because they are internal it’s still the better option?

550 ish is the limit of the SATA3 connection bandwidth. Depending on your USB external drives USB connection it is also the limit of bandwidth for it. That said, what matters (depending on usage pattern) is also the latency, how quickly a transaction to the drive as this impacts how rapidly many small pieces of information can be retrieved - which for the most part is what dominates sample pre-loads. The internal SATA3 connection will have better performance in this regard than the external USB connection because the interface is different (again, this depends on the type of USB connection and is not universally true when looking at newer connections like Thunderbolt 4 - not the purpose this discussion so not getting into that level of detail). If it helps think of it this way, 100 people on a bus that is alone on the freeway will get from A to B faster than 100 people each in their own car when it causes congestion at the on and off ramps.

So to improve your load times I would suggest (but not guarantee) the following measures:

  1. Disable tracks in your template until you need them (by far the biggest time saver)
  2. Check your pre-load settings for your various sample players and tweak them so they recognise you have SSDs (or lower them down to SSD capable levels).
  3. See if you can borrow an internal SSD be it SATA or NVME (and for the most part SSD on SATA internal is just as useful as NVME for this purpose) and compare the performance with your external SSD - just to eliminate its interface as a potential bottleneck.

Most of all, be realistic about load times - you cannot expect to see the full performance on any drive during sample loading because it is many small transactions not one large big one.

Final note, constrain delay compensation will make no difference because it doesn’t change sample loading. It simply bypasses high latency producing plugins, not your virtual instruments (or you would have no sound).

@robw Okay got it, thank you for all this info! I will go through all of this and do some more trouble shooting.