Cubase Freezes for a few seconds after hitting pause

Hello,
I’ve been working with Cubase 9 (latest update) for 3 years on a very powerfull PC (i9 10900, 128 RAM, ssd), and running very large projects on it.
In the last week or so, with NO CHANGE what so ever in my working method, plugins, etc - Cubase has started to freeze for 3-4 seconds when I hit pause. After that everything is normal again, and it doesn’t happen all the time - I’d say in average it’s one out of 3 or 4 pause hits.
This can be very frustrating and kill the workflow…
My Pc is not even close to maximum CPU or RAM usage. Of course when the projects are smaller this happens less, but what bugs me is that this thing has never happened in the past, and I have not changed anything in the previous couple of months - I’m working from the same template, using the same plugins and VST’s. So basically Cubase is suddenly reaching it’s overload threshold “sooner” than a month or two ago. It couldn’t be related to performance improving tips such as buffer size and feezing channels and so on, because I’ve been working exactly the same way as before this thing started to occur.
Any leads?
Thank you so much