I began experimenting with some other DAWs - Ableton in particular, and I noticed a significant difference in performance.
I use a Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 at 96Khz using 256 samples (what I would typically use with Kontakt) in Cubase (Windows). That gets me about 6.5ms of latency, which is in general, just fine for most VSTs, but not always free from artifacts for big samples like The Grandeur, etc… However, in Ableton, I can get that down to 32 samples (under 2ms) and not even a hint of pop, hiss or crackle.
Curious if anyone has experienced that???