Mac M1 Performance Not Good

I recently purchased a Mac M1 Mini. I am a long time Cubase user (since SX) and a long time Windows user. This is my first Mac. For the most part I have always built my own machines to get something optimized for audio and I know my way around Windows very well as far as optimizing and working out the occasional issue.
Right now, I am not getting spectacular performance on the Mac Mini (MM). I have a home computer that is an HP all-in-one i7 7700 (quad core) with 16 GB of ram that is out performing it. For example, I have a very basic session with one instance of Groove Agent SE playing a simple kick, snare and hat loop, an acoustic guitar with ProQ 3, the steinberg Tube Comp and bass guitar with VST Bass Amp. I then loaded Padshop 2 and use the mouse to move around the keys while the other three tracks played back. I opened up the Audio Performance Window and watch it while all of this was going on. On the Average meter, both computers were similar but I would as the HP was a tiny bit lower. On the Maximum meter, the HP show virtually no movement while the MM was spiking 1/3 to half way up the meter. I made sure all of the buffers, interface, etc were the same on both computers. I have read people saying there are getting great performance, better than their Intel Macs but that does not seem the case here. Maybe this has something to do with Rosetta 2? Again, I am new to Macs so maybe I am doing something wrong? Any info, thoughts, insight, etc would be greatly appreciated.
The computer the MM is replacing is an 8 year old Windows machine with an Intel i7 Devil’s Canyon 4790k with 16 GB of ram. That machine out performs the HP even with its age. Lately its been acting a little strange so I wanted to upgrade before something bad happens. For reference, that computer has an SSD OS drive and two 7200 drives for audio storage and sample storage. My HP has an SSD OS drive and one 7200 for storage. I also use an external 3.0 SSD that is several years old that is getting faster read/ write speeds on the HP than a brand new SSD in an OWC 3.1 gen 2 enclosure is on the MM. I have read the MM has speed issues with its USB connections. All in all, I am fairly disappointed with the MM so far as I would think it should blow these computers out of the water. I did a lot of research before purchasing and have/ had high hopes. I am hoping things improve but would love to hear from experienced Mac users and especially those with the MM M1.