This may help folks who suffer random skips or CPU spikes

Hi All,

I have got a tip that may help users who are experiencing skips or stutters whilst running Cubase or any CPU high intensity apps.

I have included a screen shot of a X99 system I have had for some time, this system was very challenging over the years and using the following method has solved the snap, crackle or pop. My two other PC systems now use this method.

The list of devices in the MSI apps will differ per mobo manufacture and model. I use the X99 as an example.

What we are about to do is manually change the MSI (Message Signal interrupts) on your main devices connected to your desktop this includes the GPU, OS drive, USB bus (where soundcard connected) and shift all other devices to a lower priority.

First thing, download MSI_Mode_Utility_v3.exe. You’ll need to search the interweb for a trusted copy.

2. Run the app and you’ll see info similar to what you see in my screen shot. Ill walk through what im doing.

High Definition Audio Driver: This is my Hdmi Audio from GPU. I have disabled this in windows and set the priority to low.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X: I have set this to high for plugins that use OpenGl. Lowers the latency.

Samsung NVMe Controller 1: Main OS Set to high. For obvious reason.
Samsung NVMe Controller 2: This is a project drive not running much tacks of audio so I set this to Normal. If you are running a lot of audio tracks set this to high.

Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE controller: Unused device, MOBO bios doesn’t allow this device to turn off. I Set this to LOW. Any devices you are not using and cannot be terminated via bios then set these to low.

Asmedia USB 3.1 eXtensible Host Controller: This is a 3rd party usb card. I have my sound cards connected so I have set this to HIGH.

Intel 9 Series Chipset Sata controller: Here is the sound library drives, I have set to Normal because I don’t access this often whilst running cubase.

Intel USB 3.0 eXtensible Host: Here I have my mouse keyboard. Since im not gaming I believe there is no need to have this set to high. I have chosen Normal.
If you do game you should set this to high or if you have many usb devices controllers etc then set this controller to high.

Intel manage engine interface:. Arhhh intels little CPU black box. Set that to low.

2. Hit the Apply button.

3. Restart to the Bios, once in the bios do nothing but hit F10 save and proceed as normal. This is a subjective option. 1 of my 3 systems for some reason requires me to do this. Im still trying to work out why. Doing this step does not cause any problems.

4. Run cubase and you should see and feel a difference and you shouldn’t get any of thoses dreaded stutters. Please remember this may not work for everyone but im pretty confident it will work for some… .

Warnings…So nVidia installs there drivers using the Line Based Interrupts method which means everytime you install new GPU drivers The MSI will reset and you’ll have to repeat the steps mentioned above.

DO NOT SET ALL THE MSI’s to HIGH. Doing so is counter-productive

Do not activate MSI mode on devices that do not support it. Check the supported modes before activating the check box.

Some devices maybe set to undefined… Set the priority according to how to use those devices. IE… if you have extra usb busses with printers or the likes set these to normal or low.

If you see any mistakes here or the instructions are not clear enough pls let me know.

All the best :beer:

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Thank you for your informative instructions. I’d like to take the liberty of commenting and adding a few things.

[1] “MSI” in MSI mode utility does NOT refer to the well-known motherboard manufacturer, but is an abbreviation for “Message Signaled Interrupts” (details in [2]). This means that the instructions apply in principle to other MOBO manufacturers such as ASUS, Gigabyte etc. as well as various PC hardware (processors, video cards, …).

[2] MSI mode is an alternative communication technology for the PCI bus that avoids the disadvantages of traditional IRQ processing. These are mainly characterized by delays in signal forwarding when an IRQ line is used by several physical devices (shared interrupts).

[3] In addition to the option of activating MSI mode for a PCI device (“msi” column), the MSI mode utility also offers the option of adjusting the interrupt priority in 3 levels “Low”, “Normal” and “High”, as well as “Undefined” (system controlled). The interrupt priority determines which of several pending interrupts are processed first. Basically, the setting is about prioritizing time-critical devices (such as audio card, video card, disk controller) and deprioritizing non-critical devices (network, unused devices).

[4] An additional, helpful application in this context is LatencyMon. LatencyMon checks to what extent a system under Windows is suitable for processing real-time audio, among other things. At Cubase running, simply start the program and click on the green triangle “Start Monitor”. The performance is then checked and the result is displayed. In the line “Highest reported ISR routine execution time (µS)” the “bottleneck” of the system is shown; if needed and possible, MSI and high priority should be set here in any case.


@ASM Thanks for filling in the blanks. At the time of writing i was starting to think i may over complicate the process so i tried to keep the instructions as simple as possible.
You have done what i had a problem trying to do “explained things nice and simple”

All the best :beer:

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@Muzik4Life Well, I think that gets across what this is all about.
Happy creating and thanks for the :beer:!

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This app has to be added to Windows startup?

No, it is only used once, to set the values.

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If the settings dont stick run the app as admin.

What would you use for a Gigabyte mainboard?

USB bus where your sound card is connected set this to - High
GPU - high
System Hard drive - High
If you record and/or run your projects from another drive - High

All other devices you can set to Normal or Low dependant on how you use these devices.

Please note that each device must support MSI. Activating MSI on devices that only support lined base interrupts WILL CAUSE system problems and may even cause system boot failure.

All the best!

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Are you saying the MSI app works on non-MSI mainboards?

So there a little confusion happening here… The MSI_Mode_Utility_v3 app has nothing to do with MSI the Motherboard Manufacture. MSI stands for Message Signaled Interrupts and runs on all Windows based system no matter which motherboard you use.
Hope this helps…


Ah! Thanks! Was confused as one of my systems is an MSI and one is a Gigabyte.

Just sharing my experience with the MSI utility

On first test, opening as admin applying changes and restarting, I was unable to play any audio in any application. Somehow it hosed my RME MADI FX pcie card driver. I had to reinstall it. Once I did it started working again and I was able to continue.

Interesting to note my Gigabyte motherboard showed Intel PEG root ports in the msi utility that didnt show any available interrupt mode. In fact there were a number of system devices that came up in the utility with no modes available. So I left them as “undefined” but set my RX 7900 to high as you have recommended. Seems counter intuitive since we’ve always been told to restrict the video card from taking over (opposite to what a gaming system needs).

I havent had the chance to trial and error changing all the devices, including the non modal ones, to any particular priority. But I wonder if leaving any devices on there as undefined will adversely affect performance.

Is it best to give everything a priority setting including line mode only or no mode devices?

What would you recommend I set a UAD dsp card to? I use it in less than half of my projects nowadays.

I heavily use the network for VePro servers. I have about 600+ channels of audio coming in from three of them. So I assumed I set my ethernet card to high?