Playback stutter (audacity 3.1.3

I’m working on an audiobook, so some of my files are several (between 4 and 10) tracks on the average of 40 minutes long.
From time to time, the playback has these hitches, moments when it pauses, then continues a split second later (making the word sound like a different word in a few cases and just like a hiccup most others). This makes it hard to proof the line up of various tracks. It doesn’t always do this, and if I stop and back up, it doesn’t do it again at that spot, but will again 15-50 seconds later.

I’m also having occasional issues with the file not responding or taking forever to run a compression or save, no matter how small the file. I don’t think it’s even consistent.

(also having an occasional issue where I’ll go back for a listen and a whole track will be missing and I have to reedit or rerecord)
Here are screen shots of both my computer set up and my audacity. It’s a brand new computer with a lot of memory and a 4T hard drive. (I moved the files from the 1T drive to the 4T, cause it’s nearly full and I thought the older drive might be the problem)
computer stats.png
audacity build.png

You can reboot your machine before starting up Audacity just to make sure nothing else is running.

Also, you can likely get better performance by moving your .aup3 project file directly to the machine at hand so it doesn’t have to wait for USB (or network) delays.

Others will chime in.