1) All VSTs have redraw-CPU issues. Some are better than others, some don't have "green data" like us, but they'll do all math in real-time (like our stream), so their CPU% will not change in automation.
2) kirkagur's reduced knob also reduces automation CPU% (without the readout display), since there is less green math than SM's bloated knobs. I think mine is slightly faster than his:viewtopic.php?f=7&t=6470&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=28
Please let me know if this works at all, & if it is indeed better or not. More green reduction on these will also help reduce CPU%.
3) Less frequent & smaller sized refreshing via Redraw
will reduce CPU% greatly if you are very aggressive.
4) Lots of traffic in "green" data eats CPU more than stream sometimes. If your host/MIDI controller can filter out superfilous/unneeded MIDI data into the the VST, you should see a VSI CPU% reduction.
5) IMHO, there should be a newer "Redraw Limiter" that caps the refresh rate to 12-25FPS, which is what the human eye can be tricked into thinking is animation. I think it currently runs at 100FPS? Or somehow changing SM's "refresh rate" so something user-settable.
Is the ASIO stream issues only inside the editor, or also inside the hosts please? If so, what hosts?