Call me not too savvy in the computer geekery world, but I have a problem and hopefully someone may have an answer. In simple words, I can't play the game. Sure, I can log-in, load-in, and get my feet on the ground. The problem comes when I try to move my feet (or if I don't ... read on).
When I first start the game, it runs smoothly for about five minutes, maybe less. After those first few minutes, it will drop to less than 1 fps (or at least what appears to be 1 frame every 2 or 3 seconds) for a few minutes, and then it will return to running smoothly (playable smooth...20 fps+ I don't know the exact/specific count) for another 30 seconds to a minute. Then, it returns to less than 1 fps. It does this no matter where I am or what I'm doing, and it's a repetitive cycle (smooth, bad, smooth, bad, smooth, bad, and so on). (Basically, I can be standing in the starter area not doing anything and it will happen, or I can be running through the starter area and it will happen, or I can be on the character selection and/or creation screen and it will happen).
The only place where it appears not to affect the game is when the game is playing the movies when you first start it up (not to be confused with the conversation points throughout the game, the issue exists during these). These run smoothly for their entire duration. I've tried playing with the in-game settings, but it seems to have little to no effect whether my graphics are turned to the maximum or the minimum. The issue persists regardless.
My on-board computer readings also show that my CPU never runs at more than 50% while playing this game (there have been other games that demanded up to 100%). And at no time is it using more than 76% of my computer's memory (there have also been games that required 100% here).
My computer is aged a bit. Three or four years old now. The DXDiag is listed at the bottom of the post. It meets the minimum requirements of the game, and only falls short of the recommended requirements with the processor speed (2.3Ghz). I've read through countless other posts about FPS drops, but none seemed consistent to the problem I'm experiencing (most seemed to deal with where the player character was or what the player character was doing, while mine appears to deal with time moreso than locale or activity), and again, none of the solutions seemed to help.
I will say that the issue existed when I was part of the beta weekend test. I struggled through the jedi starter area, made it to about level 3, but couldn't bear anymore than that. I was unable to solve the issue then, and was worried about purchasing the game in the case that I could not run it on my machine (needless to say, I cannot justify buying a new computer to play a single game unfortunately). I gave into my whims though, and the problem is still there with the live version. And as I said, I'm not very adept with the technicalities of computers. I can tell you my machine has a 2.3GHz Processor, but I won't be able to tell you what that actually means, other than it has something to do with the speed.
I played Vanguard: SoH for a few years, and the machine handled that game rather well on maximum settings, though its requirements are quite a bit less than SW:TOR. I can say that I think all of my drivers are up to date. I know my graphics card driver is up to date, and according to my device manager, all my other drivers are up to date (this is about as far as my expertise goes with checking such things).
Any and all helpful suggestions and tips are greatly appreciated. I do wish to play this game. Hopefully this issue can be ironed out and I can do that with my current equipment. If any further information is needed on my end, I'll provide what I can. Thanks.