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Obviously its common knowledge that Neverwinter Nights 2 is poorly optimized and has performance issues even on modern systems, still it was a shock to see my framerate drop below 30 on a seven year old game.

Is there anything that can be done to improve performance? Any tweaks or mods that can make a difference? Frankly just getting the game to recognize and use my CPUs other 3 cores would likely be a big help!
This question / problem has been solved by touchedimage
The framerate drove me mad too, it dropped to 10 FPS in the first SoZ city and none of the advices I've found on the web worked.

After trying random stuff I've found that disabling water refraction improved dramatically the performance on my config (i5 and HD 5650 Mobility) and makes the framerate bearable.
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Haze: Obviously its common knowledge that Neverwinter Nights 2 is poorly optimized and has performance issues even on modern systems, still it was a shock to see my framerate drop below 30 on a seven year old game.

Is there anything that can be done to improve performance? Any tweaks or mods that can make a difference? Frankly just getting the game to recognize and use my CPUs other 3 cores would likely be a big help!
You didn't say what brand of CPU you have, but there are a lot of things you can try. One thing that can't be done is make it recognize multiple cores, and that's the biggest part of your problem, because having as many as 4 cores can mean that no single one of them meets the minimum requirement for this game. But you can assign the CPU affinity for the game, and tell it to use a particular one of the cores -- preferably one that the rest of the system and other single-core software isn't using by default.

But to start with, try this guide, which may have specific help for your particular system.
http://www.tweakguides.com/NWN2_1.html
2011 3.1 GHz Core i5.
It runs fine on my aging, unimproved Dell (with a crappy old video card). I think you have a problem to solve, rather than an award-winning software franchise to trashtalk.
Turn down/off shadows and/or reduce shadow distance.
Before you sacrifice shadows, try the tweaks linked above.
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touched: Before you sacrifice shadows, try the tweaks linked above.
The guide essentially directs you to reduce the shadow quality.
Are you playing on a laptop?
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Post edited December 08, 2016 by bakajin_77
Managed to get it running at 50+ at 1080p by turning down the shadows, disabling AA ,forcing it in CCC and playing about with CPU priority.

CPU is definitely the issue, 8x MSAA forced in CCC costs one to two frames compared to no AA what so ever. Going from low shadows to medium costs 10.
Post edited March 10, 2013 by Haze
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alcaray: It runs fine on my aging, unimproved Dell (with a crappy old video card). I think you have a problem to solve, rather than an award-winning software franchise to trashtalk.
I had the game on CD and it ran fine. Never ANY problems. Then to my great dismay I lost it while moving. I bought it online then from GOG and it's been terrible. Glitches, flicker, poor frame rate, you name it. It's driving me nuts because I love this game. What the hell can it be??

I might note that I also bought NWN 1 from GOG and haven't noticed anything out of the ordinary there.
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touched: Before you sacrifice shadows, try the tweaks linked above.
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Olegg: The guide essentially directs you to reduce the shadow quality.
The guide gives a lot more suggestions than just reducing shadows. I personally say try everything else first, because I consider the shadows make a big difference in visual quality. If nothing else works, or if you don't care about the shadows anyway, then it's up to you.
I know this will make some people cringe, but I found that the best help to framerate is to pretend you're playing a console RPG like Final Fantasy and try to play as much as practically possible with the camera in Character Mode.

Strategy Mode works well for battles and also has good framerate.

The worst framerates tend to be in Exploration Mode with the camera zoomed way out.

Once you get yourself into the "Console RPG" mindset and stop thinking of it like NWN1, you get better framerates and, actually, it's kind of fun to play that way.

Of course if you loathe all things console, this won't be very convincing to you...