A Mind Lost

Anything and everything.

Neverwinter Nights 2 Stuttering from Mouse Movement

My eldest son has been bugging me lately looking for a new game to play. Having picked up another copy of Neverwinter Nights 2 through Steam, and finally managing to get it to work, I tossed him my disc copy of NWN2 and its first expansion “Mask of the Betrayer”.

A few days ago he complained that the game was running very poorly after I had tinkered with the graphics settings. I didn’t set anything over the capabilities of the graphics card, in fact I set them rather low for what the card is capable of.

I recalled some comments that NWN2 had problems with dual-core processors, so I first installed the AMD Dual-Core optimizer, and tried downloading the processor driver, but unfortunately AMD’s website didn’t want to cooperate with me on that one. I ended up getting it from Guru3D. Neither one solved the problem.

I also checked the BIOS, thinking AMD Cool ‘n Quiet might be messing things up. Again, no go.

Examining the symptoms further, I noticed that the game was only stuttering when moving the mouse. Perhaps it’s a problem with Windows XP’s native mouse driver and the connected Logitech MX510? Installing the Logitech mouse driver didn’t fix it either.

By this point I’m a little frustrated at not being able to track down the problem.

Initially I only gave the running processes list a cursory glance, and didn’t really see anything out of the ordinary. The only program running was Microsoft’s own Live Messenger. Surely that couldn’t be the culprit?

It turns out it was. Closing Messenger (not just minimizing it to the system tray) solved the problem entirely.  For whatever reason, moving the mouse while Live Messenger is running was gimping the game.  I didn’t do any extensive testing on whether it’s only an issue when not signed in, and didn’t look any further in to it.  I think I’m coming down with a cold, my throat’s sore and swallowing hurts.  I’ve probably caught something from my nephew again.  Makes thinking somewhat difficult.

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