Something just occurred to me, and I'm kicking myself that I didn't consider it previously. Performance issues in the EC have been a little inconsistent, often with no apparent link to video hardware. It only took months, but it finally sunk in that the EC is based on the Gamebryo engine, and hence issues that have existed in other Gamebyro-based games may have been inherited. I used to have some performance issues in Oblivion, which also manifested in Fallout 3, which combined with generally worse performance on my less-than-top-of-the-line laptop, lead me to research a little. The remedy was simple, if non-intuitive - To turn down audio hardware acceleration in the Windows control panel. I couldn't even begin to say why that made a difference in those games, when the problem didn't exist in other engines. But, what worked for two Gamebryo games may work for a third, in some cases. I don't, personally, have any performance issues in the EC, though, so I can't exactly test the theory.