I am experiences very frequent game freezes that are about 0,5-3 sec long when the game loads up audio or dialogue assets (at least that is how it seems). Game runs very smoothly on high graphical, high strain settings and performs flawlessly when for example playing large multi-enemy fights were several high graphic settings spell animations are flung all over the screen. However, when doing simple tasks like talking to random NPC:s in town, the game very frequently gets these freezes. The screen freezes after clicking on an NPC and after the ''loading'' time is over, the dialogue pops up. This happens both during dialogues that are text-only and dialogues that include audio files for NPC speech, altough the freezes may be longer for those that include audio files and often happen between every click on the continue button in the dialogue menu then). Sometimes, the game even freezes when walking past random NPC:s in (any) towns that say som gossip when passing by, causing text to pop up over their heads (like ''Welcome stranger to our town!'' or similar). Note that audio does not stutter after loading, it just causes the game to freeze for a few secs and then runs. Never happens with atmospheric/environment sounds, only dialogues. It has been like this all the time I have had Pillars of eternity. Strangely enough, the issue seems to be much less obvious when creating a new char and running through Act 1 a second time, as if the game now knows where some assets are located and loads them faster or something.
I am running the Steam version, latest update, on an ASUS G501JW-CN030H laptop. The laptop is less than a month old. It came preinstalled with windows 8,1 and I immediately updated to Windows 10 (64 bit) after purchase. Running on Windows 10 since then. Drivers for graphics card, sound card and network are updated to latest versions. I am, of course, running the game with power cable plugged in (not battery mode).
Other speccs include: 16 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, Intel Core i7-4720HQ processor. My computer has 3 different save drives. The OS and I think PoE save files are on an C drive SSD (the user windows folder is there, where the save files are), while PoE and all other Steam files are on D drive HDD. I do not have and never had Hamachi installed.
Here are some fixes I have tried already after googling on the issue, without success:
Updating all relevant computer drivers
Reinstalling the game, several times (always to D drive HDD)
Running PoE in administrator mode
Disabling anti-aliasing, both through the slider option all the way to the left and through NVIDIA control panel
Lowering resolution significantly
Deleting the player portrait folder (seemed to work for some people who have had similar issues previous game versions)
Disabling all network devices through control panel and running Steam in offline mode
All the above at the same time
Attaching some files, as to the ''How to report an issue'' topic. Save files are too large to attach even after zipping, sadly, but it is the same everywhere in the game.
Thankful for any help you can offer.