I'm currently running a Gateway FX gaming laptop with 4 gigs of ram and a 1gig Nvidia 9800M GTS graphics card which is run in its native 1400/900 mode.
I have no issues what so ever in space combat no matter what is on the screen.
I have updated my graphic card drivers as per the latest version of them on the Nvidia site.
I am still getting the graphic driver out of date error msg on the lower left of my screen and any type of ground combat be it missions or even just a space dock are literally unplayable due to graphic lag.
As I said I have zero problems with any type of space combat regardless of what is on the screen.
My issues are any type of ground environment rendering in this game.
P.S. At release I really had no issues with this what so ever , but after the last cpl of patches it has become almost unplayable.
I've been having this problem as well. Every time I log on it's a bit different. Sometimes I'll have two minutes of unplayable lag and then two minutes of perfect game play. Other times it will be constant little stutters that while annoying doesn't cause too much of an issue. And yes there are rare times when there is nothing wrong and I hope against hope that whatever has been going wrong has been fixed.
Has anyone been able to figure out a solution? Or at least why this is happening?
I assume that your laptop is the Gateway FX P-78 series gaming laptop as your specs match the kind in my laptop exactly and this is the model I have.
I too downloaded the latest drivers from nvidia and found that they not only caused performance issues but that silly "your drivers are out of date message" didn't go away either. So i opted to roll back to the manufacturer's drivers as those are typically custom tailored to the hardware in the machine. Sure I'll continue to get that driver error message, but the game performs much better. I did a quick test running around Sol spacedock and it seemed to run fine.
An alternative may be that those files are corrupt in your STO folder (what the default name is, I don't know) so a reinstall of the game could fix the issue.
One thing I can suggest from my experience in other games with this laptop is make sure you've got plenty of airflow under the laptop, this thing has notoriously bad heat management under load(i.e. far cry 2, gta4, etc). Anything that can elevate the back of the laptop works great, like coasters or similar.
I run STO on my Gateway laptop with the Nvidia 8800M GTS and it works fine for me. The only issue I've had in game is on one mission ("Trapped") inside the wormhole. Other than that, it works perfectly fine and I get the "your drivers are out of date" message at login too.