I’m surprised that you reckon even on “Low” geometry, you still get slowdown when zoomed out. My laptop’s GT650M has 2GB of DDR3 memory, which is horribly slow and low bandwidth compared to a “proper” GPU with GDDR5, and with geometry set to Low, the game runs pretty well, even fully zoomed out. It almost entirely stops those sudden stalls when the game seems to be loading in geometry and/or textures.
Have you tried setting all settings to Low/Off, including the ones you can only access in the main menu before loading a game? Try having everything set to minimum, and turn each one up in turn until you find the one that’s causing the problems.
What’s your actual machine spec and GPU?