if that was the case he'd have no video output. Also, note that he mentions high FPS that then dips, he'd be low all around on the onboard. His hitching also occurs in 2D, meaning that the video card is most likely unrelated. So that it doesnt get lost Niv, can you please check the power option i mentioned. A friend recently had a similar problem, although his was in vista - BIOS and windows have options to turn off HDD's after an idle period, and his system was freezing temporarily due to the drives turning on and off.