Choppy video playback? Bad HDD or not?

What can cause a choppy video playback? This is not only when watching/streaming movies, but also in games. It's not like a sudden jumpy chop, but a constant 24/7 minimal chop. Just reformatted, rules out spy ware/virus and processes problems and those type of problems. Graphic tweaking does not help, since i am not only playing games, but watching streamed movies as well. This includes vsync and different drivers.

Gpu and cpu temps are good.

I've tried different video card/psu/ram. Have not tried changing CPU/MOBO/HDD. Which one do you think is the culprit?

I dont know if this is normal or not, but when my cpu is idle at 0% load, every few random seconds my HDD activity light ticks as if it's accessing it for a split second.

windows pro sp2
E6300 @ 2.45
gigabyte ga-945p-s3 LATEST FLASH
2gb corsair ram
400gb seagate sata
4350 radeon PCI-E 512mb
450w fortron PSU
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