I bought a new 9600gt from leadtek a week ago and ive had problems ever since.
When i play games and watch movies some strange lag appears. The movie or game runs perfectly for about 20 sec or so, then it drops to 0 fps for a few seconds. Then it runs smoothly again, and then it drops.
I've updated to the newest driver (version 175.16) and used others to but none works. I've also formatted my drive and reinstalled XP but it still don't work. All my drivers are updated to the latest version. I've turned up the fans to 100% using rivatuner but still no improvement. The card is about 50 C when in idle and it goes up to a 60 C when i play. I can play some games like CoD 4, Overlord, Counter-strike 1.6. Everything else lags in this strange way. What could be the problem?
Well, if you test the card and find the card to be good and want to keep it, then you would have to find out why the components of your main system will not properly run the card. The problem could be any number of things. You might start by taking some load off your current power supply. try unplugging extra Hard drives, fans, even RAM, etc. and see if you pwer supply is the cause. You might even break the system down to the basics, 1 DIMM RAM , CPU, Video Card and plug in the hard drive and see how that goes. It's just a matter of trial and error type troubleshooting your system hardware if you know the video card is working properly. Taking some of the load off your PSU or installing a different PSU would be a start.
Are you running any background tasks like antivirus/antispyware real time protection folding, downloading, other things that access the harddrive ?
Drive access sometimes blocks the system for a few seconds. The fact that it repeats every 20 seconds could also hint at caching/paging and slow drive performance (any fragmentation problems or check disk at startup?).
Not every app is dependant on quick access to the diskdrive (or a specific point on it). If your system install is very old (over say 12months) it could also be less efficient. You could try both the options you described to see if it improves the situation.
The spike that goes to zero is probably a reallocated sector. Speedfan has a good feature for hard drive checkups (on the S.M.A.R.T. tab click the "Perform an in depth online analysis of this hardisk). The reallocated sector count and drive fitness/pefromance marks might give you a hint on the reasons.
If your game has the misfortune of being installed over this reallocated sector that would explain the hickups but it is unlikely.
You should check with something else as well (adaware/spybot search & destroy). Some threats/hoggers are not picked up by AV alone but I doubt it's a malware problem.
How many processes are running on your system (on average) when you play?
You could try a different driver version but if an OS reinstall didn't fix it is very likely not a software issue. Might also check with some older drivers just to be sure.