I've been having this issue for a while now (since about the new year).
During general use and even heavy gameplay the card works just fine.
What happens is that sometimes after playing for a few consecutive hours, when I quit the game and return to the desktop I get this stuttering at a rate of about once per second. This also happens I've noticed (with about the same frequency) when I go out for a few hours and my computer drops into standby. When I first wake it up it runs fine for a few minutes then the stuttering begins.
A simple restart of the system immediately fixes things.
This happens with stock settings on both cpu and gpu (though I have overclocked my cpu before this popped up and I've started to diagnose).
Heat it not an issue.
I've used a number of driver sets for diagnosis (about 5 though I can't recall which. I did however uninstall each, restart, and install the new).
Anybody have any ideas on things I can try or information I need for a diagnosis?
can you descirbe this stuttering in a little more detail?
is it input lag? or an actual visual artifact?
it sounds like it could be an issue with the refresh rate, which sometimes happens after a resolution change (not sure if you are gaming at your native res or not)
the most immediate recommendation is that when the problem occurs, go into the driver control panel and change a visual setting such as color depth or screen resolution, just to force a change, then immediately change it back (or just hit no when it asks if you want to keep the changes) and see if the problem has gone.
i suspect this will temporarily solve the issue without needing a restart. but of course thats not a permanent solution.
RAM usage seems to be in line with where it normally is. No background programs seemed to have crash.
I wouldn't describe it as an artifact, the picture "looks" correct, it is just delayed.
Best way to describe it I guess is when I swirl the mouse pointer in a circle it pauses midway around. I can't quite tell if the pointer is still moving in the OS while the screen pauses as it's simply too distracting.
Well then as welsh said, it could be a problem with the HDD. Though have you made sure though that it's not being accessed for any other reason? Say like if you were to have all programs closed and the computer doing nothing, does it still flicker?
If so, then perhaps it would be best to create a backup while you can and get a new HDD then.