Graphics card dying?!!

Good morning everyone. I am running in to an issue that is frustrating me considerably. It seems my graphics card is not running as it should.

First, the relevant system specs:

Intel i7-860 @3.81Ghz
8GB Corsair Dominator RAM at 1600mhz
ATI HD5870 Graphics

Windows performance index has continually had a score of 7.6. The last time I tested it was about a month ago. NO hardware changes whatsoever since. I was running 11.4 AMD driver and decided today to update to 11.5. Now windows performance index is 6.4 (and that is in the graphics cagegory)!! Panicked, I removed 11.5 and reinstalled 11.4. SAME result! Checked that default settings were set in CCC (control panel for AMD graphics) and all was normal.

Again, I made no changes to my system (other that installing games, windows updates, virus definitions, etc.) and such.

Any suggestions
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More about graphics card dying
  1. The windows performance index is not a scale that I would personally ever use to see how good my computer is. If you want to see if your graphics card is being affected by the driver change run benchmark tests, perhaps unreal engine and see if you get a drop in fps after chaging to 11.5 Ignore windows performance index
  2. Run any game or benchmarking application like 3DMark and then see if there is any difference in the FPS or scores.
  3. Like the previous people have stated, don't use the windows experience index for analyzing the quality of your video card... Use games like crysis (or something else with a built in benchmark) and see if your framerates change. Windows experience ratings are garbage in my experience. At one point, it was giving my laptop and my desktop both 5.9s accross the board.... That is with the a laptop that had a core i5 at 2.6 vs a core i7 at 4.0 and a 5650m vs crossfire 6950s... 4 gigs of ram 1066mhz vs 6 gigs ddr3 1600... Obviously the desktop would completely destroy the laptop in just about anything, but according to the windows experience index, they were exactly the same...
  4. Great suggestions folks! I installed 3DMark 2011 and ran it many times with different driver packages and MOST of the time I scored in the low 4000's and get the message "Your Score is Low Compared to Similar Systems. There may be a problem." But twice I got in the 5000 range with the message that my system performs similar to similar systems. The funny thing? My Windows Performance Index is back to where it used to be. It's been 6 months so I think it's about time for a format and re-load anyway.
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