I just recently bought BattleField 3 for PC. When I launched the game, it told me to update my nvidia graphics driver to version 285.xx because it had a number of BF3 specific improvements. I was running either 275.xx or 280.xx to play BF3 the first time and it was working just fine. Before I played the game a second time, I decided to upgrade my driver but after I did so, performance sucked. The screen had syncing problems and fps was noticeably down and it was so bad that I reverted back to 280.xx. Anyone else have this problem?
And as a side issue, BF3 keeps crashing about every 15 minutes or so... IDK if it is due to the older driver?
From what I can see is you may be running out of vram with the 512 that you have , BF3 easily surpasses 1GB of vram. You are going to have to reduce your graphics settings unfortunately , turn off motion blur , AA and AO, reduce shadows in the game settings and reduce some settings to reduce the amount of VRAM its using and till you get a smoother gameplay.
Also try different drivers and see which one is best , you can also try the newer beta drivers from nvidia.