No way. His system surpasses the minimum specifications by enough that he should be running lowest settings like butter. I'm betting a driver glitch occurred. I would uninstall all nvidia graphic drivers then run the latest version of driver sweeper in safe mode and then re-install the drivers and see if that helps.
Edit: Also, for a cheap upgrade another 2gb of ram would really help you out a lot. Ram is super cheap right now as well.
Thanks, i'll give that a shot and report back