Radeon 7870 insufficient?

I recently built a new desktop, and had planned on using it at least partly for gaming. I already had the Sims 3 and figured it would be a pretty good test game since I can't really afford anything else right now. Lo and behold, I go to play and everything goes swimmingly until I actually get to live play. The crash log analyzer is telling me that I need to upgrade my graphics card or get it checked for instability. I just updated my drivers from the Gigabyte website and flashed my BIOS, thinking it could be that, but neither helped.

In lieu of being able to try other games, I ran it through a few benchmarks, all of which it passed. It got a p6648 score on 3Dmark11 and did well on SiSoftware Sandra's overall benchmark, though I don't remember the exact score of anything. I can run it again if it'd help.

Motherboard: Gigabyte z77-D3H
CPU: Intel i5-3570k
CPU fan: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo
GPU: Gigabyte Radeon HD7870
RAM: 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws
PSU: PC Power and Cooling 750W
Case: Antec 500
OS: Win 7 64bit

I thought Sims 3 would be a walk in the park, but nope. When the game is starting, I hear a high-pitched sound coming from something, I think it might be the video card, but my hearing isn't the greatest and the fans might be messing with it. It might even be a fan, I can't say.

A few other issues I'm currently having is that while I'm browsing online, I'll have anywhere from a small box to the whole page flicker to black. Sometimes it will come back, though sometimes it won't and I have to refresh the page to get it back. A few days ago, I was browsing and everything froze, just before the screen went black. The cursor was still visible, and it would move, but only after a minute or so of lag. I ended up just restarting. After the hard restart, my clock was all messed up, which made me wonder if it was a mobo issue.

When I wake it up from sleep, sometimes about half the page gets frozen, though I just have to resize the window to get it normal. And lastly, every now and then, my mouse will start to lag pretty badly. I don't know if that's related or just an issue with my cheap wireless mouse.

I'm sure there are other things that you need to know, and I'll do whatever you need me to. This is my first build and I'm going to be the first to admit that I don't know as much as I'd like.

Any help is definitely appreciated. I just really need to know if I need to return/exchange anything before my 30 days is up or if I was just stupid and messed something up.
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More about radeon 7870 insufficient
  1. take out the video card and use the onboard graphics. if that solves the problem then you have a bad card and should RMA it.
  2. Also, I heard it's always a better option to update video card drivers on the AMD website.
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