6850 Recent massive drop in performance

About a week ago, after the StarCraft II patch 1.5 release, I started to notice an extreme frame rate drop in-game, making it near enough unplayable, and after googling any issues with the patch, many people were complaining of similar issues and I assumed that it was just an issue with the patch, nothing much I could do about that but just wait for a fix. However I've noticed in other games as well that my FPS has quartered what it was previously, mostly in COD4, I used to play with 250fps constant, however now when i play, it takes much longer for the maps to load, and they are now running at an average of 70fps. The first thing I considered was to do a system restore, but going into that I realise that I only have 1 restore point from yesterday, and none prior, I don't know why, but that's not a route I can take. Could this be a sign that my hard-drive is on its way out? I've run dxdiag and no issues have arisen.

ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO Motherboard
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition 3.4GHz Quad Core Processor
AMD Radeon HD 6850 1GB Asus
Corsair Vengeance DDR3 SDRAM 240-pin 1600MHz CL9 XMP
XFX PRO550W PSU Core Edition PSU
7200RPM Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB SATA HDD
Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

Any guidance or feedback is greatly appreciated, Cheers.

Meanwhile i'm going to reseat everything and make sure all the cables are as they should be.
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More about 6850 recent massive drop performance
  1. Try installing the latest graphics drivers. If you already have them, reinstall them. Since the games are taking longer to load as well, you might need a windows reinstall. That usually helps me, I do it once a year.
  2. Might be a driver issue; however, there are some other things worth checking:

    1. Heat can drop performance. I don't think you mentioned what your idle and load temps are?

    2. Check your hard drive(s)--I've seen various odd, sometimes difficult-to-reproduce issues be related to a dying hard drive.

    3. PSU could be getting flaky. Try a friend's PSU and see if the problem still occurs?

    4. Rule out non-hardware issues; clear your temp files, scan and make sure your PC hasn't picked up an infection, make sure you don't have any processes running in the background that are drawing excessive resources.

    Just some thoughts off the top of my head...
  3. Ok so I performed a complete format of my HDD and have reinstalled my games and made sure all my drivers are up to date, whilst playing games, my fans stay relatively slow and my CPU rarely gets over 40c and GPU rarely goes over 45c so it's not a cooling issue either. I'm really confused by this, a week ago it was running perfectly and now It's running like an absolute pig. I bought all the components brand new only 3 months ago, and find it hard to believe that one could have degraded already, especially under no unusual heavy usage.
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