Nvidia gtx 550 ti clock rate stuck

Hi everyone.
This problem started up about a week ago. while playing just cause 2, the framerate suddenly started dropping into the teens. according to msi afterburner, the gpu was only running at 405 MHz. i tried adjusting the clockrate with afterburner again, but the clockrate wont budge. if i play any game for more than 10 minutes, this happens. the only way to fix it is to reboot the computer. i've already tried reinstalling drivers, and it fixed the issue for about 2 days. then it came back. ive also tried moving to 296.26 drivers, and the problem goes away. can anyone help with this?
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  1. well, i tried that. rebooted and started a game. clock rate downclocked to 405 in less than a minute..... no browser was opened. given that his happens only with 3xx series drivers, im starting to think its a driver issue
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