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Massive performance issues during gameplay (multiple games)

Issue: Massive performance problems during games

I play three games on my computer - Civilization 5, WoW Cataclysm Beta, and League of Legends. Each of these games has performance issues in which the framerate drops to unplayable levels. In Civ 5 and Cataclysm, the framerate will randomly drop for anywhere from 1-5 minutes. I can't find anything specific that seems to trigger this in any game. In Cataclysm, it has occurred when I've been standing still afk for over 10 minutes. The framerate goes from 60fps to less than 5fps. In Civ 5 it happens periodically when ordering a unit to do something, and then it goes away when I order a different unit to do something else a few minutes later. In League of Legends, the framerate drops from 60fps to 10fps and it does not go back up. Even when I close the game and open it back up the issue does not go away. I have to restart my computer to fix the problem (logging out and back into Windows does not work either).

When looking at performance logs for my computer, Cataclysm was running at about 30% cpu usage and randomly spiked up to 60% when the problem started. This is after 20 minutes or so of gameplay. When the issue went away, the cpu usage stayed between 50 and 60%. The issue came back and it remained at 60, then went back to 50-60 when the framerate returned to normal. The process continued until I gave up.

I have updated all my VIDEO drivers manually, Windows says all my processor drivers are up to date.

Processor - Intel Core Duo P8700 2.53ghz (not overclocked)
GPU - NVidia GTX 260M
RAM - Either 4 or 6 gb
OS - Windows 7 64-bit

This has been happening for months. Does anyone know how to fix the problem?

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