This sounds like a discussion we had in the Cnet forums recently. No one cured it and it looks to be bad code on EA's part. Since it's not open source and no one owns up to the issue we get to shake a few heads and fingers at it and just wait for the next version.

I do see one and only one thing in your list that gives me pause. That video card is dated and did create issue on one of our kid's game machines. Moving to the Geforce 7000 series fixed that one.
Bob