Alright computer gurus I need your help again Helli here, with another in a long line of cpu difficulties, I swear to god.... UGH. I got no words! I have an HP Pavilion with an AMD Phenom 9750 Quad-Core Processor 8.00 GB RAM Nvidia Geforce 9100 on-board chipset GPU Pegatron M2N78-LA motherboard I run dual monitors with different resolutions 64-bit OS, came as Vista, I upgraded to Win7. Worked fine for awhile. I actually tested it using the Performance Information and Tools in Windows which does a little test of different aspects and gives you a baseline number (the worst aspect of your PC) with regards to: -Processor -Memory (RAM) -Graphics -Gaming graphics -Primary Hard Disk It was originally around a 4.4 with of course the graphics being the weak spot, the GeForce 9100 is really low end. But then I noticed that when I'd play music it started to stutter.. or hesitate. Then videos became unwatchable unless I had them really small on the screen. Like... it kept getting worse. The temps weren't an issue I monitored those. Then I started randomly getting the black screen of death, the machine would then go into a repair mode when I restarted.... I never figured out what the problem was because it couldn't fix it. But eventually it started again and became semi-stable. So then I start getting blue screens where the machine times out when doing tough graphics chores (like watching ANY movie). let's suffice to say that I've been all over the forums reading and trying to figure out what my problem is, I've read TONS of fairly similar problems with no solutions that really suit me. I've downloaded drivers up the ass.... I've tried everything. You can turn off the process where it shuts itself off and see if it totally crashes but I don't want to do that. motherboard layout So with my PC extremely unstable and no obvious fixes after an entire weekend of trying various things which I'm not even gonna get into here.... I checked the basleline performance score again... It was like a 1.2.... Ok so it was such a hassle and I found so few likely solutions that I backed up all of my files on an external and just reverted to Vista with my recovery disks. The system was now stable but still scored a 2.0. Much lower than it should. (don't tell me... I know.... ) Just out of curiosity, I turned the system off, took it apart, and blew the dust out (very little dust, it's only a few months old). I also unclamped the heatsink and re-attached it, in case it was slightly off.... It looked fine, but I did it anyway. Remember, heat was never a problem according to the program I was tracking it with... I didn't re-apply any thermal sealer or whatever, and there didn't appear to be much (if any ) on there from before. So after doing that.... It's scoring a 4.3 and I loaded up the most gigantic movie I could find on my computer and it's running perfectly full screen. I guess my question now that I get to it, is... what do you think was wrong? Dust? I mean it was so little dust that I did it right here at my work station didn't even take it to a bench or anything. Secondly, could the fact that I didn't re-apply any thermal sealer hurt me later? Should I take apart again and re-do that? Third question: I wouldn't mind upgrading this pc anyway....... It has a PCI Express x16 graphics (for a graphics card)... Where would you guys look to find the best option balancing performance and price in a new graphics card? Would it just be plug and play? Ugh, I spent several hours on this crap this weekend.