Neil you may have hit on something. Around two years ago I started getting lag due to Xfire running in the background (suggested by someone on a forum somewhere). I even stopped playing for a couple months thinking a game patch might resolve the issue which of course never happened. I tried shutting down processes manually, but no change. What I have found that looks promising is closing programs running in the taskbar that seem unneeded during gaming. I'll have to do more testing, but it does seem to help.