I have a Dell Inspiron 9400 with an ATI 256mb Mobility Radeon X 1400 video card. As soon as the laptop is warmed up, say about 10 mins, my video performance suffers tremendously. Typing can take a few seconds to appear, windows that are dragged move in a choppy jerky fashion and I cannot stream videos of any kind, or watch DVDs.
This happened once before and I figured it was a heat problem, so I did two things, I got an external fan thing it sets on, and I took the entire laptop apart, removed the video card and blew out the heat sync and fan assembly, which didn't seem very dirty, to be honest. (actually, the first thing I tried was a complete reinstall of windows xp home on a formatted drive, which I was due for anyway, this did not solve the problem)
This solved the problem for about 2 or 3 months.
Now it is back. Do I just take it apart again? Kind of a pain, but I guess I can do it. Or is my video card possibly damaged?
Well, I figured I would update my own thread, since I solved the problem. A Dell service tech replaced my motherboard about a year and a half ago. When he swapped the processor from the old to the new, he didn't do anything about the thermal paste. Well, it had dried out and was no longer doing it's job. I removed the heat sink, cleaned the processor and heat sink and applied new Arctic Silver 5. I have a program which measures temps and the peak has dropped at least 40 degrees F.
Kind of ticks me off, but I guess the service techs don't have time to do the job correctly. Anyway, I no longer have any problems and the computer runs like new.